Champion-elect Sebastian Vettel heads to the Indian sub-continent in the knowledge that his fourth successive Formula One title can be sealed with a top-five finish at a circuit where he has never failed to finish on anything other than the top step of the podium.
With the circuit having hosted just two Grand Prix, and a hiatus set for next season, the Greater Noida-based track could be set to crown a world champion for the first time in its short history.
Despite Vettel’s unbeaten record around the Hermann Tilke-designed course, the German should be wary of his nearest championship rival Fernando Alonso, who like the German possesses a formidable record, having finished 3rd in 2011’s inaugural race and 2nd in last year’s contest.
The very nature of the 5.14km lap, which has been compared to the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, should suit Red Bull’s cars which have consistently been softer on the much-maligned Pirelli tyres compared to their rivals this season.
As a result, Sebastian Vettel is 4/9 to take a hat-trick of victories in India
Although Ferrari and Alonso haven’t given up all hope of wrestling both the drivers’ and constructors’ titles away from the Milton Keynes-based Red Bull team, Alonso has conceded he would need a miracle to win a third career world championship.
One positive that Spaniard Alonso can take from an otherwise uneventful Japanese Grand Prix is that he is now the all-time record points’ scorer in Formula One, having surpassed Michael Schumacher’s previous record of 1,569 points with a fourth-placed finish at Suzuka.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing