Practice sessions point to two-horse race in Japanese GP
Lewis Hamilton notched two second-placed finishes in practice ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix and remains 2/1 favourite for the chequered flag, but a strong showing from team Red Bull has seen Sebastian Vettel’s price shorten.
The defending world champ is now 11/4, in from 4/1, to pick up his third win on the Suzuka circuit in four years, despite never finishing in the top two in the warm up.
The two quickest drivers from P1 and P2 – Jenson Button and Mark Webber, respectively – are both priced up at 10’s to win here, though neither have any realistic hopes of challenging Fernando Alonso for the title this season.
Of the pair, Button’s price represents the best value. He has history on his side as the defending champion from last year’s Japanese GP and represents the team that has been victorious in three of the past seven renewals.
Alonso, who has one hand on the Drivers Championship after a consistent campaign to date, has a good record in Japan, winning on this leg of the tour twice previously. He’s only missed out on two podiums in the past six years, which means his sizeable 6/1 for glory cannot be dismissed.
Based on the practice sessions, however, it appears that it’s going to be a two-horse between McLaren and Red Bull to be the first over the finish line, meaning the Spaniard might have to settle for a place in the top three, which can be had at 6/5.
There’s little to separate the two teams slugging it out for the Constructor’s Championship in this race, with McLaren’s performance in practice giving them the edge in the betting.
The British team are 11/8 shots to provide the winning driver, whereas Red Bull are 15/8. Ferrari are deemed unlikely at 11/2, but could be worth a punt as outsiders given Alonso’s good record here.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date