The Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix is just around the corner, and all eyes are on defending champion Max Verstappen. After his impressive winning streak came to an end in Singapore, Verstappen is determined to bounce back and secure another victory at the Suzuka Circuit. Let’s delve into the pre-qualifying favorites and assess their chances of success in this highly anticipated race.
Max Verstappen: The Unwavering Favorite (-350)
Despite his recent setback in Singapore, Max Verstappen remains the heavy favorite to win the Japanese Grand Prix. Verstappen’s dominant performance this season, with 10 consecutive victories, showcases his exceptional driving skills. While he struggled in qualifying last week, finishing 11th, Verstappen managed to climb up to fifth during the race. With his previous triumph at Suzuka Circuit and his commanding pole position, Verstappen is poised to defend his title.
Sergio Perez: Seeking Consistency (+1,100)
Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate, Sergio Perez, has had a mixed season, experiencing both highs and lows. In Singapore, Perez faced challenges during qualifying, starting in 13th position, and could only manage an eighth-place finish. Despite his inconsistent results, Perez has consistently secured the second spot, and if he can find his rhythm at the Japanese Grand Prix, he might surprise everyone.
Lando Norris: Knocking on the Door (+1,200)
McLaren’s Lando Norris has been making significant strides in the second half of the season. With three second-place finishes in his last six races, including an impressive performance in Singapore, where he held off the Mercedes drivers, Norris is on the verge of claiming his first Formula 1 victory. His strong track record and consistent performances make him a serious contender for a podium finish at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Analyzing the Opening Odds:
Max Verstappen’s odds to win the Japanese Grand Prix have slightly dropped to -300 at Caesars. While his recent vulnerability is a cause for concern, Verstappen’s previous success at Suzuka Circuit cannot be overlooked. With a substantial 27.066-second victory margin last year, Verstappen has proven his dominance on this track. Given his consistent performance throughout the season, betting on Verstappen at these odds seems like a wise choice.
Carlos Sainz: Proceed with Caution (+2000)
The surprise winner of the Singapore Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz, may be tempting to bet on. However, history suggests caution. Sainz has struggled at the Japanese Grand Prix, with retirements in previous races and mediocre finishes when he did complete the race. His qualifying results further highlight his challenges. It might be best to avoid betting on Sainz for this race.
Charles LeClerc: Quietly Impressive (-155 for a top six finish)
While attention has been focused on Verstappen and Sainz, Charles LeClerc has quietly been putting together a solid streak of performances. With consistent top-six finishes in recent races, LeClerc has showcased his potential for success. His strong qualifying performances, including two runner-up positions, place him in an excellent position for a top-six finish at the Japanese Grand Prix.
As we approach the Japanese Grand Prix, all eyes are on Max Verstappen as he aims to reclaim his winning form. While his recent defeat in Singapore raises questions, Verstappen’s track record and pole position make him a formidable favorite. Sergio Perez and Lando Norris also pose significant threats, with their consistent performances in recent races. However, it’s important to exercise caution when betting on Carlos Sainz, given his historical struggles at Suzuka Circuit. For Charles LeClerc, his quiet but impressive performances make him a strong contender for a top-six finish. As the race unfolds, we can expect thrilling battles and surprises on the iconic Suzuka Circuit.