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Ferrari to bounce back from Russia troubles? Get Japanese Grand Prix tips

Leigh Copson 8 Oct 2019

Ferrari (credit: HOCH ZWEI via Images)

Japanese Grand Prix predictions for the race on Sunday, October 13. The 2019 Formula 1 season continues with the 17th race taking place at Suzuka – but who will be victorious? Read on for our all of our free predictions and betting tips.

Japanese Grand Prix 2019 Predictions

* Odds correct at 09:43 BST on 8/10/2019

Japanese Grand Prix 2019 Betting Tips Explained

When the 2019 Formula 1 season resumed it was Ferrari who came storming out of the blocks with three consecutive victories, but that sudden resurgence came to an abrupt halt in Russia a couple of weeks ago.

‘The Prancing Horse’ had been fancied to make it four wins on the bounce thanks to their new lease of life, but instead it turned out to be a miserable race for the team as Sebastian Vettel refused to let team-mate Charles Leclerc past him despite team orders and then failed to finish the race due to an engine problem. Leclerc did finish the race, but he was forced to settle for third place after a safety car deployment came at a bad time for him and handed victory to Lewis Hamilton who now boasts an ever more commanding lead at the top of the Drivers’ Championship.

Since the race there has been a huge ‘inquest’ into what is happening at Ferrari. While they have now won three of the last four races and appear to have overcome their slump during the first half of the campaign, there is definitely the makings of a toxic atmosphere between the two drivers. Vettel’s decision to ignore team orders, on the back of Leclerc willingly following them in the previous race, has almost certainly caused plenty of tension between the two men and former technical director Ross Brawn believes his old team have a “potentially explosive combination” on their hands.

“It's a potentially explosive combination and needs careful handling,” Brawn told “Of course, he [Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto] is well aware of how this kind of dynamic can work as he has experienced it before when he was a young engineer, but now the honour and obligation falls to him to make sure that mechanism that drives what can be healthy rivalry runs smoothly.

“On the one hand they have a four-time world champion who is still one of the finest drivers on the grid, despite a few too many mistakes over the past two seasons. And on the other, they have an incredible talent in Charles Leclerc – after all you don't take six poles and win two races at legendary circuits such as Spa and Monza if you're not a star in the making. It's a fact that Mattia Binotto will have work to do in the next few days to pour oil on what seem like turbulent waters. Ferrari has clearly made a lot of progress in recent weeks but it still probably has to deal with a few internal issues in terms of the balance between its drivers.”

So it is safe to say that all eyes – and ears – will be on the Ferrari pair in Japan this weekend as they try to end Mercedes five-year unbeaten record at Suzuka. World championship leader Hamilton has mastered this circuit, winning the race in four of the last five seasons, so it is more than understandable that the bookies make him the favourite to be victorious this weekend, but I am going to back Ferrari and one man in particular, Charles Leclerc. He has been simply outstanding since the 2019 season got back underway – he has reeled off four straight pole positions and had it not been for team orders he could have turned pole into victory on all four occasions.

Instead he has had to settle for a couple of wins, but he is the ‘hot hand’ in F1 right now so I am backing him to turn pole position into a win in Japan. If you are confident about that happening you can get 5/1 on a Fastest Qualifier & Race Winner Double, but if you maybe fancy him for one of those the young Monegasque is 7/4 in both the ‘Race Winner’ and ‘Fastest Qualifier’ markets.

Japanese Grand Prix 2019 Predictions

* Odds correct at 09:43 BST on 8/10/2019

Japanese Grand Prix Circuit

The Suzuka International Racing Course has featured on the Formula 1 calendar since 1987, with the Japanese Grand Prix only moving away from this circuit in 2007 and 2008 while renovations were made to make it compliant for the 2009 Formula 1 season.

It boasts a series of challenging corners that require drivers to be at their best at all times, while limited run-off areas mean drivers will often find themselves out of the race if they make the slightest mistake. Suzuka is easily one of the toughest – if not the toughest – courses on the Formula 1 calendar and therefore it is no surprise that it remains popular with both drivers and fans.

Lewis Hamilton has won the race in four of the past five seasons and that means he has now enjoyed the most success at Suzuka out of active drivers, winning here five times. However, the legendary Michael Schumacher remains the all-time greatest performer in the history of the Japanese Grand Prix having won it six times.

Location: Suzuka International Racing Course, Suzuka, Japan
Number Of Laps: 53
Lap Length: 3.608 milers
Lap Record: Kimi Raikkonen, 1 minute 31.540 seconds (2005)

Japanese Grand Prix Previous Winners

Japanese Grand Prix Winners

1976Mario AndrettiLotus-FordFuji
1977James HuntMcLaren-FordFuji
1987Gerhard BergerFerrariSuzuka
1988Ayrton SennaMcLaren-HondaSuzuka
1989Alessandro NanniniBenetton-FordSuzuka
1990Nelson PiquetBenetton-FordSuzuka
1991Gerhard BergerMcLaren-HondaSuzuka
1992Riccardo PatreseWilliams-RenaultSuzuka
1993Ayrton SennaMcLaren-FordSuzuka
1994Damon HillWilliams-RenaultSuzuka
1995Michael SchumacherBenetton-RenaultSuzuka
1996Damon HillWilliams-RenaultSuzuka
1997Michael SchumacherFerrariSuzuka
1998Mika HakkinenMcLaren-MercedesSuzuka
1999Mika HakkinenMcLaren-MercedesSuzuka
2000Michael SchumacherFerrariSuzuka
2001Michael SchumacherFerrariSuzuka
2002Michael SchumacherFerrariSuzuka
2003Rubens BarrichelloFerrariSuzuka
2004Michael SchumacherFerrariSuzuka
2005Kimi RaikkonenMcLaren-MercedesSuzuka
2006Fernando AlonsoRenaultSuzuka
2007Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-MercedesFuji
2008Fernando AlonsoRenaultFuji
2009Sebastian VettelRed Bull-RenaultSuzuka
2010Sebastian VettelRed Bull-RenaultSuzuka
2011Jenson ButtonMcLaren-MercedesSuzuka
2012Sebastian VettelRed Bull-RenaultSuzuka
2013Sebastian VettelRed Bull-RenaultSuzuka
2014Lewis HamiltonMercedesSuzuka
2015Lewis HamiltonMercedesSuzuka
2016Nico RosbergMercedesSuzuka
2017Lewis HamiltonMercedesSuzuka

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