Japanese Grand Prix 2015 – Preview and Betting Tips

On Sunday, the Japanese Grand Prix 2015 will take place at the Suzuka Circuit. The race will begin at 2pm local time (6am GMT). Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari is the second most successful driver here with four wins after Michael Schumacher who has six wins. He also won the Singapore Grand Prix last week in a very impressive way. With all the issues surrounding Mercedes today, he’s now one of the favorites to win this race. Let’s look more into at the details of this event and Vettel’s chances in the following post.

Overview

The first F1 Japanese Grand Prix was held in 1976 at the Fuji Speedway. In 1987, it transferred to the Suzuka Circuit, a track owned by Honda and this place became its permanent home ever since. This track is one of the most iconic racing circuits used in F1 today. It has a unique figure of 8 layout which are also seen by others as the infinity symbol. It has 17 turns and one DRS zone (located approaching turn 1). Some of the corners here like the Spoon Curve, Dunlop Curve and the 130R have earned their reputation to drivers as some of the most challenging in the sport. The race here is also of the fastest in the F1 calendar with an average speed of 225kmh per lap.

A lap in the Suzuka Circuit has a length of 5.807 kilometers. There are 53 laps in the Japanese GP and it covers a total of 307.471 kilometers. Most teams usually have a 2 stop strategy for this race. Pirelli used their super-soft and soft for the bumpy surface and twisty turns of the Marina Bay street circuit in Singapore last week. This time, the Italian tyre supplier will use their hard and medium compounds in Suzuka.

Drivers

Lewis Hamilton had already won the Japanese Grand Prix two times already. He first won it in 2007 and then got his second last year in a race which was cut short due to bad weather. But after what happened in Singapore, doubts about Mercedes’s ability to win this race began to emerge. Hamilton also has doubts over his team and even said in a recent interview that he ‘has no confidence’ on Mercedes coming into the Japanese GP. His teammate, Nico Rosberg is yet to win here and also failed to make a podium finish in Marina Bay last week.

Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari is the most second most successful driver here next to Michael Schumacher. He had won this race four times already (2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013) and is now a favorite to win this race again after a great performance in Singapore. His teammate, Kimi Raikkonen had also won this race before in 2005 when he was still with McLaren.

In other related stories, this will be an emotional race for Manor as they go back to Suzuka a year after Jules Bianchi had his fatal accident near the end of last year’s race. It’s also rumored that Jenson Button will announce his retirement from the sport here.

Betting tips

Despite Mercedes’s poor performance in Singapore last week, bookmakers still have Lewis Hamilton as the top favorite to win this race. The best odds for him are at around 1.83 in William Hill. Nico Rosberg is also still among the top favorite here with odds of around 5 in most bookies. However, the odds for Sebastian Vettel have considerably improved for this race. The Ferrari driver usually has odds of around 13 to 15 in most races for this season, but this time most bookies give him odds of around 5.

I’ll go for Vettel in this race. I agree with the opinion of some F1 experts which say that the momentum has now shifted to Ferrari’s favor. Vettel’s runaway victory in Singapore is a big proof to this. I’m confident he can grab his fifth Japanese Grand Prix win on Sunday.