The 2019 Japanese Grand Prix is the 17th race of the 2019 Formula One season and it is the 45th edition of the race which is held at the Suzuka International Racing Course in Mie Prefecture in Japan. This year’s race will be held on October 13, 2019, and it will be the 35th time that the Japanese Grand Prix is an event in the Formula One World Championship and the 31st time that it will be held in Suzuka. The race distance is 307.741 km (191.053 mi) or 53 laps around the 5.807km (3.608 mi) course which opened in 1962 as a test track of Honda Motors.
German F1 legend Michael Schumacher is the winningest driver in this race. Schumacher has won this race a total of six times. Current Drivers Champion Lewis Hamilton has five wins while Ferrari ace Sebastian Vettel has four wins. Only Hamilton and Vettel are the current drivers with wins in Japan. Hamilton has won the race in four out of the last five years and is the back to back winner. The Brit finished ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in 2018.
This year Hamilton is once again favored to win the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix. Ferrari rookie Charles Leclerc is a close second to the Brit in the current odds board. Vettel is third and Bottas fourth to complete the Top 4 favorites.
Here are the odds to win the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix. These odds were taken from Bet365 as of 10/08/19:
Who are the Favorites?
Lewis Hamilton is gunning for a sixth Drivers Championship which would put him one shy of Michael Schumacher’s record of seven. The reigning Drivers Champion is currently 73 points ahead of his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in the standings and a win in Japan would put him closer to his 6th title. Hamilton is also closing in on another Formula One record. His victory at the Russian Grand Prix puts his career total to 82 wins, just nine shy of Schumacher’s record of 91.
The Brit has been sensational this season. He has won nine out of the 16 Grand Prix races this season although he’s claimed the checkered flag in only two out of the last six. But with still five races to go, he’s only two short of his win total last season when he claimed his sixth title. If he wins this race, Hamilton may wrap up the title in his next two races so while he’s comfortably ahead in the standings, he wants to get it over with as soon as possible.
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc is next to Hamilton in the F1 betting odds board. The 21-year old Monegasque had a slow start to his F1 career but he has certainly picked up the pace in the last few races. Leclerc has risen to 3rd in the current Drivers Standings and is the highest non-Mercedes driver in the ladder. He has placed in the podium in eight out of the last 10 races with two wins to boast. After wins in Belgium and Italy, Leclerc finished second in Singapore and then third the last time out in Russia.
Sebastian Vettel was supposed to be Hamilton’s chief rival this season. However, not only has he been a disappointment, he has been upstaged by his rookie teammate Leclerc. The four-time Drivers Champion is currently just in 5th place in the standings with 194 points. Vettel went to Russia coming off his first win of the year in Singapore. However, he suffered power loss on the third grid and retired from the 2019 Russian Grand Prix. Vettel has won at least two races since 2016 and that streak is in real danger. He has not won in Japan since back to back wins in 2012 and 2013.
Valtteri Bottas is Lewis Hamilton’s partner at Mercedes and the two Silver Arrow drivers were dominant in the first half of the season. Bottas is currently 2nd in the Drivers Standings behind Hamilton with 249 points and he may be the only driver who can challenge the defending world champion at this stage of the season, although that seems a far-out possibility right now given how Hamilton has raced this year. Bottas has two wins and 12 podium finishes this year. Bottas has finished in the Top 5 in Japan in the last four seasons.
Max Verstappen is currently 4th in the Drivers Standings behind Hamilton, Bottas and Leclerc at 212 points earned. The Red Bull driver joins Hamilton, Bottas, Leclerc, and Vettel to have wins this season. Verstappen has Top 5 finished in 14 out of the 16 races this season. Verstappen has finished on the podium in four out of the last eight races and is coming off a 4th place finish in Russia. He has finished in the Top 3 in Japan in each of the last three years.
There is no question that Lewis Hamilton is the favorite in this race. The defending F1 champion has won this race five times, one fewer than the record held by Michael Schumacher. With Hamilton chasing the German’s other records, this may be one he wants to add to his list. Hamilton has won here in four out of the last five years and his team Mercedes has won the last five installments of this race.
Among the current drivers, only Hamilton and Vettel have won this race. The latter has won this race four times but the German last won in 2013. Leclerc is a live dog in this race as he has been a regular at the podium in the last 10 races of the season. But remember that Ferrari hasn’t won this race since 2004 and while Leclerc can be the driver that breaks that streak, I think Hamilton’s experience winning in Japan is going to be a big factor here. Barring any unseen events, I’m looking at Lewis Hamilton crossing the finish line first. Prediction: Lewis Hamilton