F1 Japanese Grand Prix 2018 Betting and Odds Preview
Victory for Lewis Hamilton in the Russian Grand Prix last time out suggests that a successful defence of his world title is now a formality. The Mercedes man now has a 50 point lead over nearest rival Sebastian Vettel and you feel that with just five races to go, he would have to finish outside the points each time for the German to catch up.
This week we’re off to Japan and while the outright markets now seem to be sewn up for another year, there are plenty of options to consider for the race itself.
Hamilton has been second favourite for a number of recent Grand Prix but for Japan, the English driver is odds on and out in front at 4/5 with most bookies including MarathonBet and Royal Panda. Vettel then follows at best industry odds of 23/10 with SportingBet.
Punters may see some value in Valtteri Bottas who is third favourite and out at a top price of 9/1 with William Hill and Royal Panda. Bottas was the race leader in Russia last week but the Mercedes number two had to move aside to let his senior colleague take the chequered flag.
Moving through the list we have Kimi Raikkonen at a best of 12/1 with William Hill and SportingBet, followed by Max Verstappen at 16/1 with Coral and Betway and Daniel Ricciardo at a top price of 20/1 with William Hill.
That’s the ‘big six’ covered and as always, the bookies have dismissed the chances of any of the chasing drivers. The distant pack, led by Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen, Romain Grosjean and others, starts at best odds of 1000/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral.
We’re getting close to the point where the outright markets are about to be decided for another year so we’ll quickly just touch on these prices. For the Drivers’ Championship, Lewis Hamilton is now as short as 1/50 in places but you can get him at best odds of 1/20.
Sebastian Vettel is the only other driver listed by most bookmakers and the Ferrari man is available at 12/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral.
With Mercedes completing a one-two in Japan last time out, the German manufacturer seem to have the Constructors’ Championship sewn up again and you can pick them up in this market at 1/16 with SportingBet while Ferrari are the closest challengers at best odds of 8/1 with William Hill and Coral.
Time is running out to back the favourites here and the profits are getting much smaller so we’ll swiftly move back to Japan and the side bets for this weekend.
Other Betting Options
We took a nice profit in Russia at 11/2 on Valtteri Bottas to record the Fastest Lap and the Finn could be an option in the same market this week. This is one discipline where the honours have been shared around and in sixteen Grand Prix to date, Vettel and Hamilton have claimed this just three times between them.
Despite that, the top two are heading the Fastest Lap betting for Japan and are locked at the same price with most bookmakers. Elsewhere, Lewis Hamilton is the slight favourite at best odds of 4/1 with William Hill and Betway while Sebastian Vettel is slightly further back at a top price of 9/2 with Ladbrokes and SportingBet.
It remains tight as we move through the field with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen both available at the same industry best of 5/1 with SportingBet before we get to Bottas at 11/2 for the second week running with BetFred and Kimi Raikkonen at a best of 9/1 with SportingBet.
We even saw the Haas Driver Kevin Magnussen produce a fastest lap around Singapore two weeks ago but the Dane is given little chance this time around at a top price of 66/1 with SportingBet.
Turning to the Pole Position betting and although Valtteri Bottas started at the front of the grid for Sochi at the weekend, this market has been easier to call in recent races. Lewis Hamilton has started to dominate, taking five of the last nine poles while Mercedes have claimed eight of those nine overall.
For Japan, this market shows Hamilton as quite a short favourite at best odds of 17/20 with ComeOn, followed by Sebastian Vettel at 2/1 with Coral. The market then starts to move out with Bottas quoted at 9/1 by William Hill with Max Verstappen at 10/1 with SportingBet and Raikkonen and Ricciardo both at a best of 12/1 with Unibet.
As usual, the market then starts to really drift with Magnussen the next on the list at 400/1 with BetFred. We’ll dismiss those odds because it’s now time to make our verdict.
The Japanese Grand Prix is one of the older races on the circuit having first come onto the F1 schedule back in 1963. In the modern day, it is hosted by the familiar Suzuka track and twelve months ago, Lewis Hamilton took the chequered flag as he closed in on his world title.
Hamilton also started at the front of the grid while Valtteri Bottas recorded the fastest lap and those could be useful indicators for this week’s renewal. In terms of overall success, the great Michael Schumacher has the most Japanese GP wins with six while of the current crop of drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton are locked at four victories apiece.
As for 2018, it would seem that Hamilton and Mercedes are running away with things but there have been many parallels to last season and we are looking for Vettel to keep things alive with a win on a circuit where he has enjoyed great success in the past.
Taking the end of the Russian Grand Prix into account, the chances of Valtteri Bottas winning are remote unless Hamilton retires from the race but odds of 9/1 for a Bottas Pole look superb on a track which has been to his liking in recent campaigns.
Best Bets for Japanese Grand Prix 2018
- Sebastian Vettel to win at 23/10 with SportingBet
- Valtteri Bottas to finish on Pole at 9/1 with William Hill