talkSPORT betting tips – Best F1 bets and expert advice for Japanese Grand Prix

Carlos Sainz Jr. caused an upset in the Australian Grand Prix by taking advantage of Max Verstappen’s misfortune to end the world champion’s perfect start to the season, but Red Bull should be back on top in Japan this weekend.

Verstappen has won the last two races at Suzuka, where Red Bull’s aerodynamic advantage enables them to shine, and the dynamic Dutchman may also benefit from an upgraded car this weekend.

Japanese Grand Prix Tips

  • Lando Norris podium finish 11/4
  • Yuki Tsunoda points finish 11/10
  • Winning margin of 5-10 seconds 11/4

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Lando Norris podium finish – 11/4

Ferrari’s victory in Australia should not be taken in any way as a turning of the tide and that is reflected in the odds for the Japanese Grand Prix with Max Verstappen a hot favourite at odds of 1/5 to resume his winning ways.

Verstappen suffered from a major brake issue after starting the race on pole, but if he avoids further technical or mechanical trouble then it’s hard to see him being beaten at a track where he has dominated in the last two seasons.

The Dutchman won in Suzuka by 27 seconds in 2022, leading home Sergio Perez in a Red Bull one-two, and last year he was 19 seconds ahead of Lando Norris in the lead McLaren.

The aerodynamics of the Adrian Newey-designed Red Bull are seen at their best around the fast, sweeping turns of Suzuka, and the bad news for their rivals is that the team may be bringing an upgrade to their car for this race.

While Ferrari have improved their high-speed performance this year, the Italian team have not triumphed in Japan since a Michael Schumacher success in 2004, and they may well be challenged by McLaren in the race to be best of the rest.

Norris and Oscar Piastri filled the second and third spots on the podium in Suzuka last September and the strength of the papaya-coloured cars is in high-speed corners, which are everywhere at this circuit.

The British driver is still seeking his first race win but is a nice price at 11/4 to add to his tally of 14 podium finishes this week.

Yuki Tsunoda points finish – 11/10

Yuki Tsunoda scored the Visa Cash App RB team’s first points of the season in Australia with an impressive run to seventh place, and the Japanese driver looks a great bet to add to his tally in his home race.

Tsunoda outshone his more experienced teammate Daniel Ricciardo in his own home event, qualifying ten places better in eighth place, and will enjoy racing at the track where he can benefit from plenty of local knowledge thanks to competing there in junior series.

The 23-year-old finished in the points in three of the last five races of the 2023 season and should be targeting another top-ten finish in front of his fervent fans.

Winning margin of 5-10 seconds – 11/4

While Verstappen’s average winning margin has been 23 seconds in Japan over the last two seasons, there are reasons to think that a more modest margin should be expected this weekend.

Ferrari and McLaren are both strong in high-speed corners that are a feature of the Suzuka track, but the closest competition for Verstappen is still likely to come from his teammate Sergio Perez.

Perez was second to Verstappen in Japan two years ago, although he crossed the line a distant 27 seconds behind the Dutchman. Perez started the race from fourth on the grid that day, enabling Verstappen to skip clear while he passed both Ferraris.

A stronger qualifying performance is likely this year and Perez will be keen to impress after his messy race in Australia when a three-place grid penalty and damage picked up during the race prevented him from challenging for the win in Verstappen’s absence.

A winning margin of over ten seconds is 4/6 but the price of 11/4 for a win by five to ten seconds appeals more, especially with the threat of a late safety-car period potentially reducing any advantage the leader may have built up.

*all odds correct at time of writing and subject to change

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Source: Motorsport