Roy The Boy looks ahead to this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix and selects two ante-post bets of interest.
Bottas To Benefit from Hamilton's Championship Win
There’s rain forecast for the Suzuka Circuit this weekend. However it’s unclear what days it will fall and if it will effect Friday's practice sessions, Saturday’s final practice session, qualifying or both. By all accounts Sunday’s Japanese GP will enjoy fine and clear weather.
In forfeiting his race lead and allowing Lewis Hamilton to win the Russian Grand Prix unchallenged, Valtteri Bottas brought the Mercedes team under the spotlight. Team orders are nothing new in the sport and the tactic gave Hamilton a 50 point lead in the 2018 World Drivers Championship.
Hamilton’s now 1/20 for the crown, making it something of a formality. He’s also a good thing to return a favour or two to Bottas before the end of the season. In 2015, with the championship title all tied-up, the Brit came second to his then teammate, Nico Rosberg, three times in the last three races. Strange that.
But this weekend may be too early to back Bottas. You cannot realistically expect Mercedes to allow Hamilton "gift" race victories to his teammate until the 2018 title is all wrapped up.
A Win from Second?
Given a Mercedes has started on pole every year since 2014 and won every Japanese GP in the same period, added to the fact Hamilton has landed five of the last six races, you have to conclude it’s the car to beat again.
But where will Hamilton’s car start the race? I’m asking as 11/4 (Bet365, Betvictor) is available about the car starting second on the grid winning the race. Four of the last seven winners of this race started from second on the grid and so no surprises on where my money is going.
Going 18 or More
All but two cars finished last week’s race in Russia, that’s 18 in total. The price on a repeat, 19 or even a full-field of 20 cars finishing this Sunday is 5/2. It is huge as there has been 19 or more finishers here in six of the last seven years.