Japanese Grand Prix
Thursday, 11 October 2012 by

Japanese Pre-Weekend Analysis

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The 15th Race of 2012, Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

Previous Winners
2011
Button
2010
Vettel
2009
Vettel
2008
Alonso
2007
Hamilton
2006
Alonso
2005
Raikkonen
2004
Schumacher
2003
Barrichello
2002
Schumacher
Hamilton is still the favorite for Japan despite Vettel's win in Singapore. With four pole positions in four races for McLaren, they would have almost certainly had four wins also were it not for Hamilton's gearbox. He kept an steady gap to Vettel throughout the race and the safety car would have prevented Vettel's extremely slim chance of jumping Hamilton in the second round of pitstops. Victory is by no means guaranteed for Hamilton but he currently looks almost as strong as Vettel did in 2011.

Suzuka has seen many victories from pole, however, unlike many circuits victories has often come from much further down the field. On this basis betting on someone who qualifies outside the top three could yield a substantial profit. It does not seem likely that anyone could start lower down the field and also beat Hamilton but podiums will certainly be possible for low qualifiers. Raikkonen especially should be watched closely given his poor qualifying but excellent race pace.

Button could be an interesting wild card. Considerably weaker at qualifying than Hamilton he usually will have difficulty beating his team mate. However, with Japan having so much opportunity for weaker qualifiers this could be one of his better opportunity to take victory. There is, however, a concern that he will move over and give Hamiliton victory if Button is first and Hamilton second.

Odds above accurate at Friday 6th of October, 01.02 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Grid position of race winner since 2008
Grid Position
Number of times
1st
6
2nd
1
5th
1
17th
1
Image © nhayashida

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