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Our F1 expert says watch out for Red Bull and Perez in Japan

| 06.10.2017

Just a week after racing in Malaysia, Formula 1 makes the 3000-mile journey to Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix.

The scene of many title deciders and dramatic moments, Suzuka is a firm favourite for the drivers and a true high-speed test of the cars.

Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel need to bounce back from disappointment at Sepang while Mercedes also struggled and will be looking for a reaction after Red Bull’s victory.

So with a few unknowns regarding who will be the team to beat in Japan, here are three markets to look out for this weekend.

Red Bull to win @ 9/4

Max Verstappen dominated in Malaysia and he went well in Japan last year too, holding off Lewis Hamilton at the end of the race to finish second, just five seconds behind race-winner Nico Rosberg.

Red Bull appears to be consistently getting good performance out of its car at present, and although the power unit deficit may play a bigger role at Suzuka it remains a dark horse for a third win of the year.

Perez on the podium @ 33/1

The downhill run to Turn 1 is an iconic one at Suzuka, and the high-speed first corner will be a challenge for the drivers with this year’s wider cars.

That increases the possibility of incidents and could open up the possibility for a surprise result.

Sergio Perez was unwell in Malaysia but still delivered an impressive drive to sixth place, and the Mexican is often well-placed to take advantage of opportunities to stand on the podium.

With a competitive car at every circuit, the Force India driver looks to be a good outside bet.

A first lap Safety Car @ Evens

Following on from the theme of a potential incident at the start, Suzuka is a circuit that punishes mistakes.

Unlike Malaysia, there are few run-off areas, with many corners being flanked by gravel traps and any trouble at the start of the race could lead to the Safety Car being called upon.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing



Chris Medland

Chris is F1 correspondent for RACER.com and magazine as well as a contributor for F1 Racing and AutosportME. When he’s not chasing F1 around the world he’s usually found in a less glamorous setting, keeping an eye on the fortunes of Yeovil Town.