With just five races remaining of the 2016 Formula 1 season, there is everything to play for, at least for the two Mercedes drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. It is the German driver Rosberg who holds the advantage in the Drivers Championship standings, sitting pretty on 288 points, 23 ahead of his teammate Hamilton. But which of these fine drivers will triumph at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan this weekend? Or could it even be another driver altogether?

Here we’ll bring you the latest betting tips, predictions and analysis ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix and we’ve also got live betting odds comparison to make sure you get the best odds possible, whoever you choose to back.

At the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday, Lewis Hamilton looked like he was getting his championship charge back on track as he was dominating the race. That is, until the 43rd lap when his engine failed and his car caught fire, forcing the Brit to retire from the race. That left Australian Daniel Ricciardo to claim his fourth Grand Prix victory and his first since Belgium in 2014. Max Verstappen took second spot with Nico Rosberg joining them on the podium and doing his title chances the world of good in the process.

Rosberg is now the 4/7 favourite to be crowned world champion (with William Hill) with Hamilton out at 6/4 with most bookies. We predict that the second favourite could muscle his way back into the title race though, and he’ll be determined to do just that when the drivers take to the track in Japan this weekend.

Indeed, the bookies agree with our prediction, making Hamilton the 5/4 favourite to win at Suzuka (with William Hill), compared to odds of 2/1 with Sky Bet for Rosberg. Ricciardo is next in the betting at 6/1 with Bet365 with Verstappen next up at 8/1 (also Bet365).

Ahead of this Grand Prix it is certainly worth noting that Hamilton has a much better record in Japan than his teammate. The Brit has won three times in Japan: in each of the last two seasons at Suzuka and in 2007 at the Fuji Circuit.

Rosberg, meanwhile, has never won in Japan, and though he has finished second in each of the last two years, they were his only podium finishes in 10 attempts. As such we simply have to believe that Hamilton will make amends for his retirement in Malaysia by triumphing in Japan on Sunday.

Of course, as we saw last weekend, Formula 1 has a habit of throwing up unpredictable eventualities and if you think that Hamilton will once again suffer mechanical failure, you might be tempted by the betting odds of 6/1 on offer with Bet365 for the Brit not to finish the race. But after Hamilton showed his displeasure about the engine failure in Malaysia we think his team of engineers will be pulling out all the stops to ensure there is no repeat this time around.

Aside from Hamilton, another driver who has enjoyed plenty of success in Japan is Sebastian Vettel who has won there on four occasions for Red Bull. The German could be worth a small bet for a podium finish, or perhaps even an each way bet on the race victory at tasty odds of 25/1 with Stan James.


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