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Japanese Grand Prix predictions: Perez set to step up at Suzuka
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Rob Eddy
Sergio Perez was runner up at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix
Sergio Perez was runner up at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix

 - Max Verstappen has won the last two Japanese Grands Prix
- Ferrari have not won the Japanese Grand Prix since 2004
Recommended bets:
Sergio Perez race winner (each-way)
Yuki Tsunoda top-10 finish

Carlos Sainz Jr. shook up the 2024 F1 world championship by winning the Australian Grand Prix but world champion Max Verstappen will be looking to bounce back by winning the Japanese Grand Prix for the third successive season.

Verstappen's team-mate Sergio Perez should also be in line for a strong performance at a track which highlights the impressive aerodynamic performance of the Red Bull chassis.

The stats

The last 10 Japanese Grands Prix have been won by either Red Bull or Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton has the most Suzuka wins of the current F1 field with five.

McLaren finished second and third in the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix.

Five drivers have scored points at all three races this season - Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez, Oscar Piastri, Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso.

Perez and Leclerc are the only drivers to finish in the top six at every race this year.

Max Verstappen has won from pole position in Japan in each of the last two seasons.

Max Verstappen is seeking a third successive victory at the Japanese Grand Prix
Max Verstappen is seeking a third successive victory at the Japanese Grand Prix


Normal service should be resumed this weekend with Max Verstappen the hot favourite to win the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

A brake issue forced the world champion to retire from the Australian Grand Prix after just three laps but he had taken pole position there and has been a class apart at this track over the last two seasons.

Verstappen won by 19.4 seconds from McLaren's Lando Norris in the 2023 Suzuka race last September, having cruised home 27 seconds clear of team-mate Sergio Perez in the 2022 race.

Perez looks capable of repeating his performance of two years ago at a track which highlights the aerodynamic prowess of the Red Bull chassis and merits support at 12/1 with each-way terms of a third the odds for the first two places with LiveScore Bet.

The Mexican was second to Verstappen in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to open the season, but a three-place grid penalty in Australia ruined his weekend and he could finish only fifth.

Ferrari won in Melbourne through Carlos Sainz Jr., but the Italian team have not triumphed in Japan for 20 years and they should face a stronger challenge to be the best of the rest this weekend from McLaren.

Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri were second and third in this race last season and the track layout features a number of fast corners which suit the characteristics of the McLaren car.

Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda should be able to have a strong weekend at his home race after picking up his first points of the season in Australia.

Tsunoda qualified 10 places ahead of his Racing Bulls team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in Melbourne and went on to take seventh in the race.

With his car likely to be suited by the track, he can be backed at 6/5 for a top-10 finish in Japan at LiveScore Bet.

Tsunoda is slightly bigger odds at 5/4 in the race winner without Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Aston Martin market, but preference is for the top-10 finish bet, which would still pay out if he finished behind another of the drivers from the bottom five teams.

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