F1 Odds, Picks & Predictions: 3 Best Bets, Including Lewis Hamilton, for Sunday’s 2022 Japanese Grand Prix (October 9)
Mario Renzi – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images. Pictured: Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes
A Red Bull driver won last week in Singapore, but not the one you think.
Yes, Sergio Perez captured his second victory of the season at last week’s grand prix to end his teammate Max Verstappen’s five-race winning streak. In terms of Red Bull as a team, they’ve now lost only four races all season and have yet to lose one since the summer break.
As for our bets last week, it was yet another 1-2 week. Pierre Gasly finished in the points to cash that ticket, but both matchups – Fernanda Alonso over Lando Norris and Sebastian Vettel over Daniel Ricciardo – turned out losers. Those results move our season-long record to 26-25 (+3.25 units).
Now, we head to Japan for what is the sixth-to-last grand prix of the season as we present a new trio of bets.
As a reminder, the race has a very early start time on Sunday here in the U.S. (1 a.m. ET, ESPN).
F1 Picks for Singapore Grand Prix
*Odds as of Wednesday
Qualifying Winning Car – Ferrari (+110), BetMGM
For all of Verstappen’s dominance this season, he still hasn’t appeared to transfer said dominance into qualifying.
The prancing horse has now produced a victory in qualifying in two straight races and has seen great Saturday success at correlative tracks. In the three races similar to Japan – Miami, France and Great Britain – Ferrari has won pole position at every race, including a 1-2 at qualifying in Miami.
That’s largely a function of the fact these circuits feature more corners, where the Ferrari gains an advantage over Red Bull. Plus, the last time Formula 1 included the Japanese Grand Prix in its schedule (2019), Ferrari went 1-2 in qualifying with Vettel grabbing pole and Charles Leclerc locking out the front row.
Finally, just for the season as a whole, Ferrari has won pole position in 10 of 17 qualifying sessions, a 59 percent rate and 11.2 percent edge over the implied probability for these odds.
Back this market up to -115.
Lewis Hamilton Podium Finish (+110), BetMGM
Time to buy low on Lewis Hamilton after an abysmal Singapore Grand Prix that saw the Brit finish P9.
Even though Hamilton hasn’t finished on the podium in any of his last four grands prix, I’m still holding out hope for a victory this season, which would obviously put him on the podium. Given his success at correlative circuits, I’m hopeful he can experience success at this circuit.
Save for a P6 finish at Miami, Hamilton has been on the podium in two straight races at correlative tracks – Great Britain and France. Further, his average qualifying position at those circuits is P5, with improvement on Saturday in each subsequent qualifying session at those three tracks.
Plus, dating back to the beginning of last season, the lead Mercedes driver has placed himself on the podium in five of the last six at correlative circuits (the three aforementioned along with Abu Dhabi) and bagged a P3 finish in Japan three years ago.
Given Hamilton is one of only six drivers still driving for the same team from that 2019 Japanese Grand Prix, I’m optimistic his experience will give the Briton an edge come Sunday.
Bet this market at +100 or better.
Race Winner w/o Verstappen – Charles Leclerc (+120), Caesars
In similar thinking to the first bet, I evaluate this market as a race between Leclerc and teammate Carlos Sainz in the Ferraris.
But, I simply trust Leclerc more come race day, and the respective results back up that notion. The lead Ferrari driver has now finished P2 in two consecutive races and secured a P2 finish in Miami.
Further, he’s qualified on pole in two of the three races this season at correlative circuits, building in a natural advantage over his teammate.
Recently, Leclerc has also built out a better average finish in qualifying, albeit ever so slightly. Over the last five grands prix, Leclerc’s average qualifying finish comes in at P2 while Sainz’s is P2.8.
Finally, I’m putting a lot of stock into the fact that, much like Hamilton, Leclerc is one of only a handful of drivers with experience at this track in their current manufacturer. Although he finished P6 at the last Japanese GP, that came after a P2 qualifying effort.
For those reasons, back the Monegasque driver up to +110 in this market.