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Japanese Grand Prix tips: Max Verstappen back on top, Yuki Tsunoda in the points

Ferrari secured a 1-2 in Australia with Carlos Sainz coming out victorious - but Red Bull are expected to be back on top and dominate the Japanese Grand Prix.

Ferrari and McLaren will be competing with each other for a third place finish to further them in the constructors’ championship.

Hometown hero Yuki Tsunoda will wish to impress his home fans and Red Bull with his performance at this amazing track.

Max Verstappen, after suffering issues with his brakes overheating in Melbourne, will be keen to show to Red Bull’s Japanese engine suppliers, Honda, why their investment and relationship is so strong and successful.

Here are Planet Sport's best tips for the Japanese Grand Prix…


Max Verstappen to win the Japanese Grand Prix

Verstappen has won at Suzuka in 2022 and 2023, so he will be confident of adding a 2024 race victory to notch up three wins at this track, just below former Red Bull F1 driver Sebastian Vettel with four wins in Japan.

The Dutchman won by just less than 20 seconds last year, so it has become a strong track for him as he has consistently achieved podiums at this race since his F1 debut.

Verstappen and Red Bull seem to suit the characteristics of this high speed and fast-flowing track, where drivers love the first sector especially, with the ‘S’ curves and Dunlop curve.

The three-time world champion will be eager to take the top step on the podium after not finishing in Australia.

 

Ferrari and McLaren to fight for the bottom step of the podium

With just four points between the top two teams and 11 points between the top four drivers, the fight for the podium is extremely competitive at the fourth race of the F1 calendar.

The most likely contenders for a podium are Ferrari and McLaren as the Italian team have had three podiums and a win so far, while the British team got their first podium of the year in Australia.

Last year McLaren were very competitive at Suzuka as they had a 2-3 finish with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri.

This is also their best start to the year, with a total of 55 points, placing them third in the constructors’ championship. They have also both finished every lap and qualified in the top 10, showing their strong form.
 
Norris finished just under six seconds behind Sainz in Melbourne, meaning he may have the pace and speed to fight Ferrari for podium places. 
 

Yuki Tsunoda - points finish 

Yuki Tsunoda will be keen to score more points for Visa CashApp RB after his seventh place finish in Melbourne, where he scored the team’s first points of the year.

The Japanese driver reached Q3 last year in Suzuka, but he finished just outside the points in 12th.

He will hope to reach the final stage of qualifying again as he did in Australia, which greatly assisted him in his race.

Tsunoda will need to keep this form to prove to Red Bull that he should be in the running for a promotion to the main team as he has been at the junior team since his debut in 2021.

The 23-year-old driver will also be under pressure with this being his home race, but if he does manage to finish in the points, he will make the Japanese fans very happy.
 

Suggested bets

Max Verstappen to win the Japanese Grand Prix

Carlos Sainz to secure a podium finish

Lando Norris to secure a podium finish

Yuki Tsonoda to secure a points finish

 

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