F1 Roundtable: Japanese Grand Prix (Suzuka) Predictions

Japanese Grand Prix Interviews

The LWOS staff once again submit their F1 predictions for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix. Their race winner, podium, and surprise result.

Formula One season enters the final stages of the season with their return to Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix. Before this week’s predictions, let’s go over the predictions from the Singapore Grand Prix. Of the nine who participated, Fatima was the only one who correctly predicted that Sergio Perez would be the race winner.

Moving onto the podium finishes, six staff writers had either Sainz or Leclerc on the podium. Although, it was  Justin who had the correct podium finish with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. For the surprise result, Nathan was the sole victor with his prediction that both Aston Martin’s would finish in the points.

Now on to the LWOS staff predictions for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix:

Race Winner

  • Arturo – Lewis Hamilton
  • Evan – Max Verstappen
  • Fatima – Lewis Hamiton
  • Gabe – Max Verstappen
  • Jack – Max Verstappen
  • Justin – Max Verstappen
  • Nathan – Max Verstappen
  • Thomas – Charles Leclerc
  • Yara – Lewis Hamilton

Following a difficult race for the championship leader, Max Verstappen leads the picks once again with five. Lewis Hamilton is next with three and Charles Leclerc with one. The consensus with the staff leans towards Verstappen being the favorite to win the race, on a track expected to favor Red Bull. For Verstappen, a win plus the fastest lap could secure him the title, or outscoring Leclerc by eight points and Perez by at least six to win the title. Red Bull needs a perfect weekend to ensure Verstappen secures the title now than prolonging it any further.

Lewis Hamilton continues to make the list for the race win despite tough times in the streets of Singapore. The five-time winner of the Japanese GP will have his sights on finally getting the first win. Charles Leclerc came so close to winning the Singapore GP, so this weekend he hopes to the pursuing role. It will be tough for Leclerc, but a twisty track like Suzuka can bring some unexpected results.

Remaining Podium

  • Arturo – Sergio Perez & Carlos Sainz
  • Evan – Charles Leclerc & Carlos Sainz
  • Fatima – Carlos Sainz & Sergio Perez
  • Gabe – Charles Leclerc & Sergio Perez
  • Jack – Charles Leclerc & Fernando Alonso
  • Justin – Sergio Perez & Lewis Hamilton
  • Nathan – Lewis Hamilton & Carlos Sainz
  • Thomas – Lewis Hamilton & Fernando Alonso
  • Yara – Charles Leclerc & Sergio Perez

Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull are once again selected to be atop the podium once again. Jack and Thomas both went outside the norm as they selected Fernando Alonso to be on the podium. The Spaniard’s 350th race did not follow “El Plan” with a DNF last week in Singapore. Could he make his way to the podium? It all depends on his starting position and the reliability of the car. He managed to qualify fifth last week. If Alonso gets a good starting spot, he can put himself into the mix to achieve a podium this season. One person who was not on the list was George Russell. Maybe the team feels the struggles from Singapore will carry over to Japan.

Surprise Result

  • Arturo – Both Alfa Romeo in the points.
  • Evan – Verstappen wins the race but does not win the Championship in Japan.
  • Fatima – Verstappen doesn’t win the Championship.
  • Gabe – Bottas qualifies outside the top 10 but finishes top six in the race.
  • Jack – Alonso finishes in the top three & also Albon gets in the points.
  • Justin – Both Alpha Tauri’s in the points.
  • Nathan – Alpine bounces back with both drivers in the top seven.
  • Thomas – Verstappen DNF’s with engine issues, bringing the championship fight to the U.S.A.
  • Yara – Sebastian Vettel finishes in the top five.

Despite Verstappen being favored to win, few believe that a DNF is looming towards the championship leader this weekend. Verstappen has not had a back-to-back race weekends where he has struggled this season. So, the likelihood of that occurring is not a reach, but it is something to keep on the back burner. Two staffers (myself included), believe that Alfa Romeo and Alpha Tauri can manage double points finishes from both drivers. Both teams are in troubled times hoping to find some luck at Suzuka. With a top-ten finish last week, Yara predicts Sebastian Vettel’s form will continue with a top-five finish. While it might be the boldest one on the list, anything and everything can happen in F1. We will find out come Sunday.

Our team’s predictions are locked in and revving to go. What do you think will transpire in Sunday’s race? Register to the LWOS comment system and submit your race winner, podium, and surprise result.

Featured Image Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images