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Adam Scriven's Japanese Grand Prix tips: Lando Norris can taste more champagne

Max Verstappen's record run of victories has come to an end at 10, but the Dutchman is fully expected to resume his charge towards a third straight world championship in this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

Red Bull were never in the hunt in Singapore last weekend, struggling with the balance of their car from the first practice session. Indeed, Verstappen could be considered a little fortunate to have come home fifth, with team-mate Sergio Perez eighth.

However, the car should be back to its dominant best at a Suzuka circuit whose flowing corners that lead dreamily into one another make for a perfect stage for Red Bull to demonstrate their strengths.

Adam Scriven's Japanese Grand Prix tips

Lando Norris podium finish @ 11/8
Alex Albon points finish @ 6/4
Fernando Alonso top-six finish @ 6/5

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Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

WhatJapanese Grand Prix
WhereSuzuka Circuit, Mie Prefecture, Japan
When03:00, Friday 22nd September to 06:00, Sunday 24th September
How to watchSky Sports F1
OddsMax Verstappen 2/7, Sergio Perez 11/1, Lando Norris 14/1, Carlos Sainz 18/1, Charles Leclerc 18/1, Lewis Hamilton 18/1, George Russell 25/1

Suzuka means an early start for European fans, but the circuit has provided some of Formula 1 history's most iconic moments, such as Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna's era-defining clashes and Michael Schumacher sealing his first championship for Ferrari in 2000.

The circuit was designed as a test track for Honda, and as such it incorporates a wide range of corner types and is beloved by the drivers.

The last five runnings of the race have seen four different winners, with Verstappen clinching his second drivers championship by winning last year's rain-delayed event which saw the circuit return to the calendar after a three-year absence.

Lando Norris podium finish @ 11/8

McLaren continued their solid second half of the season with Lando Norris finishing second in Singapore, and the Briton should again be in the hunt for a place on the podium.

That was Norris's third silver medal in the last six races, and his recent record could be even better. The Bristolian ace started second on the grid in the Netherlands but his team got the strategy badly wrong during an early rain shower. 

Unlike several cars this season, the McLaren has shown its adaptability at various types of circuit, with only top speed an obvious weakness, and that shouldn't be a major issue at Suzuka.

Adam Scriven's Tips

McLaren continue to follow the right path with development of their car, and seemingly made another step forward with a raft of updates on Norris's car in Singapore.

It's almost certainly too late for them to catch Ferrari and Mercedes in the constructors standings, but the 78-point gap to Aston Martin in fourth place may not be insurmountable.

To catch them, Norris will need to keep racking up the podiums, and he looks a good bet at 11/8 to collect another in Japan. 

Alex Albon points finish @ 13/8

Alex Albon was unlucky not to make it three points finishes in a row last week in Singapore, and he should make a good fist of consolidating the Williams team's seventh place in the constructors championship in Japan.

Albon was running in the top 10 heading into the closing stages at Marina Bay before an overly-aggressive Sergio Perez ran into him. The Thai-British driver recovered to 11th by the flag, but couldn't catch Kevin Magnussen, who had fitted fresh soft tyres for the final stint. 

Adam Scriven's Tips

Albon continues to carry his Williams team on his back, and having performed especially well on other circuits with long, flowing corners the 13/8 that he records a sixth top-10 finish of the season looks worth taking.

The ex-Red Bull driver finished a solid eighth at Silverstone, and qualified a brilliant fourth at Zandvoort which, like Suzuka, was designed by John Hugenholtz.

Fernando Alonso top-six finish @ 6/5

Evergreen Fernando Alonso's glorious start to the season has faded away.

After picking up six podium finishes in the first eight races of the season, he has managed only one in the last seven events. 

The two-time world champion's season hit a nadir in Singapore, as he trailed home last of the 15 finishers after picking up a penalty and suffering a disastrous pitstop. And the rub salt in the wound he lost the third place in the drivers standings that he had held since the season opener to his old sparring partner Lewis Hamilton.

But it is not all doom and gloom for Alonso and Aston Martin. He finished fifth in Belgium just before the summer break and earned a brilliant second place in the Netherlands.

Adam Scriven's Tips

Alonso ran sixth in the early stages in Singapore before his race began to fall apart and as a true driver's circuit Suzuka should hold no fears for the legendary Spaniard.

Aston Martin have dropped behind McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari in the development race, but for all their recent success Ferrari in particular could be vulnerable in Japan.

The red cars have tended to struggle at circuits with long, flowing corners, preferring the short, sharp turns that have seen them excel at Monza and Singapore.

The battle behind Red Bull remains fierce, but Alonso should be in the thick of it and he looks a fair top-six bet at 6/5.

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