Japanese Grand Prix 2019: Race prediction, date, UK start time, TV channel, free live stream, tickets and odds

JOE KRISHNAN
Getty Images

Formula One races have witnessed some treacherous weather over the years, but the Japanese Grand Prix could finally fall victim to the elements this weekend.

The Japan Meterological Agency (JMA) has forecast Japan to be hit by a 'super typhoon' on Saturday with torrential downpours and gale-force winds expected.

If the forecast is accurate, it would almost certainly mean postponing or rescheduling the race to protect the drivers' safety. It was in Suzuka, the venue for the Japanese Grand Prix, where French driver Jules Bianchi crashed in the rain in 2014. He died from the injuries sustained the following year.

The FIA are monitoring the situation closely but the race organisers will have a contingency plan in place, given that the weather affects their preparations nearly every year.

That means the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc will be gearing up for another battle at the front as the championship season nears its conclusion, with the Monegasque hoping Ferrari will allow him to stay at the front following their controversial strategy in Russia.

But if the rain arrives in Suzuka and the race goes ahead, there could be a few surprise finishers at the front - as we saw in Germany earlier this year when Daniil Kvyat got on the podium for Toro Rosso.

Scroll down for our comprehensive Japanese Grand Prix preview...

Date and UK start time

Those following the race from the UK will need to set their alarms for the early hours due to the eight-hour time difference between London and Suzuka.

The first free practice session starts on Friday at 2am (10am in Japan), with the second session taking place later in the day at 6am and the final session early on Saturday at 4am.

Qualifying begins later on Saturday at 7am, with the race scheduled for a 6:10am start on Sunday.

TV channel and live stream

Those with a Sky Sports subscription will be able to tune in for every live race in the 2019 campaign. Channel 4 downgraded their rights package which means they can only show highlights of qualifying sessions and races.

Sky Sports subscribers can watch the entire race weekend live on the Sky Sports F1 channel.

If you don’t have Sky Sports, you can watch with a NOW TV Sky Sports Pass, which gives you exactly the same coverage without having to sign up for a contract.

Betting tips via Betfair | UK users only | Subject to change

Race winner

  • Lewis Hamilton: 6/4
  • Charles Leclerc: 7/4
  • Sebastian Vettel: 9/2
  • Max Verstappen: 7/1
  • Valtteri Bottas: 9/1

Fastest lap

  • Charles Leclerc: 13/5
  • Lewis Hamilton: 13/5
  • Sebastian Vettel: 9/2
  • Max Verstappen: 9/2
  • Alex Albon: 10/1

Click here to find the latest race odds and place a bet. Odds correct as of October 8.

Tickets

Some F1 fans may have been forgiven for deciding not to travel to Japan, with the race in doubt due to the Typhoon Hagibis.

But nearly all of the race weekend tickets have been sold, such is the attraction of coming to this famous circuit.

Fans flock to Suzuka every year despite the ever-changing weather conditions. Photo: Getty Images

You can view all of the available tickets by visiting the F1 ticketing website.

Prediction

​Race winner: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

Hamilton celebrates his ninth victory of the season in Sochi. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

The 34-year-old has won the Japanese GP five times - four times in Suzuka - and it seems to be one of his favourite circuits. In fact, Hamilton has won four of the last five races here - only arch rival Nico Rosberg has finished ahead of him when he won it in 2016.

Sebastian Vettel is also handy around this circuit - with four race wins between 2009 and 2013 - but his last victory came before the hybrid era. The Ferrari driver has finally found his feet after a dismal run in 2019 and will no doubt be hoping to rival Hamilton for top spot.

His team-mate Leclerc could be the main danger coming into this race, having taking pole position in qualifying at the last four races. But with a sixth title in touching distance, Hamilton should record another victory in the Far East.