After washed out practices, a qualifying session riddled with multiple crashes and delays and numerous grid place penalties, the pre-race weights for Suzuka are now up: http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2009/10/10041.html
Button and Barrichello are 12th and 10th, with outside title challenger Vettel in pole position. Despite that, I still doubt Vettel can really hope for the title barring a perfect result today, in Brazil and in Abu Dhabi.
Similarly, Webber, who went off during practice and was therefore unable to take part in qualifying, starts from the back of the grid, so the Constructors’ remains good for Brawn.
So, who is going to win?
My money is on Hamilton. He’s presently about 3.9-4.2, and starts in third. His fuel load is very slightly lighter than Vettel’s, but I think KERS could prove useful. Not only is it an advantage off the line, but if there’s a safety car (and it’s entirely possible given the multiple crashes in qualifying) then KERS gives a great advantage when the safety car comes in.
I also think Raikonnen stands a decent chance at a podium (also about 4.3). The odds are short for Vettel and Hamilton but close regarding whether Trulli, Heidfeld or Raikonnen is likeliest to get the third podium place.
I suspect Trulli will fade away and Heidfeld may well get passed off the line. The Ferrari was a dog at Singapore, but before then Raikonnen had had good form with a few podiums in a row and winning at Spa.
Unlike Singapore, the Japanese Grand Prix isn’t at night so it’ll begin at 6am UK time. Bear that in mind if you want to bet in-play, or want to set up kept lay offerings.