Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc in league of their own in PointsBet 2022 Japanese odds

PointsBet 2022 Japanese odds
Edmund So / Getty Images

With a minus line of -239 for Max Verstappen and a +340 for Charles Leclerc, these two drivers are in a league of their own in PointsBet odds for the 2022 edition of the Japanese Grand Prix as the next highest driver is listed at 13/1.

Suzuka Circuitland was unkind to Verstappen in his last outing. He was the first driver out in the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix when he lost his brakes on Lap 14. In three starts previous, he swept the podium, but has not yet won on this course. Last week in wet conditions for the Singapore GP, he finished off the podium for only the third time this season, but he had a lot to lose and very little to gain from earning a sixth consecutive victory.

With minus odds, the way to determine a payout is by subtraction. In order for a bettor to earn $100, he must wager $239 this week; with that wager, he will get back his initial stake and winnings of $100.

For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

Verstappen currently holds a 104-point advantage over second-ranked Leclerc in the 2022 Drivers’ Championship. Leclerc, enters the weekend with three consecutive podium finishes including runner-up results at Monza two weeks ago and Singapore last week. He will make his third start on this track after scoring a best of seventh in 2019 – the last time Formula 1 visited Suzuka. The last two edition of this race were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After Leclerc, there is a huge fall off to the third-ranked driver. Carlos Sainz, Jr. is posted at +1300 and with five top-fives and a sixth in his last six results this season, he should be in contention. Sainz’s most recent Japanese GP ended in a fifth.

Lewis Hamilton is only slightly higher in odds at +1500. Mercedes won the last six races on this track and Hamilton accounts for four of those. In the two races he failed to win, he finished third. Hamilton has eight top-fives in his last 10 F1 races and a top-five percentage of .625 this season, but has not yet won.

Rounding out the top five is Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez with a line of +1600. His victory last week made him only the second driver other than Verstappen to win multiple races. Perez’s other win came in the Monaco GP.

George Russell is the only other driver with odds under 100/1 at PointsBet for the Japanese GP. Russell saw a six-race, top-five streak end last week when he lost two laps and finished 14th.

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NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing

Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.