Lewis Hamilton is 50 points clear of Vettel in the Drivers Championship standings with five races to go after his win in Sochi where the Mercedes team moved team-mate Bottas out of the lead in favour of Hamilton.
It was a race in which Vettel took advantage of strategy to move ahead of Hamilton into second after the pit stop only to be overtaken after a mistake shortly afterwards. This race summed up Vettel’s second half of the season with chances and opportunities not taken, but it just hasn’t come together.
Ferrari has gone ultra-aggressive with its tyre choice for the Japanese Grand Prix, selecting more supersoft sets than any other Formula 1 team.
The Italian outfit, which is battling to get itself back on terms with Mercedes in the world championship fight, has elected to take 10 sets of supersofts for Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. This has left it with just two sets of soft tyres and one set of mediums.
In contrast, Mercedes has opted to pick just seven sets of the supersoft for Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, giving them four sets of softs and two sets of the mediums.
One key factor at Suzuka this coming weekend is the probability of bad weather with typhoons around. In those conditions Hamilton has to be favoured at 6/5 with Bet365 as the best mixed condition driver in a car that seems to have re-asserted its superiority over Ferrari.