Hill Predicts Verstappen To Be Beaten During Japanese Grand Prix

Tuesday, 02 April 2024 at 09:17
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Formula One world champion Damon Hill predicted the result of the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix, and he didn't pick the triple World Champion as the winner.
Due to logistical reasons, the Japanese Grand Prix was moved to the start of the calendar between 2023 and 2024. Hence, this week, during the fourth round of the 2024 season, F1 cars will race at Suzuka Circuit.
It is one of the traditional circuits loved by all the drivers and fans. It also suits Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen, who won this race both in 2022 and 2023.
The 26-year-old himself said he feels confident coming into Suzuka. Last time around, he out-qualified every single driver on the grid by more than half a second and went on to dominate the race.
Red Bull feels confident that Suzuka should suit the characteristics of their car. Moreover, it was rumored the team from Milton Keynes should introduce a big upgrade.
Nevertheless, F1 World Champion Damon Hill still believes that the Flying Dutchman won't be the driver winning the fourth race of this season. Unveiling his prediction for the race on the F1 Nation podcast, he said:

"I think Carlos Sainz is going to win, Max [Verstappen] second, and third is going to be Lando Norris, how about that? If I’m right, that would be good!"

Carlos Sainz has been performing very well since the start of the season, and he won the most recent race around the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne.
However, that circuit suited Ferrari better than Red Bull, and although he might have beaten the 26-year-old anyway, Verstappen's DNF also helped him.
While the 29-year-old Ferrari driver remains a strong candidate for the podium, he recently said it will be challenging to keep pressure on Red Bull in upcoming races before introducing their upgrade.
Lando Norris in third place is a pretty reasonable pick, as Suzuka suits McLaren's car characteristics, which manifested last year when the McLaren duo took P2 and P3.