Max Verstappen could win his second World Championship at the Japanese Grand Prix on October 9th.
Last week, Verstappen got his first chance at the title in Singapore, although it was always a long way off – as it turned out, Sergio Pérez and Charles Leclerc, the only two drivers with a mathematical chance to strip him of the championship, finished. first and second, with Verstappen in contention for seventh.
The Dutch driver has a much better chance of winning the title at Suzuka, which hosts the first race since 2019.
How are things at the moment
Verstappen leads the championship.
He is 104 points ahead of Leclerc and his Red Bull teammate Sergio Pérez by 106 points, with five races and a maximum of 138 points left to play – in previous years that could have been 130 points remaining, but November’s Brazilian Grand Prix has an additional eight. points. offered points due to the fact that on Saturday there is a sprint race here.
To become Suzuka champion, Verstappen needs to be 112 points clear of the championship runner-up as he will win a countdown tie-break with any driver given how many races he has won.
If Verstappen wins the race
If Verstappen wins the race and gets the extra point for the fastest lap, he will win the title no matter where Leclerc and Pérez finish.
If Verstappen wins the race and doesn’t get an extra point for fastest lap, Leclerc can only retain the US Grand Prix title shot by finishing second. A little lower, and he will be out of competition.
Verstappen’s victory will eliminate Perez from the fight, regardless of who scores more bonus points on the lap.
If Verstappen doesn’t win the race
Verstappen must lead Leclerc by at least six points and Perez by at least eight points to win the championship.
F1 points are distributed among the top ten finishers as follows: 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1, with a bonus point for everyone who completes the fastest lap (assuming they finished in the top ten leaders).
Verstappen cannot win the title if he finishes seventh or lower.
How dominant was Verstappen’s season?
It’s not exactly uncharted territory for an F1 racer. If Verstappen wins the title at the Japanese Grand Prix, he will become the third driver to complete the championship in the four remaining races. Previously, only Michael Schumacher (2001 and 2004) and Sebastian Vettel (2011) managed to do this.
A victory in Japan seems like a reasonable bet. Verstappen has won 11 out of 17 races this season. Pérez’s victory in Singapore marked a streak of five straight wins for his teammate. In contrast, Leclerc and Pérez won five races together in the entire year.