Verstappen on the brink of championship win ahead of Singapore Grand Prix
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen sits on the brink of a second consecutive Formula 1 world championship, with victory for the Dutch driver possible at the Singapore GP this weekend.
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The reigning champion would need to outscore second-place Charles Leclerc by 22 points in order to clinch the title at Marina Bay on Sunday.
While an unlikely scenario, it would mark the earliest time a drivers championship has been secured in 20 years.
A matter of when not if, Verstappen has once again proved his worth throughout the season and is a certainty to win the world title, even if the race extends beyond Sunday’s race.
Along with Leclerc, Mercedes’ George Russell is the only other driver within reach of Verstappen, with the pair trailing by 116 points and 125 points respectively.
Just five races remain of the season, with a maximum of 138 points on offer, meaning the likelihood of either Leclerc or Russell catching Verstappen remains slim.
The messages coming out of Red Bull indicate they are not thinking about a title celebration this weekend, given how poorly Verstappen’s rivals would need to perform in order for the championship to be wrapped up.
Their focus is fixed on delivering another grand prix victory for the 24-year-old, who currently boasts a remarkable 11 race wins to his name this year.
Interestingly, five of those 11 have come in each of the last five races, with Verstappen eyeing up a sixth consecutive victory this weekend.
A win in Singapore would take Verstappen to 12 for the season, leaving him just one behind Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel’s all-time F1 record of 13 victories in a singular campaign.
With the record in sight, Verstappen will be looking to fend off challenges from the rest of the pack, who will also be keen on ending the season with a win.
One of those being Verstappen’s former foe in Lewis Hamilton, who has never gone an F1 season without a grand prix victory.
Last victorious in Saudi Arabia last year, the seven-time world champion has endured a torrid campaign and will be desperate to take top spot on the podium at least once before the season draws to a close.
It will also mark the final few races in the distinguished career of illustrious driver Vettel, who will be stepping away from the sport at the end of the season.
The four-time world champion announced his retirement earlier this year aged just 35-years-old.
However, despite the romanticism of any Hamilton or Vettel wins, it’s difficult to look past Verstappen for victory this weekend, given the way he has operated this season.
Expect a dominant performance from the Dutchman, as he takes one step closer to a second consecutive world championship title.
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