Sep.27 - Max Verstappen can now almost touch his third consecutive drivers' title.

It has been clear for some time that the dominant Red Bull driver would eventually win again in 2023 - but he will get his first actual chance to do that next weekend in Qatar.

"It actually dawns on me that Red Bull is not only the constructors' champion now, but also the drivers' world champion," Dutch F1 GP boss Jan Lammers told NOS.

That is because the only driver who can mathematically beat Verstappen now is his own Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez.

But even if Mexican Perez was to win the sprint race in Qatar next Saturday, Verstappen only has to finish sixth to clinch the drivers' title.

And even if Verstappen doesn't manage that mild feat on Saturday, another Perez victory in the main race the following day means Max only has to finish in eighth place.

"I will of course try to have it decided on Saturday," the Dutchman said.

"I think we should be good there."

Last year, Verstappen sealed up his second title in Japan.

"It has taken longer this year because there are so many races," he said. "The whole year has been very dominant, except for Singapore of course."

Red Bull only had a limited party to celebrate the constructors' championship last weekend at Suzuka, so plans are now being made for a real celebration in Qatar.

"If we also have the drivers' title, we will celebrate as a team," said team boss Christian Horner. "We had a few beers (in Japan) but the job isn't done yet."

Dr Helmut Marko didn't even attend the small party in Japan, as he left Suzuka straight after the race.

"We had a pretty tight schedule," the team advisor told ORF. "The engineers and mechanics had to be in Tokyo at ten o'clock, so they had to get out of Suzuka by five.

"We still have some work to do before we go to Doha (Qatar) anyway."

He admits, though, that there will almost certainly be a big team party next weekend.

"Hopefully yes," the 80-year-old smiled. "It will be an expensive party, because while there is alcohol in Qatar, the prices are scary.

"We'll have to be careful with the budget limit," Marko laughed.

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3 F1 Fan comments on “Verstappen's Qatar Quest: Near-Certain F1 Title Triumph Awaits

  1. Tommy

    Lets see, If Perez wins every upcoming Sprint race and also wins every GP along with setting the fastest lap for each of those GP's and somehow Max doesn't score another point the rest of this season then Perez would win the WDC by 3 points. I think its pretty safe to go ahead and bestow the honor upon Max as the 2023 WDC even by some miracle he doesn't score another point Perez realistically has no chance of coming close to Max point total.

  2. Jere Jyrälä

    The championship-clinching will almost certainly happen in the sprint since the likelihood of Checo outscoring Max by at least 6 points would require quite a miracle & even if Max were to suffer a DNF or DNS, Checo winning or even finishing in the top 3 wouldn't necessarily be clear-cut with his current performance level.
    Long story short, Max will be champion on sprint day if his lead is at least 172 points, i.e., the maximum amount left after that session, as he's guaranteed to finish the season with the highest race win amount.

  3. smokey

    The champagne is already on ice at Qatar!
    It really doesn't matter what Perez does, the only way for him to beat Max is if Max sat out all the remaining races and Checko won them all. Pigs might fly too!
    The only thing that remains is for Max's 2023 WDC to be formalised in Qatar. Knowing Max's determination to dominate, he will probably win all races in Qatar just to show his superiority!


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