As the season nears its conclusion, with just six races remaining on the F1 calendar, the question on every fan’s mind is: When will Max Verstappen clinch the Drivers’ Championship? The possibility of becoming the 2023 F1 World Drivers’ Champion is in Qatar, regardless of the remaining F1 races.
Let’s break this down: Already, Verstappen has a considerable points advantage over the rest of the grid. Now, for this race in Qatar, there are several scenarios through which he can become the 2023 F1 World Drivers’ Champion, since he only needs a few more points to secure this title.
One of these scenarios is winning the race itself. Another scenario is the sprint format that Qatar has enabled this time (which is still a very young race.) With these two scenarios, and others available, Max has 34 points available to clinch the F1 drivers championship without needing to go through the motions of the rest of the tournament.
Furthermore, if he does become the champion by winning the race, he doesn’t even have to finish first. We’ll explain this further below.
Verstappen at Suzuka
Verstappen, known as the Flying Dutchman, lived up to his nickname, dominating the entire weekend. He finished first in every F1 free practice session, demonstrated his speed in qualifying, and crushed the rest of the grid in the race, securing victory with a lead of nearly 20 seconds – an eternity in the world of Formula 1 – over Lando Norris.
Hearing the Dutch national anthem on the F1 stage has become a regular occurrence, but will it be a repeat event during this F1 race weekend? Since the Qatar Grand Prix is relatively new on the F1 schedule -it wasn’t held last year due to the 2022 FIFA World Cup– predicting Max’s performance compared to previous races is uncertain. However, Verstappen’s brilliance behind the wheel will never be questioned.
F1 Predictions for the Qatar GP
What scenarios does Max need to become the Formula 1 champion? In reality, there are only a few, but they greatly favor him, as he only needs to leave Qatar with 146 more points than Perez to become the 2023 F1 World Drivers’ Champion.
Moreover, Max is in no haste to win the Saturday sprint race. Even if Checo manages to win the sprint, Verstappen will still be crowned champion as long as he finishes sixth or higher.
And if that’s not enough, should Perez win the sprint and Verstappen fail to score points, an eighth-place finish or higher in the Sunday race will suffice for Max to clinch the championship.
Max is the favorite to win the Qatar GP (-450). The rest of the F1 odds place Lando Norris (+1000) and Sergio Perez (+1200) on the podium.
Following them are:
- Piastri (+1600)
- Leclerc (+2200)
- Russell (+2500)
- Hamilton (+2000)
- Sainz (+2500)
- Alonso (+8000)
- Albon (+45000)
As a side note, the F1 odds have the Williams team (+350), alongside Red Bull (+350), as favorites to achieve the fastest lap in the race, and Williams has shown respectable top speed.
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