Crimson Bull’s dominant Max Verstappen can clinch a second world championship when the Singapore Grand Prix returns this weekend after a three-year absence due to Covid. The flying Dutchman has a mathematical probability to seal back-to-back world titles beneath lights across the spectacular and demanding Marina Bay road circuit. To take action, the 24-year-old should win the race — one thing he has by no means performed in Singapore — and wishes his closest rivals to falter badly.
If that doesn’t occur, the championship combat will transfer on to the Japanese Grand Prix every week later. It seems to be a case of when, not if. “You want a little bit of luck for that as nicely, I do not give it some thought,” Verstappen instructed Sky Sports activities of retaining his crown in Singapore.
Verstappen opened up a 116-point lead within the drivers’ standings over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc following his victory on the Italian Grand Prix. He’s 125 away from third-placed Crimson Bull teammate Sergio Perez.
He wants to increase his result in 138 factors by Sunday’s chequered flag to be topped with 5 races to spare — the earliest championship win since Michael Schumacher’s in 2002 with six GPs remaining.
Monza was Verstappen’s eleventh victory in 16 races of a probably record-breaking season.
He wants two extra wins to equal the single-season mark of 13 collectively held by Schumacher (2004) and Sebastian Vettel (2013).
“I need to go to Singapore and attempt to win that race as nicely,” Verstappen stated.
“We’re having an incredible season, so we must always actually try to recognize it and benefit from the second.”
To take the title this weekend, he should win the race with Leclerc ending no greater than eighth or ninth — relying on who claims the additional level for the quickest lap — and Perez exterior the rostrum locations.
A lot will rely on Saturday night time’s qualifying for a grand prix that has been received from pole place seven occasions in its final 11 runnings.
The night time race across the tight road observe affords treasured few overtaking alternatives and the stifling warmth and humidity present a take a look at of stamina and reliability as a lot as driving capacity.
Singapore’s local weather at all times carries a menace of rain-induced chaos, as occurred in 2017, when Vettel and Verstappen began on the entrance row solely to crash out earlier than the primary bend.
Mercedes chase Ferrari
Crimson Bull additionally look certain to wrap up the constructors’ championship — though they will not accomplish that in Singapore — however the race for second remains to be alive with Mercedes banking on a late-season revival to overhaul early front-runners Ferrari.
The constant George Russell remains to be in mathematical competition for the drivers’ crown in his first Mercedes season, although a Verstappen victory would finish his hopes.
However the Silver Arrows are pushing onerous and are 35 factors behind Ferrari, who’ve suffered from a mix of reliability points and strategic blunders.
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has received 4 occasions in Singapore, however Russell was cautious in regards to the pair’s possibilities of ending the workforce’s 2022 win drought.
“Singapore might be fascinating,” stated Russell.
“However traditionally it is a circuit the place Mercedes have struggled somewhat bit.”
Ferrari had been buoyed by Leclerc’s second place at their residence race at Monza two weeks in the past and might assault Singapore with extra confidence.
“I believe we made a step forward,” stated workforce principal Mattia Binotto.
Carlos Sainz reduce via the sector to complete fourth for Ferrari in Italy, together with his cost for a podium place scuppered solely by a late security automotive.
“It is clear as nicely when you have a look at the opposite vehicles behind us, we made a step forward,” stated Binotto.
This shall be Singapore’s first grand prix for the reason that pandemic and indicators are that the city-state is relishing having racing again.
Authorities haven’t launched actual numbers, however ticket gross sales have already exceeded 2019, they are saying.
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