Pink 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 underneath lights across the spectacular and demanding Marina Bay avenue circuit. To take action, the 24-year-old should win the race — one thing he has by no means completed in Singapore — and desires 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 appears to be like a case of when, not if. “You want a little bit of luck for that as properly, 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 Pink 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 doubtlessly 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 properly,” Verstappen stated.
“We’re having a terrific season, so we must always actually attempt to recognize it and benefit from the second.”
To take the title this weekend, he should win the race with Leclerc ending no increased than eighth or ninth — relying on who claims the additional level for the quickest lap — and Perez outdoors the rostrum locations.
A lot will rely upon Saturday evening’s qualifying for a grand prix that has been received from pole place seven occasions in its final 11 runnings.
The evening race across the tight avenue 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 capability.
Singapore’s local weather at all times carries a risk 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
Pink Bull additionally look certain to wrap up the constructors’ championship — though they will not achieve this in Singapore — however the race for second continues to be alive with Mercedes banking on a late-season revival to overhaul early front-runners Ferrari.
The constant George Russell continues to be in mathematical rivalry for the drivers’ crown in his first Mercedes season, although a Verstappen victory would finish his hopes.
However the Silver Arrows are pushing arduous and are 35 factors behind Ferrari, who’ve suffered from a mixture of reliability points and strategic blunders.
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has received 4 occasions in Singapore, however Russell was cautious concerning the pair’s possibilities of ending the group’s 2022 win drought.
“Singapore might be fascinating,” stated Russell.
“However traditionally it is a circuit the place Mercedes have struggled just a little bit.”
Ferrari have been buoyed by Leclerc’s second place at their dwelling race at Monza two weeks in the past and may assault Singapore with extra confidence.
“I believe we made a step forward,” stated group principal Mattia Binotto.
Carlos Sainz lower by way of the sector to complete fourth for Ferrari in Italy, along with his cost for a podium place scuppered solely by a late security automotive.
“It is clear as properly if you happen to have a look at the opposite automobiles behind us, we made a step forward,” stated Binotto.
This will probably 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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