Max Verstappen only needs a top-six finish in Saturday’s sprint race at the Qatar Grand Prix to clinch the 2023 F1 drivers’ title.
The Red Bull driver has dominated this season, winning 13 of 15 races as well as two of three sprints.
He recently won in Japan, having failed to make the podium for the first time in 2023 following a mysterious drop in performance in Singapore.
Nonetheless, Verstappen’s current tally of 400 points puts him 177 points ahead of teammate Sergio Perez with 180 points remaining at stake.
Here’s how Verstappen can get title #3 in Qatar
How can Max Verstappen win the 2023 F1 world championship?
It’s quite simple: Verstappen only needs three more points between now and the end of the season in Abu Dhabi.
Recent history suggests that this will happen in the next race, which is the Saturday sprint race (100km) around the Lusail International Circuit in Qatar.
As a result, Verstappen only needs to finish sixth or higher – regardless of where Perez finishes – to win his third consecutive world title.
Although it’s an unlikely set of circumstances, a seventh-place finish would be good enough if Perez comes second, while an eighth-place finish would also secure the title if Perez finishes third.
Verstappen could also win the world title without scoring any points. If Perrez finishes fourth or lower in the sprint race, Verstappen will be the champion no matter where he finishes.
If Perez wins the sprint and Verstappen fails to score a point (top eight), then Verstappen would still be crowned champion if he finishes eighth or higher in Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix.
Verstappen will leave Qatar as champion if he has an advantage of 146 points or more.
What are the times for the Qatar Grand Prix?
The next race weekend of the 2023 season, the Qatar Grand Prixtakes place from Friday October 6 – Sunday October 8 as F1 returns to Lusail for the first time since the inaugural race in 2021.
The schedule is as follows: the first practice sessions take place at 2:30 p.m. (BST) on the Friday before qualification for the grand prix on Sunday at 6 p.m..
Saturday, the shoot to the net which determines the starting grid of the sprint race takes place at 2 p.m. before sprint race himself to 6:30 p.m. (BST)).
The 2023 Qatar Grand Prix Sunday starts at 6:00 p.m. (BST).