F1 2022 title permutations: How can Max Verstappen win the title in Singapore?

·3-min read
Max Verstappen peaking around the number 1 board. Italy September 2022 Credit: PA Images
Max Verstappen peaking around the number 1 board. Italy September 2022 Credit: PA Images

The F1 2022 Drivers’ title is Max Verstappen’s in all but name but how can he mathematically clinch it in Singapore? 

Having started the season with a DNF in two of the opening three races, Verstappen’s title defence did not look like it would be as easy as it turned out.

He is enjoying the most ruthless form of his career having won the last five races, only one of which he started on pole, and with just six races left in the 2022 season, it seems nigh-on impossible for anyone to prevent the Dutchman from winning his second consecutive world title.

 

Verstappen, who has won 11 out of the 16 races this season (68.75%), could even clinch the title this weekend as Formula 1 returns to Singapore. Here is how he could do it:

How do the title contenders currently stand?

If the title race was an actual grand prix then Verstappen would be close to lapping his rivals. He is on 335 points, 116 more than Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and 125 more than his team-mate Sergio Perez.

How many points are left to be won by a driver this season?

With six grands prix to go plus a Sprint race in Brazil, there are a total of 164 points on offer to a driver providing they can also scoop up the one extra point for the fastest laps.

Verstappen has earned the most points for fastest laps this season having done so on five occasions. Leclerc and Perez have three while Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton both have two. McLaren’s Lando Norris has one.

Who can still win the Championship?

Theoretically, five drivers can still win the World title even if realistically that seems highly unlikely. With a total of 164 points left on offer Verstappen, Perez, Leclerc, Sainz and George Russell could all technically become a World Champion come the end of the final race in Abu Dhabi.

When does Max Verstappen need to happen to World Championship in Singapore?

Verstappen could be confirmed as the 2022 World Champion after the next race in Singapore provided results go his way. If the Dutchman wins and both Perez and Leclerc finish outside of the points, the title is his.

Additionally, if Verstappen wins with fastest lap, Leclerc finishes eighth or lower and Perez finished fourth or lower, the title would go to Verstappen. The Red Bull driver could also afford to not win the race and still secure the title provided Leclerc finishes ninth or lower and Perez finishes fourth or lower without securing the bonus point for the fastest lap.

Should he not be celebrating a Championship win come Sunday night, Verstappen would most likely confirm it at the next race in Japan. If Verstappen wins both of the next races, even two second place finishes and two points for the fastest lap from Leclerc would not prevent the Red Bull man from securing his second title.

Verstappen could even afford to finish sixth in every remaining race and he would still win the Championship. He could also fail to finish on four occasions and still be crowned champion.

How can Charles Leclerc win?

Despite trailing by 116 points, all hope is not yet lost but it does make for grim reading for the Monégasque.

Following more disappointment at Monza, Leclerc’s uphill task has just become even steeper and, even if he was to win every race, Verstappen finishing second would mean the Red Bull driver would end the season 67 points ahead of his Ferrari counterpart.

If Verstappen DNFed in every race, Leclerc would overtake him at the end of the Mexican Grand Prix and would finish  the season 48 points ahead of him.

Realistically, Leclerc needs Verstappen to finish no higher than seventh in at least five of the remaining races, this would give him a narrow title win of nine points come the end of the season.

 

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