The Red Bull driver has dominated this season, winning 13 of the 15 races as well as two of the three sprints.
He most recently won in Japan, having previously failed to finish on the podium for the first time in 2023 after a mysterious drop in performance in Singapore.
Nonetheless, Verstappen’s current total of 400 points puts him 177 points clear of team-mate Sergio Perez with 180 points left on the table.
Here’s how Verstappen can secure title No 3 in Qatar
How can Max Verstappen win 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 will come in the next race, which is the Saturday sprint race (100km dash) around the Lusail International Circuit in Qatar.
As a result, Verstappen only needs to finish sixth or higher – regardless of where Perez finishes – to secure his third-straight world title.
Though an unlikely set of circumstances, a seventh-place finish would be enough if Perez comes second, while eighth would also secure the title if Perez finishes third.
Verstappen could secure the world title without scoring in the points, too. If Perrez finishes fourth or lower in the sprint race, Verstappen will be the champion regardless of where he finishes.
If Perez wins the sprint and Verstappen fails to score a point (top eight-finish), then Verstappen would still be crowned champion if he finishes eighth or higher during Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix.
Verstappen will leave Qatar as the champion if he has a points advantage of 146 points or more.
What are the timings for the Qatar Grand Prix?
The next race weekend of the 2023 season, the Qatar Grand Prix, takes place from Friday 6 October – Sunday 8 October as F1 returns to Lusail for the first time since the inaugural race in 2021.
The schedule is as follows: first practice takes place at 2:30pm (BST) on Friday before qualifying for Sunday’s grand prix at 6pm.
On Saturday, the sprint shootout which determines the grid for the sprint race takes place at 2pm before the sprint race itself at 6:30pm (BST).
The 2023 Qatar Grand Prix on Sunday starts at 6pm (BST).