Max Verstappen may come very close to clinching the 2022 Formula 1 title in Singapore.
Verstappen leads Charles Leclerc by 116 points with six races to go in the season and could leave the Singapore Grand Prix (8 a.m. ET, ESPN2) with a 142-point lead.
Drivers get 25 points for a win and a point for getting the fastest lap. And with eight points available to the winner of the sprint race at Brazil later this season, Verstappen can clinch the title with a lead of 139 points or more after the race.
That’s likely not going to happen even if Verstappen is the big favorite to win the race. The title fight should go on another week, but not much longer than that. Verstappen enters Sunday’s race at -165 to win while Leclerc is at +350 and Lewis Hamilton is at +800 to get his first win of the season.
Verstappen is a huge favorite for the race win even though he’s not the favorite to post the fastest lap in the first practice and is at just +100 to get the pole. The first practice in Singapore is during the day and in conditions that aren’t similar to what they will be on race day. Combine that with Ferrari’s first practice pace this season and it’s easy to see why Leclerc is the favorite in Friday’s first session at +175.
Leclerc is the No. 2 favorite behind Verstappen for the pole at +225. We are tempted by those odds too. The 20 corners at the street course could be conducive to Ferrari’s car in qualifying even if we aren’t brave enough to bet against Verstappen during the race.
Here are a few of the best we like ahead of Sunday morning’s race.
Charles Leclerc to finish in the top three (-190)
Unless Ferrari gets its strategy totally wrong — something that’s happened multiple times so far in 2022 — Leclerc should be near the front all day.
Lewis Hamilton to finish in the top three (+100)
While Hamilton is a relative long shot for the win, oddsmakers like his top three odds and really like his top six odds. Mercedes’ reliability is significant; he and teammate George Russell are tied with Verstappen at -700 to finish in the top six.
Max Verstappen to post the race’s fastest lap (+120)
It’s going to take a free pit stop scenario late in the race for another driver in a very fast car for someone to usurp Verstappen from having the fastest lap.
Daniel Ricciardo to finish top 10 (+125)
Ricciardo is tied with Sebastian Vettel for the 10th-best odds to finish in the top 10. McLaren’s car should be better suited to Singapore than the Aston Martin.
Charles Leclerc to win pole (+225)
At these odds, why not? Ferrari has shown it can be competitive with Red Bull over a handful of laps.