The Red Bull star – 104 points clear of Charles Leclerc in the standings – will be crowned champion in Japan if he wins and sets the fastest lap on Sunday.
Verstappen is looking to bounce back after a disappointing weekend in Singapore, finishing seventh, while his team-mate Sergio Perez claimed victory. Leclerc came home second, with Carlos Sainz in third.
Lewis Hamilton also endured a difficult Sunday in the rain of Singapore, finishing ninth after crashing into the barriers, while Mercedes team-mate George Russell came home in last place. Hamilton, still looking for his first win of the season, is a five-time winner in Japan.
Here is everything you need to know.
When and where is the next race?
Formula 1 returns to the famous Suzuka circuit for the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend - and it’s an early start for European fans.
First and second practice takes place at 4am and 7am (BST) respecively on Friday, before third practice at 4am on Saturday and qualifying at 7am (BST).
The race on Sunday starts at 6am (BST).
What has been said?
Lewis Hamilton apologised to Mercedes and said, “I f****d it up big time,” after he crashed into a wall and fell off the road before finishing ninth at Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix.
Hamilton will leave Singapore keen to erase the memory of a night where he made two uncharacteristic mistakes. After losing out to Sainz at the start, Hamilton spent the majority of Sunday’s race inhaling the Ferrari man’s exhaust fumes. And on Lap 33, he was in the tyre barrier.
Hamilton carried too much speed into the seventh corner and whacked the wall. He slipped his Mercedes into reverse – falling behind Norris but ahead of Verstappen – and attempted to soldier on. But Hamilton’s front wing was dangling off his Mercedes and orange sparks flew as he was forced to stop for repairs.
“I am so sorry about that guys,” he said over the radio. “I f****d it up big time.”
Hamilton dropped from fourth to ninth, and then in the final 96 seconds of the two-hour race – which was delayed by 65 minutes following a downpour – he ran off the racing line at turn eight as he duelled with Sebastian Vettel. That promoted Verstappen to eighth, which then became seventh when the defending champion passed Vettel on the final lap.
“I am pretty flat,” said Hamilton after the race. “It was a poor day, a pretty rubbish day. I am just looking forward to tomorrow.
Current driver standings
1. Max Verstappen - 341 points
2. Charles Leclerc - 237 points
3. Sergio Perez - 235 points
4. George Russell - 203 points
5. Carlos Sainz - 202 points
6. Lewis Hamilton - 170 points
7. Lando Norris - 100 points
8. Esteban Ocon - 66 points
9. Fernando Alonso - 59 points
10. Valtteri Bottas - 46 points
11. Daniel Ricciardo -29 points
12. Sebastian Vettel - 24 points
13. Pierre Gasly - 23 points
14. Kevin Magnussen - 22 points
15. Lance Stroll - 13 points
16. Mick Schumacher - 12 points
17. Yuki Tsunoda - 11 points
18. Guanyu Zhou - 6 points
19. Alex Albon - 4 points
20. Nyck de Vries - 2 points
21. Nicholas Latifi - 0 points
22. Nico Hulkenberg - 0 points
Full 2022 schedule
ROUND 18 —JAPAN
Suzuka — 7-9 October
ROUND 19 —UNITED STATES
Circuit of the Americas — 21-23 October
ROUND 20 —MEXICO
Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez — 28-30 October
ROUND 21 —BRAZIL
Interlagos — 11-13 November
ROUND 22 —ABU DHABI
Yas Marina — 18-20 November