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How Verstappen can win in Singapore

Verstappen holds a massive 116-point lead over Charles Leclerc in the 2022 standings with 164 points up for grabs across the final six races of the season – including the sprint in Brazil – meaning the Red Bull driver could seal his second successive F1 world title in Singapore. 

The Dutchman is currently enjoying a career-best streak of five consecutive wins on his seemingly unstoppable charge towards becoming a double world champion. 

Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, who is nine points further back from Leclerc, and Mercedes’ George Russell, who is 132 points adrift in the championship’ standings, are the only other drivers still in mathematical contention – though none appear to have a realistic chance of denying Verstappen the 2022 crown. 

Here’s what Verstappen needs to seal the deal under the lights in Singapore. 

How Verstappen can win F1 2022 title in Singapore: 

For Verstappen to have any chance of successfully defending his title in Singapore, he must win the race with full points (25) awarded. 

But it is not quite that straightforward. Verstappen would also be relying on a shocker for Ferrari’s Leclerc, in addition to teammate Perez not joining him on the podium…

If Verstappen wins and set the fastest lap: 

  • Leclerc must finish no higher than eighth and Perez no higher than fourth 

If Verstappen wins without the fastest lap: 

  • Leclerc must finish no higher than ninth and Perez no higher than fourth, or fifth if the Mexican has the fastest lap 

Those unlikely combination of conditions not being met would see Verstappen’s celebrations put on hold. But it would only delay the inevitable temporarily, with Verstappen almost guaranteed to win this year’s championship. 

Even if Leclerc were to win all the remaining races, Verstappen would only need to score 48 points to ensure he was crowned champion by the end of the season. 

Verstappen’s advantage is so large he can even afford to suffer four retirements. Alternatively, he could finish as low as sixth at every round. 

Achieving his coronation in Singapore would mark the earliest conclusion to an F1 title race in 20 years and be just the third time in history the championship has been won with five races to spare. 

Only Michael Schumacher (2002) and Nigel Mansell (1992) have previously clinched the title so early. 

Despite claiming the F1 drivers’ title a joint-record seven times, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has never wrapped up a championship with more than three races to go. 

The Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka appears a more realistic prospect for Verstappen’s crowning glory.

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