Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Monza, 2022

How Verstappen can clinch the championship at the next race in Singapore

2022 Italian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen can win the world championship at the next round, locking down his second title with five races to spare.

The Red Bull driver can only do this if he wins the Singapore Grand Prix. As he’s won 11 races so far this year, and the last five in a row, the chances seem good. He’s already in a position where no one can win more races than him, meaning he would clinch the title in the unlikely event of a tie on points.

However to end the title fight at the next race Verstappen also needs his championship rivals to finish far enough down the running order. That includes his team mate Sergio Perez and well as the driver closest to him in the points, Charles Leclerc.

There is another proviso: Full points must be awarded. F1’s points system was revised this year and smaller points hauls are now awarded if races are cut short. For example, if less than 75% of the distance is covered, 19 points are awarded for a win instead of the usual 25.

Given that, here’s what needs to happen for Verstappen to win the championship in Singapore:

  • Verstappen must win the race
  • Full points (25) must be awarded, for which at least 46 of the 61 laps must be covered

The other finishing positions depend on which driver sets fastest lap. If Verstappen sets the fastest lap:

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

If Verstappen does not set the fastest lap:

  • Leclerc must finish no higher than ninth
  • Perez must finish no higher than fourth, or fifth if he sets the fastest lap

If none of those conditions are met, the championship will remain undecided. However such is the scale of Verstappen’s lead, he is virtually assured of taking a second title this year.

The constructors championship cannot be decided at the next race.

Although Red Bull hold a commanding, 139-point lead over Ferrari in the constructors’ championship, they’re not far enough ahead to be able to clinch the title at the next race weekend.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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41 comments on “How Verstappen can clinch the championship at the next race in Singapore”

  1. The short answer is that he needs to outscore Leclerc by at least 22 points, Perez by 13, & Russell (yes, he’s still within the mathematical window) by 6 points.
    Russell is the easiest as a win alone, with or without FLAP point, would increase their gap past 138, i.e., the maximum available post-Singapore GP.
    Leclerc is the hardest as he won’t finish within the lowest points-paying positions or outside the points unless something happens to him, so effectively, either DNF, DNS, or withdrawal (DSQ as an extreme) would be necessary.
    Nevertheless, supposing he continues his ongoing winning streak, a win in Suzuka would automatically clinch the championship regardless of Leclerc’s & Perez’s positions or bonus point distribution in both races.

    1. @jerejj just a minor addition to your excellent post: the gap just needs to be at 138, not past it. Because even if Max ends up on equal points, he will win on countback of number of races won as no other driver can win as many races as Max has.

      1. @mattds Yes, I should’ve been more precise & typed to 138 or past.

  2. Keep your fingers crossed that somehow Ferrari or Mercedes can build a car 0.3-0.5s faster than Red Bull so there’s an actual title fight before new rules come in 2026. Otherwise, even if Red Bull is on par with their rivals, Max will absolutely dominate next 3 seasons, beating most of the records. We saw last 2 years how much better driver he’s than Leclerc and Hamilton. Sir Hamilton couldn’t even get more than 11 wins/year, which is pathetic considering his rocketship Mercs took 18, 18, 20, 15, 13, 10 and 15 pole positions respectively, while Max achieved it already 75% into the season with Red Bull on pole merely on 5 occasions! Same for consecutive wins – Max can only dream about having such dominant cars as Hamilton between 2014 and 2020, yet he’s done it too with number 5! It’s crystal clear Max is the GOAT, by far the best F1 driver in the history and Hamilton, just like Vettel before, was massively overrated.

    1. Crystal clear. These are FACTS

      1. And 2016 was pretty poor from HAM, only 6 wins vs Rosberg’s 9 wins after 17 races is bad in a real rocketship, before the latter went full Prost mode and finished 2nd in last 4 races.

    2. As much as I think Verstappen has a small edge over Hamilton, lets remember that Hamilton beat Vettel in 2017 and 2018 with four races to go even though Vettel’s Ferrari did not have any where near the same level of mechanical failures as Leclerc’s. Similarly, Verstappen may have an small edge over Leclerc but how many of Vestappen’s wins this year were made easier by Leclerc’s car failing or Ferrari having a terrible strategy?

      1. Lies, Hamilton won the title with 2 races to go both in 2017 & 18.

    3. While verstappen is likely better than hamilton, they had opposite circumstances in these years: hamilton had a dominant car but a strong team mate until the end of 2016, that’s why he didn’t monopolise all poles\wins, verstappen doesn’t have such a dominant car but has a bottas like team mate; furthermore, you can’t check the poles this season and say ferrari has the better car, just leclerc is more specialised in quali and verstappen in the race, and in the end race pace is more important, red bull looked better lately.

    4. The difference was Hamiltons teammates were winning races and taking pole. Max’s weren’t. Not sure how you managed to mention so much of Hamilton in a post that has nothing to do with him

    5. I think Verstappen has been the best driver this year, but calling someone with one WDC the GOAT is absurd. You need to be consistently great for a long time to be in that discussion, and Max now has two seasons. If he can keep that up for another five or six, then he’ll be a contender.

      Also, trying to discredit Hamilton and Vettel is just childish. They are both great drivers who dominated the sport for years. Sure, they had great cars, but so does Verstappen. No one wins a championship in F1 without a great car. If you put Verstappen in a Williams or even an Alpine, he wouldn’t be winning any championships.

    6. Not considering Ferrari (as they usually screw up their strategy, or suffer mechanical failures) there is no car even close to the RBR this year. Its not some magic of Verstappen, but the advantage of their car winning the races.

  3. Make Max drive the safety car for the remaining races? Might delay the inevitable by a race or two?

    1. The SC finished first last weekend. ;)

      1. now these two comments should be a CotD joint winner!

    2. Here is a crazy idea; RB voluntarily takes grid penaties on VER car for Singapore.
      The only threat to VER podium seems to be a turn 1 crash.
      Then he starts 15th or below and let LEC/SAI/HAM/RUS/PER take each one out in the first corner – maybe one or two cant finish the first lap – not VER who would watch everything from behind.
      By lap 2, he would be above P10. By lap 20, he is at least P5.
      Given MERC relative lack of pace and FERR incompetence, he could even win the race.
      Worst scenario, he manages the advantage to win WDC in Japan with a Honda engine.

  4. The Verstappen/Red Bull dominance this season has been astonishing.

    Much has (quite rightly) been made of Ferrari’s ‘unforced errors’ but that shouldn’t take anything away from Red Bull’s feat of engineering and Max’s driving skills. The fact that Checo’s performance has tailed-off as the season has progressed demonstrates how in-the-groove Verstappen is.

    As a fan of the sport first-and-foremost, I hope we see other teams putting up more of a fight next season though.

    1. @sonnycrockett I think it’s a case of a perfect storm for Red Bull/Max.

      1) The RB18 is a great car that after a few early niggles is proving pretty reliable
      2) Max is driving nearly flawlessly, making very few errors, and if he makes them he corrects them so as they don’t cost him points
      3) Red Bull strategy has been nearly flawless
      4) Red Bull pit work has been nearly flawless
      5) Competitor cars have either been simply not fast enough or fast but unreliable
      6) Competitor drivers make errors
      7) Competitor teams make strategic errors and/or operational errors

      Ultimately up until the summer break the Ferrari car on average had been every bit as good as the Red Bull, but above points have made it so that even by that summer break the gap was already big.

      Since the summer break then, the RB18 has looked mighty and untoucheable. Hence, while I obviously have no proof for it, my number 8 element of the perfect storm is the technical directive on the flexi floors. Given how Ferrari seemed to have gone backwards in relation to Red Bull, one could be led to believe that Ferrari were highly impacted by the TD and Horner really was right when he said some while ago that they weren’t afraid of the TD and they didn’t expect to have to change anything.
      Some will say Max ran circles around Ferrari in Hungary already, dating pre-TD, but Ferrari made a horrible tyre choice for Charles there and there is also the possibility that they were already running in line with the TD that would come in at Spa, in order to prepare for it.

  5. Two predictions for Singapore:

    1. Ferrari will have the fastest car. They’ve generally been better around the tight, twisty corners and have great traction whereas Red Bull have focussed more on straight line speed. If I was to bet money on it, I’d pile it on a Sainz win as he seems to be driving better than Leclerc at the moment and is less likely to bin it into the wall.

    2. The Mercedes pair are going to spend the weekend complaining about “porpoising” which is actually not porpoising – it’s the car being run too low and too stiff for a street circuit. There will be at least one comment of “I don’t know how we’ve lost so much pace since Monza” despite the fact that the answer is very obvious.

    1. Ahah, point 2 will be very interesting as it could indeed come true.

    2. I disagree with sainz driving better sainz has made more driving mistakes overall leclerc only made in France and imola. He knows wdc is over and will not take risks in fact I expect leclerc to outqualify and outscore sainz in Singapore

      1. Overall Leclerc has been better than Sainz no doubt but I think over the last few races, Sainz just seems to have a bit more pace. We’ll see how it plays out in a few weeks!

    3. Red Bull have focussed more on straight line speed.

      Funny that you say this… redbull at monza was the contrary… they went with more downforce, lost in qualifying but won the race

  6. Max could drive around in reverse and still win.

    1. At least against Tsunoda, as seen on one Red Bull video!

      1. Those were DAF’s and they drive as fast backwards as forwards. The last Dutch car maded D Dutch A Auto F Fabriek.
        No the D stands for Doorne So Doorne Auto Fabriek (Doorne Car Factory)

  7. This has been the easiest WDC I’ve seen, with the pressure levels experienced by Max last year, compared to this year. It has been too easy for him. I don’t expect anything from any of the other younger drivers. Max will enjoy some years of dominance. Don’t expect Mercedes back any time soon.

  8. If Verstappen stopped racing as Max Verstappen and re-entered the championship under a different name he could win the Drivers championship (more than likely) as himself and quite easily come 7th beating all but the top 3 teams. Hamilton’s 168 points would be out of reach but Norris’s 88 points would be easily achieved.

    1. @twentyseven Imagine that was somehow allowed by the rules and he ended up first AND second in the championship!

    2. He might still have a Belgium passport and racing license.
      Now we know why Horner tries to get an exemption on the superlicense points.

    3. As I read this comment I saw Max with fake mustache pretending to be someone else.

    4. Ahah, that would be interesting!

  9. Well I hope it happens in Suzuka, Honda engine tribute.

  10. It’s disappointing really considering it looked like Red Bull/Ferrari were on a similar level at the start of the year and it looked like we’d have another close WDC (and possibly even constructor’s as well). Unfortunately Ferrari’s strategies and failure to develop their car effectively has turned it into a one horse race.

  11. If Verstappen wins in Singapore and sets the fastest lap, in my calculation, Leclerc must finish no higher than fourth!

  12. So what are the odds? A quick and dirty calculation gives me a little over 7%, or 1/14. That’s considering Sinpagore (a pretty unique race) as an average of the previous 16 races this season. A sort of spherical cow, if you will.

    Anyhow, Singapore title is pretty unlikely although certainly not impossible. On the other hand, the odds for a Japan title are over 80%, So there.

  13. This season reminds me of 2013 – competitive in the first half, total Red Bull domination in the second half.

  14. Verstappen should take grid penalties at every remaining races for RBPT optimalization. He might still win those anyway and it would ensure total domination of RedBull next year but at least give us a little entertainment this year.

    1. Jelle van der Meer (@)
      13th September 2022, 8:30

      Honda might try to convince Max to taken another new engine and a 5 place grid penalty just to ensure the title is not won in Singapore but in Japan instead.

      1. If they do that they would set the engine made as high to get information for next year and probaly still win.

  15. If Verstappen sets the fastest lap:

    Perez must finish no higher than fourth

    I don’t understand your math here.

    VER currently has 335 points. If he wins with fastest lap he will have 335+25+1= 361.
    PER currently has 210 points. If he ends P4 he will have 210+12=222.
    There are 5 races left after Singapore plus a sprint. That means there are (5×26)+8=138 points to gain at most.
    222+138= 360, which would not be enough.

    Or am I missing some point up for grabs somewhere?

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