Twelve F1 world champions were crowned in the Japanese Grand Prix, so it would seem that history is on Verstappen’s 25-year-old’s side.
Opportunity for Verstappen
SUZUKA: Max Verstappen of Red Bull, a flying Dutchman, will have another opportunity to win the world title when the F1 Japanese Grand Prix returns to Suzuka this weekend following a three-year hiatus due to Covid. The race winner will clinch the championship in Japan. If he wins and his closest competitor Charles Leclerc places lower than second. The top driver was unable to win the F1 championship in last weekend’s rain-affected Singapore Grand Prix.
After Sunday’s race, Verstappen has to increase his lead to 112 points over the competition from his current 104-point advantage.
Points needed to win
Simply put, if Verstappen scores eight points over Leclerc and six over teammate Sergio Perez, who won in Singapore. He would become just the third driver after Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel to win the championship with four races remaining. With 12 Formula One world titles having been crowned in the Japanese Grand Prix. History looks to be on the 25-year- old’s side.
Verstappen remarked after a nail-biting wet-dry race in Singapore, where he finished eighth and snapped his five-race winning streak. This is not where we want to be but we go on to Japan.
Verstappen will attempt to redeem himself following a difficult race in Singapore under the lights when he finished seventh after starting from ninth on the grid. He has never won in Japan.
He was furious and had too much work to do on the challenging Marina Bay street circuit because of a fueling error during qualifying. That won’t be as much of an issue in Suzuka, where the course has sweeping corners and significant elevation changes.
Following a lengthy start delay for the F1 Singapore Grand Prix due to a severe rainstorm. Weather predictions indicate that the race may also be wet.
Since the epidemic prevented the Japanese Grand Prix from being staged in 2019 when Valtteri Bottas in a Mercedes won. It will probably take more than rain to temper the excitement of spectators and competitors.
The governing body FIA’s inquiry into 2021 team expenditures will cast a shadow on the race in Japan. Rival teams alleged that Red Bull and Aston Martin had spent more beyond the $145 million cost cap. That was implemented last season to increase racing’s level of competition at the Singapore Grand Prix.
Christian Horner, the CEO of Red Bull, was incensed and threatened legal action. While the FIA maintained the charges were “unsubstantiated” since their inquiry was not yet complete. Later on Wednesday, the FIA is expected to publish a report with its conclusions.
There are a variety of sanctions possible should any team go over the cost cap, from fines for “small” violations of the cap all the way up to point deductions and championship disqualification for a significant “material” violation.
Verstappen won in 2021
Verstappen’s maiden world championship was won in contentious circumstances at the last race of 2021 in Abu Dhabi. It would be further tarnished if Red Bull were proven to have breached the rules. In contrast, this year’s competition is nearly done. And the dominant Dutchman, who has won 11 of the last 17 races, will likely be crowned champion once more.
Regardless of where Leclerc places, Verstappen will win the championship if he wins in Japan. And earns the bonus point for the fastest lap. Even if he finishes outside the top six on Sunday, he may still win the championship. However, the battle will continue until the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, a fortnight from now.
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