It seems almost certain that Max Verstappen will become the Formula 1 world champion of the 2022 season very soon, and at the Singapore Grand Prix he has his first match point if he wins and his rivals for the title, Charles Leclerc and Sergio Pérez , do not reap many points.
The Dutchman has won 11 races so far this season, including the last five in a row, and only needs three more in the remaining six to beat the record shared by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel from 2004 and 2013 respectively. .
With an RB18 looking to have a clear advantage from tire degradation, there is a chance that Verstappen will round out the year without being beaten. Formula 1 returns to Marina Bay for the first time since 2019, returning to Suzuka after the pandemic, as well as visiting Austin, Mexico City, Interlagos and Abu Dhabi.
Lewis Hamilton, still in the hunt for his first win of the season, has already admitted that Mercedes would need luck to overcome Red Bull’s inherent pace advantage over them.
“We have to be realistic, they are almost unbeatable,” he said after the Italian Grand Prix. “It’s going to take some truth to beat that car. Performance wise, they’re ahead of everyone else, we haven’t caught them, we don’t have any upgrades to overtake them, so it’s going to take luck.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is more cautious about his team’s chances as he reckons the variety of circuits ahead will make things difficult but not impossible.
Asked by Motorsport.com about the option of winning all the remaining races, he said: “It’s a very big thing, and there’s a lot of variety of tracks. Singapore, compared to Monza, is the most twisty on the calendar, it’s bumpy. , it’s urban, so it’s a different challenge.”
“We are in a good position in the championship, but we are going to attack in every race and do our best, then the points will take care of it,” acknowledged Horner. “But we’ve been quick at Spa, Zandvoort, Monza and even Budapest, so on a variety of tracks the car is working very well.”
The top speed advantage doesn’t provide as much in lap time at Singapore, where Ferrari and Mercedes might have more options. Horner indicated that, on paper, it would perhaps be the most difficult of the rest of the year: “I would say it is one of the most difficult races.”
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