As the 2023 Formula One season reaches its midway point, it is becoming increasingly evident that the championship crown will likely belong to the formidable Max Verstappen. The Red Bull driver has exhibited unrivalled performance and skill, amassing a substantial lead over his competitors. With a 110-point advantage over his teammate, Sergio Perez, in second place and a significant 142-point lead over the closest non-Red Bull contender, Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin, Verstappen is undoubtedly in a commanding position.
Having emerged victorious in nine out of the season’s first 11 races, Verstappen’s supremacy remains unyielding. The only other driver to taste victory this year has been his teammate, Sergio Perez, with triumphs in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan. Verstappen’s most recent triumph at the Hungarian Grand Prix further solidifies his reign, finishing with an impressive 34-second lead over Lando Norris in second place.
While mathematically speaking, it is not yet impossible for Verstappen’s rivals to seize the title, the probability of such a scenario occurring is minuscule. Barring an extraordinary twist of fate, Verstappen’s third championship seems inevitable, raising the question of when, not if, he will claim the coveted title.
In a remarkable display of his dominance, even if Verstappen were to finish second behind Perez in all the remaining races and sprint races, with the Mexican securing every bonus point for the fastest lap, the Dutchman would still secure the championship with a 27-point margin. This margin is one point greater than what is typically earned for a grand prix victory and the fastest lap combined.
Considering the remaining points available, there is a potential opportunity for Verstappen to set a new record. Michael Schumacher currently holds the record for securing a championship victory with the most rounds remaining, achieved in 2002 when he clinched his fifth title with six races left to run (under a different points system). Although it may seem unlikely, Verstappen could potentially claim the title in Singapore with seven rounds still remaining.
Should Verstappen maintain his extraordinary pace and triumph in every grand prix and sprint race while Perez consistently finishes in second place, he could potentially seal the championship at the Qatar Grand Prix with five races left to run. To achieve this, Verstappen must maintain specific points leads after each of these races:
- Singapore: 207 points
- Japan: 181 points
- Qatar: 147 points
- Austin: 113 points
- Mexico: 87 points
- Brazil: 53 points
- Las Vegas: 27 points
However, if Verstappen continues his exceptional performance at the current rate, he may secure the championship title in Japan, with six races still remaining.
Verstappen’s remarkable form has left his teammate, Sergio Perez, under immense pressure, leading to numerous mistakes on the Mexican driver’s part. As Verstappen dominates the track, Perez struggles to keep pace, diminishing his chances of challenging for the championship.
As the season progresses, Formula One enthusiasts eagerly anticipate witnessing Max Verstappen’s coronation as the 2023 champion. His extraordinary performances have set the stage for a triumphant season, and it is now just a matter of time before the Dutch racing sensation claims his third championship title. As the sport continues to evolve, Verstappen’s prowess has left an indelible mark on Formula One history, solidifying his position as one of the sport’s all-time greats. With the halfway point of the season passed, the world watches in awe as Verstappen’s journey to glory unfolds before their eyes.