Verstappen travels to Qatar with 400 points in the world championship. Red Bull Racing already secured the constructors' title in Japan, but Verstappen's first chance at officially claiming the world title is in Qatar. The gap between Verstappen and his closest rival Sergio Perez was still too big prior to the Grand Prix at the Suzuka Circuit.
Can Verstappen secure his third title in Qatar?
Verstappen will get two chances in Qatar and the first is on Saturday. There is a sprint race weekend in Qatar, so points can already be earned on Saturday. Ahead of the weekend in Qatar, there are still 180 points left to be awarded. After his victory in Japan, Verstappen is 177 points ahead of Perez, so there is a good chance that Verstappen will secure the title on Saturday.
This is how Verstappen can become champion
- Perez finishes first in the sprint race, Verstappen finishes at least sixth
- Perez finishes second in the sprint race, Verstappen finishes at least seventh
- Perez finishes third in the sprint race, Verstappen finishes at least eighth
- Perez finishes fourth or lower in the sprint race
If Verstappen does not succeed in Qatar on Saturday, there will be another chance on Sunday. After Sunday there are still 146 points to be awarded. So if Perez scores enough points on Saturday to keep the title fight alive, it will still be a hell of a job to postpone Verstappen's title until after the United States Grand Prix at COTA.