This way Max Verstappen can become champion in Qatar

Can Verstappen become the earliest champion ever?

Max Verstappen is not exactly making it an exciting season. His team won every race (thirteen by Verstappen, two by Pérez) except the Singapore GP. After the Japanese GP, Red Bull Racing can no longer be overtaken. The same may apply to Verstappen in the drivers' championship. This is how Max Verstappen can become champion in 2023 at the Qatar GP.

The closest challenger for Verstappen is still teammate Sergio Pérez. The Mexican driver was able to perform well in the early stages of the season, but after a number of disastrous qualifications and disappointing race performances, Pérez is far behind. On average, Pérez scores 13.9 points per weekend, while Verstappen has an average of exactly 25 points.

This is how Max Verstappen becomes champion in Qatar

It could be the first time in F1 history that a driver becomes champion on a Saturday. The race weekend in Qatar has a sprint race on the program. In that sprint race, the winner receives eight points, P2 seven points and so on until eighth place. No additional point will be awarded for the fastest race lap during the sprint race.

Meanwhile, Verstappen has 400 points after sixteen races. Pérez remains stuck at 223 points. So the difference is 177 points. After the sprint race in Qatar, a maximum of 172 points can be won. Pérez can therefore still make up five points. If Pérez wins the sprint race, Verstappen must finish at least sixth place to secure the championship. In the current form of both Verstappen and Pérez, this seems like ABC. Will Pérez not make it to the podium? Then it doesn't matter how many points Verstappen scores.

Scenarios in which Verstappen becomes world champion in a sprint race

Scenario PérezScenario VerstappenWinP6 or higherP2P7 or higherP3P8 or higherP4 or lowerVerstappen result irrelevant If he manages to become champion during the sprint race, Verstappen will equal the record for the most races to go after the championship has been decided. The record is now in the name of Michael Schumacher, who also sealed the championship six races before the end in 2002.

Verstappen champion during the main race in Qatar

If Verstappen miraculously fails to become champion during the sprint race, there is still the race on Sunday to put things in order. It will depend on the result of the sprint race what Verstappen has to do to become champion. If you are now watching the Qatar GP and come back to this message: below you will find an overview of the number of points that drivers earn in a main race. Please note: there is an extra point here for the fastest race lap.

25 points 18 points 15 points 12 points 10 points 8 points 6 points 4 points 2 points 1 point