Could Verstappen be closing into third peat?

Could Verstappen successfully defend his title in Mexico?

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25-year-old Max Verstappen of Red Bull has led the F1 2023 edition in an extremely dominant fashion, winning a total of eight grands prix out of the ten grands prix thus far, claiming second place for the two Grands Prix he could not win. This has solidified his bid for championship glory and has well-positioned him as an extremely strong candidate for the 2023 F1 Crown. The Dutch have managed to win six consecutive wins, performing superlatively throughout the season. He was also involved in a 1-2 finish at the first four Grands Prix of the season with his Red Bull counterpart, Sergio Perez. 

Currently, the two-time world champion has extended his lead in the driver`s standings to 99 points and he is poised to be closing in on the top prize. At the previous edition (2022 Season), Verstappen closed in on the world driver`s championship by winning the Japanese Grand Prix which was race 18 out of 22 races. He also capped the season with a total of 15 Grands Prix wins, setting a new record and he is only left with just 7 wins to match his own record and possibly set another one.  Verstappen also smashed another record, with a total of 454 points at the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Finale and he is set to topple his own record. 

In a 22-race season, there are still twelve more race events to be held and that is a maximum of 344 points which are up for grabs for the drivers since a total of 34 points can be scored by a driver during a race weekend with a sprint race. So the question remains, “How much is enough for Verstappen to be declared F1 2023 World Drivers Champion?

With the 99 points gap that Verstappen is comfortable enjoying currently, he could seal it all off at the Mexican Grand Prix scheduled to be held given that he maintains his current lead. 

 

A Look at Leading F1 2023 Drivers thus far:

DRIVERAVERAGE POINTS
Max Verstappen25.5
Sergio Perez15.6

After having scored an average of 25.5 points for the first ten Grands Prix conducted thus far, Verstappen`s closest rival is none other than his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez whose average performance stands at 15.6 points for the ten events thus far.

Given the momentum and trajectory which Verstappen is currently enjoying, he might as well grab a ten points average per race for the next 12 races to be conducted and still win the championship. Given that more sprint races will be conducted for the remaining race events Verstappen still needs to continue widening the gap in order to secure the top prize. The 344 points up for grabs emanate from the Hungarian Grand Prix, Belgian Grand Prix (sprint race), Dutch Grand Prix, Italian Grand Prix, Singapore Grand Prix, Japanese Grand Prix, Qatar Grand Prix (Sprint race), United States Grand Prix (sprint race), Mexican Grand Prix, Brazilian Grand Prix (sprint race), Las Vegas Grand Prix, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Given that Max maintains his 25.5-point average, and the gap he has with his closest rival, he could be declared the winner at the Qatar GP since he would be having a gap of 158.4 points whilst, after the Qatar GP, there can only be 146 points up for grabs. This is also reliant upon Sergio Perez`s performance, if Sergio maintains his pace then that would be the case however if he drops the pace, the figures are bound to change. Given a maximum of 672 points available up for grabs for a single driver, and Verstappen sitting at 255 points currently, we can assume that he needs roughly 258 points to be declared the winner given that he maintains his 99-point lead. 

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