The previous round in Italy in mid-September saw Max Verstappen claim a fifth successive victory and move ever closer to clinching the Drivers’ Championship title for himself (he holds a massive 116-point lead over nearest rival Charles Leclerc of Ferrari) and the Constructors’ Championship for Red Bull (who are 139 points clear of Ferrari).
In fact, Verstappen could clinch his title this weekend. The Dutchman would need to win the race and take the fastest lap, with Leclerc finishing ninth or lower, Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez finishing fourth or lower and Mercedes’ George Russell finishing second or lower. Or Verstappen can win without the fastest lap and clinch the title if Leclerc is ninth or lower without the extra fastest lap point.
(TOP: Mexican Formula One driver Sergio Perez – front – of Red Bull Racing and his Dutch teammate Max Verstappen (back) in action during the first practice session of the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza race track in Monza, Italy, 09 September 2022. The Formula One Grand Prix of Italy took place on 11 September 2022. Photo: EPA/MATTEO BAZZI).
Verstappen also has another record within his reach: he has 11 wins already this season, with the record for the most victories in a single campaign standing at 13 (co-held by Michael Schumacher  and Sebastian Vettel ).
“There have only been three drivers before Max who have won 11 races or more in the same year: Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton,” said Austrian racing driver Philipp Eng. “Max can even break Sebastian and Michael’s record of 13 wins in the same season. I’m sure he can do that in the next two or three races.”
Leclerc and Ferrari, meanwhile, have said that they will not give up the fight and must focus on the progress that they have made in recent weeks: “I think we cannot also forget how far we’ve come since Spa,” said the Monegasque.
“This track is not exactly for our car, I mean to say that we have expected to struggle in comparison to Red Bull,” he added. “We were fairly competitive and we did a good step forward compared to Spa so this is good.”
Elsewhere, Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes is running out of time to keep up his remarkable record of having won at least one race in every season of his F1 career, but the British driver insists this is not of importance.
“I’m grateful that each year since 2007 we’ve had an opportunity to win, and I do believe that we’re going to have a chance this year, we’ve still got some races to go,” said Hamilton. “That’s definitely a real big goal for us as a team to get back to the front end and be fighting for the lead.
“I have no idea where our car is going to be great. It was a surprise when we got in the car at Zandvoort and it felt so much better and completely different to the previous weekend [in Spa]. But I’m hoping, more often than not, it feels like Budapest and Zandvoort for the rest of the races.”
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Singapore Grand Prix broadcast details, 1-2 October 2022
All times CAT
Saturday 1 October
14:50: Qualifying – LIVE on SuperSport Motorsport and SuperSport Maximo 1
Sunday 2 October
13:55: Race – LIVE on SuperSport Motorsport and SuperSport Maximo 1