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3-Peat King: Verstappen and Red Bull Can’t Be Stopped

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Oracle Red Bull Racing and Dutch driver Max Verstappen have pieced together an unbelievable 2022 racing season. There are 23 races on this season’s calendar, and Verstappen has won half of them already. However, this was not the way fans and critics envisioned the season playing out. Preseason buzz in March predicted an intense title battle between Verstappen and long-time rival Charles Leclerc of Ferrari. The first race of the season, Bahrain, went to Leclerc, with both Red Bulls having engine issues. Verstappen would come back to win in Saudi Arabia, and Leclerc would win in Australia. Following Australia, Red Bull found its footing and began pulling away from the rest of the field in the championship race. Both Ferrari and Red Bull are equally matched in pace and driver talent, yet Red Bull has dominated because of Ferrari’s poor strategy and reliability issues.

In a most impressive feat, Verstappen has won every race in the two triple-headers that have occurred this season, with the exception of one which saw Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz’s maiden win at the Silverstone Grand Prix in Great Britain. He took back-to-back wins in Azerbaijan and Canada before finishing P7 in Silverstone. In the next triple-header, which saw three races take place between Aug. 28 and Sept. 11, Verstappen was victorious. The team thrives off of momentum and is currently on a five-race winning streak. No team on the grid can challenge Red Bull, as its pace and inability to lose, it seems, prevents other drivers from battling for a win. Verstappen won his 11th race this past weekend at Autodromo Nazionale Monza, the Italian Grand Prix. Now, he sets his sights on winning his second title in Singapore.

Verstappen could secure the 2022 F1 World Championship at the Singapore Grand Prix two weeks from now, with the race weekend spanning from Sept. 30 through Oct. 2. It will not be that easy though. There is some complex math involved and poor performances required by his competitors in order for Verstappen to walk away with the trophy. There are two scenarios in which Verstappen walks away from Singapore with a title. The first set of circumstances dictate he finishes P1, rival Leclerc finishes P9 or lower without the fastest lap, and teammate Sergio Perez finishes P4 or lower without the fastest lap or P5 with the fastest lap. The second scenario is not much different. Verstappen needs to finish P1 with the fastest lap, Leclerc P8 or lower, and Perez P4 or lower. To put it simply, Verstappen needs to outscore Leclerc by 22 points, Perez by 13 and Mercedes’ George Russell by six.

Even though Verstappen could take the title in Singapore, it is much more likely he will win it at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan. There, Verstappen needs to score fewer points to extend his lead, making it much easier for him to cruise to victory. Ferrari will be putting its best foot forward in Singapore and Japan to ensure Red Bull and Verstappen don’t run away with the title that easily. You can watch Verstappen, Leclerc and the rest of the grid take on the Marina Bay Street Circuit after this two-week race break on Oct. 2 at 8 a.m. on ESPN.

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a senior at Florida State University majoring in Sport Management. she loves watching movies, listening to music, and binge-watching theme park vlogs. on Sunday mornings, you can find her watching the latest Formula 1 race.