What began as a close battle between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc for this years world championship has turned into nothing less than a rout by the Red Bull driver.
Verstappen is now so far ahead he could clinch the championship at the next round in Singapore, with five races still to go. And while collecting his second title Verstappen also has a strong chance of surpassing a few notable F1 records.
Its a far cry from the situation last year, when the title fight went down to the final race of the season. Instead of wondering who might take the title, as the last rounds of 2022 approach the question is just how crushing will Verstappens inevitable victory be?
*Did not win championship
In order to break the record for the most points ever scored by a driver in a single season, Verstappen needs to take slightly more than half of the available points over the final six rounds. That is certainly within his grasp: Hes scored 127 out of a possible 130 points over the last five races, missing only a few fastest lap bonus points.
The record for most points scored in a season is currently held by Lewis Hamilton. He racked up 413 points over a 21-race season in 2019, which is one round fewer than this year. Verstappen also has the advantage of three sprint races to score more points at and hes already claimed the maximum points for the two held so far, with one more to follow in Brazil.
But the 2023 F1 calendar looks likely to contain 24 races and the series is looking to add three more sprint events, meaning even more points will be on offer next year. Verstappen might not be able to crack the 500 barrier this season a perfect run over the final half-dozen rounds would see him finish on 499 but that target is surely not far off.
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