Most likely, it will be the Lusail circuit, home to the Qatar Grand Prix, to crown Max Verstappen Formula 1 world champion for the third time in his extraordinary career. The Dutch driver, who recently turned 26, has the chance to seal the deal with a sixth-place finish in this Saturday’s Sprint race – a result certainly within reach for a Red Bull team that has won 14 of the 15 races held so far.
The Dutch champion will thus enter the exclusive pantheon of three-time world champions and will be able to face absolute legends of the category such as Jack Brabham, Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Nelson Piquet, and Ayrton Senna. From next year, Max Verstappen can challenge the five drivers ahead of him: Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel at four titles, Juan Manuel Fangio at five, and Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton at seven.
Compliments from the Ferrari drivers
In Formula 1, being in the right place at the right time is crucial, and if Max Verstappen, at the age of 26, can already be a three-time world champion, the two Ferrari drivers, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, will look at their almost coeval with envy for what he has achieved. The Monegasque, who will turn 26 on October 16, has only won 5 GPs in his career, while Carlos Sainz, who turned 29 in September, has won just 2 races. In other words, the two Ferrari drivers have never had the best car in the field.
Carlos Sainz wanted to speak about Max Verstappen’s third title: “Max is about to become a very important figure in Formula 1 history for me. I had the privilege and opportunity to drive alongside him at Toro Rosso and see what he had that was special, and I experienced it firsthand. The only thing is that I would like him to win these championships with a bit more pressure because we have not been able to put him under pressure in the last two years.” – the Ferrari man pointed out.
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Compliments to Max Verstappen from Charles Leclerc: “He’s very talented. We’ve been competing together since karting. Now it’s only a matter of time before he gets his third title, but he fully deserves it because he’s once again had an incredible season. He’s been very consistent in any conditions and on any track, so he certainly deserves it,” explained the two drivers to Sky Italia, ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix weekend.