Max Verstappen can finally clinch his third Drivers' title at the Qatar Grand Prix, having dominated the season with 13 wins to his name out of 16 races so far.
After scoring the maximum amount of points on offer at Suzuka, he now leads Sergio Perez by 177 points in the championship. There is a maximum of 180 points still on offer in the last six races, which includes 156 during the Grands Prix and 24 from the remaining Sprint races.
Mathematically Verstappen can take the title as early as the Sprint race in Qatar on Saturday, which would make him the first driver to win a championship before a Grand Prix has begun in 35 years.
The last time this happened was when Nigel Mansell withdrew from the 1987 Japanese Grand Prix after a crash during Friday practice, effectively handing the title to Nelson Piquet.
Even if Verstappen does not finish the Sprint race, Perez must be at least 3rd on the road to keep the championship alive.
If Perez finishes lower than fourth in the Sprint race, regardless of where Verstappen is the Dutchman will be crowned World Champion.
VERSTAPPEN is CHAMPION IN THE SPRINT RACE if...
|7.||Provided Perez doesn't win|
|8.||Provided Perez finishes P3 or lower|
Win on Sunday?
In the worst scenario for Verstappen where he scores zero points and Perez wins, he can still take the title on Sunday.
An eighth position during the Qatar GP will be good enough for him to seal a third title. Perez would need to win the race and hope for Verstappen to finish outside of the top eight for him to keep his chances alive.