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Max Verstappen

How Verstappen can become World Champion in Saudi Arabia

Max Verstappen has his first chance to win the F1 world title in Sunday's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. RacingNews365.com presents all the permutations.

To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool

Max Verstappen holds an eight-point lead over Lewis Hamilton heading into the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, giving him a shot at clinching what would be a maiden F1 world title - providing results go his way.

Although Verstappen's task has been made more challenging after a crash at the end of qualifying, which leaves him third on the grid, behind both Mercedes drivers, the maths are on his side with two races to go.

In fact, it is only Verstappen who can secure the crown at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, with Hamilton simply looking to overturn his deficit.

But how can the Dutchman get the job done on Sunday? RacingNews365.com runs through the various scenarios.

Verstappen has to outscore Hamilton

If Verstappen and Hamilton were to end the season on equal points, Verstappen would be the one to clinch the title, based on the fact that he has won more races than Hamilton in 2021.

Therefore, to secure it in Saudi Arabia, Verstappen has to build an advantage of 26 points (the maximum points available, with 25 points for a win and one point for fastest lap). Given his current eight-point lead, it means outscoring Hamilton by 18 points.

There are four ways in which the Red Bull driver can do this.

How Verstappen can win the title in Jeddah

  • Verstappen wins the race and sets the fastest lap (26 points), whilst Hamilton finishes sixth or lower (maximum eight points)
  • Verstappen wins the race but does not set the fastest lap (25 points), whilst Hamilton finishes seventh or lower (maximum six points)
  • Verstappen finishes second and sets the fastest lap (19 points), whilst Hamilton finishes 10th or lower (maximum one point)
  • Verstappen finishes second but does not set fastest lap (18 points), whilst Hamilton finishes outside the top 10 (no points)

All still to play for

Whilst one of these scenarios could make for a thrilling spectacle, it seems more likely that the title fight will go down to the wire in Abu Dhabi.

This could be made even more tense by the possiblity of Verstappen and Hamilton arriving at the season finale on equal points, meaning that it really would be a case of 'winner takes it all'.

Should Hamilton win in Saudi Arabia and take the point for fastest lap, with Verstappen finishing second, both would head to Abu Dhabi on 369.5 points.

What about the Constructors' Championship?

It is clearly still all to play for in the Drivers' Championship, and the same can be said for the Constructors'. Mercedes have a five-point lead over Red Bull.

For Mercedes to claim the title in Jeddah, Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas would need to outscore Verstappen and Sergio Perez by 38 points, which would perhaps only happen if Red Bull endure a disastrous race.

The only thing that currently seems certain is that the closely-fought title battle of the 2021 F1 season will end in suitably exciting fashion.

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RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

The latest news about the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix straight from Jeddah.