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Max Verstappen

Verstappen insists 'no emotion' over Qatar Sprint title win chances

The Dutchman could seal his third Formula 1 title if he wins the Qatar Sprint race and Sergio Perez fails to finish third or higher.

Verstappen Japan
To news overview © XPBimages

Max Verstappen said he will have "no emotion" if he wins his third Formula 1 title on Saturday during the Qatar Grand Prix Sprint race.

The Red Bull driver can clinch the title after dominating the season with 13 wins out of 16 races, having recently scored the maximum amount of points on offer at the last race in Japan.

He now leads teammate Sergio Perez by 177 points, with a maximum of 180 points still on offer in the final six races. Mathematically Verstappen can win the title during the Sprint race in Qatar, which would require Perez to finish at least third.

Verstappen's previous two title wins came in controversial fashion, when in 2021 a late Safety Car and misapplication of the rules decided the outcome of the championship battle between himself and Lewis Hamilton at the final race in Abu Dhabi.

In 2022 there was confusion over the amount of points awarded, after the Japanese Grand Prix was red flagged due to poor weather. While only 28 racing laps were completed, full points were awarded which enabled Verstappen to seal the title.

Verstappen: I don't care where I win it

Given the hostility shown by some fans over whether Sprint races should stay on the calendar, a Sprint race victory to seal a World Championship could be seen as another controversial way to end a title challenge.

When asked if he would like to take his third title on a Saturday with the Grand Prix still ahead, Verstappen told media, including RacingNews365: "No emotion. If it happens on Saturday, Sunday, or the week after, I know that it's coming. But it's not something that I'm thinking about too much."

"Maybe it's a good thing? A good night out. Might be a bit slower on the reaction time for the lights [on Sunday]. But for me, I don't really think about it.

"We're just experiencing a really amazing year as a team. Also I don't care where I win it," he added.

"It's not about 'You need to win it five races in advance' or the last one. I don't know. It's just not something that I'm really thinking about."

F1 2023 Qatar Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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