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Max Verstappen

Verstappen's bid to continue unique F1 record in Singapore GP

Max Verstappen has the chance to join a very unique list of names should he claim victory in this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix.

Verstappen Alonso
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To news overview © XPBimages

In winning the last five Formula 1 races on the trot and 11 of 16 in 2022, Max Verstappen enters the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend as overwhelming favourite to claim his 32nd victory.

The reigning World Champion can wrap up the title at Marina Bay, if his lead is 138 points or more on Sunday evening.

It currently stands at 116 points, with Charles Leclerc needing eighth place or better if Verstappen does indeed win. If the Dutchman outscores the Monegasque by 22 or more points, it is over.

Despite the inherent pace advantage of the Red Bull, in Verstappen's hands at least, he can also take comfort from a statistical oddity in the Singapore Grand Prix – and the drivers that win it.

Singapore and the World Champions

The first Singapore Grand Prix was held in 2008, with 12 races in total in the World Championship before the COVID-19-forced hiatus.

Every one of them has been won by a Formula 1 World Champion.

Split between four drivers, Verstappen has the chance to become the fifth champion to conquer the streets of Marina Bay.

Singapore GP winners are all World Champions

Year Race winner Team
2008 Fernando Alonso Renault
2009 Lewis Hamilton McLaren
2010 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
2011 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
2012 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
2013 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
2014 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2015 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
2016 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
2017 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2018 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2019 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari

Rosberg the odd one out

Sebastian Vettel is the most successful driver in the history of the race with five wins, with his 2019 success being his last in F1 to date.

Vettel is retiring at season's end, but Aston Martin are confident that their car will able to perform better on the high downforce nature of the track, a circuit that Vettel has always gone well at.

His 2013 win was the most crushing of his entire career in his run of nine successive wins.

Fernando Alonso's first victory in 2008 was controversial, after teammate Nelson Piquet Jr was infamously ordered to crash by the Renault team in order to bring a Safety Car out to aid the short-fuelled Spaniard.

The resulting rush to the pits allowed Alonso to leapfrog to the front of the train and claim the win – and he was allowed to keep it after the FIA investigated.

As for Hamilton, his 2018 title was perhaps built on one of the most stunning qualifying laps in the history of Formula 1. On a track which historically didn't suit the Mercedes, he pumped in a 1:36.015 on his first Q3 lap.

Verstappen got close, but Hamilton had set a blistering benchmark which helped propel him to the win.

Nico Rosberg is a statistical oddity in that he is the only driver to win the race when not a World Champion.

The German's sole victory in 2016 was one of nine he collected on his way to the crown, fending off a late charge from Daniel Ricciardo. Hamilton could only manage third on a subdued weekend for the British driver.

The Singapore GP's winner's circle is an exclusive club – one that Verstappen is surely favourite to join after 61 laps on Sunday.

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: Does F1's grid penalty system need revising?

With confusion reigning for several hours over Max Verstappen's starting position for the Italian Grand Prix, does F1's grid penalty system need revising, and should there be a rule preventing races from ending under the Safety Car?

RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the key issues from the Italian Grand Prix.

F1 2022 Singapore Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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