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Why Marko hopes Verstappen's title win waits until after Singapore

Max Verstappen could potentially secure the 2022 F1 World Championship as early as the Singapore Grand Prix. However, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko is hoping that the victory can wait until a later race.

Helmut Marko admits that he would prefer Max Verstappen to win the World Championship in Japan rather than at the forthcoming Singapore Grand Prix. There is a chance that Verstappen – who currently has a lead of 116 points in the standings – could potentially clinch the title at the Marina Bay Circuit, though this would require him to outscore closest rival Charles Leclerc by 22 points as well as claiming 13 more points than Sergio Perez. However, Marko hopes that the Dutchman's victory might instead come one week later at the Japanese Grand Prix. "From a marketing point of view, winning the title would be better in Japan, because of our engine partner Honda," Marko told Austrian broadcaster ORF . "But in general we can assume that Max will be World Champion. It's just a question of when."

How Verstappen's 2022 title bid has differed to 2021

The situation in 2022 differs greatly to Verstappen's championship bid in the previous season, where his title battle against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes went down to the wire. It was Verstappen who eventually came out on top in the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, albeit in the controversial circumstances of the race's last laps. Things have been much smoother for the 24-year-old this time around, something that Marko admits has come as a relief. "Compared to last year, it's an insanely pleasant feeling now," the Austrian said.

Marko praises Red Bull's progression throughout season

Ferrari initially looked to hold the edge in the early stages of the 2022 season, but it was Red Bull who seemed to get stronger as the campaign progressed, something that Marko is proud of. "We were 46 points behind after three races," he explained. "That was predominantly due to the car being overweight. The first failure was caused by a weight-saving measure. The second failure was due to technical reasons. Due to the excess weight, the car was initially pushing over the front axle. "We successively introduced a weight reduction – something like two, three kilos per race. On top of that came a brisk development programme. "We were mainly concerned with the front end of the car when we made the improvements. Max needs a car that really bites at the front, i.e. turns in very spontaneously. What then happens with the rear doesn't interest Max so much. "Our car got better and better, Ferrari on the other hand had technical defects, plus driving errors, and so the gap turned into a comfortable lead for us over time." Red Bull currently lead Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship by 139 points with six races remaining.

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