The Dutch Max Verstappen (Red Bull) has it in his power to become world champion of Formula 1 for the third time in a row this weekend in the Qatar Grand Prix, eighteenth round of the World Championship that takes place on the circuit of Losaila triple crown that could be achieved in the ‘Sprint’ race, while Mercedes will defend its runner-up position in Constructors against an improved Ferrari, and Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) focuses the final stretch with the challenge of not falling in performance.
The reigning champion returned to his strengths in Suzuka two weeks ago, forgetting his worst weekend in more than a year of dominance, to caress the title and the third crown. The Dutchman already has 400 points at the head of the Drivers’ standings, 177 more than the second, his teammate, the Mexican. Sergio ‘Checo’ Pérez (223), which he abandoned on the Japanese track, handing the championship to ‘Mad Max’.
So, Verstappen’s comfortable advantage in the World Championship in the table turns the Qatar GP into a ‘match ball’ after achieving his thirteenth victory in the 16 races held so far. In a weekend that distributes more points for the ‘Sprint’, the current champion would only need to finish sixth in this Saturday’s ‘mini-race’ to win the title; or lead the Mexican by 146 points or more when the GP ends.
Verstappen also signed his thirtieth pole position in F1 – the tenth of the season – by being the fastest in the third and decisive round of qualifying (Q3). He covered, with the soft tire, the 5,419 meters of the newly paved track of the circuit on the outskirts of Doha in one minute, 23 seconds and 778 thousandths, 296 less than the Englishman Lando Norris (McLaren), who will start alongside him from the first row.
Alonso, fourth in the World Championship, 16 points behind Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – who is third – will start from the second rowalongside the seven-time English world champion, who will start from third place on the Sunday grid. Carlos Sainzfor its part, which will start from the twelfth square.
Where to watch Formula 1 races
Those who are not lucky enough to be able to occupy a place in the stands can always settle for follow the excitement of the ‘Great Circus’ on television. Once again, those in charge of broadcasting Formula 1 in Spain are Dazn and Movistar+, which share broadcast. In principle, none of the grand prizes can be seen openly.
If you don’t have access to these options, you can always follow the races live on our live broadcast.
F1 Qatar GP sprint race schedule
Saturday October 7
Sprint race: 6:30 p.m.