Verstappen could also aim for a special record: The record for the most victories in a Formula 1 season is 13, the record is shared by Michael Schumacher (2004) and Sebastian Vettel (2013). Verstappen still has eight races with Zandvoort to at least set the record. “It will be great that my family will support me,” said the Dutchman. “It’s going to be pretty crazy.” Verstappen made his home fans cheer as early as 2021 when he made his comeback in the dunes after 36 years. And another record could fall in the last few races: Sebastian Vettel (155 points ahead of Fernando Alonso in 2013) still holds the record for the World Championship triumph with the largest point advantage.
What about the title race?
So everything currently speaks for a renewed world champion Verstappen. The Dutchman and Red Bull seem to have rushed even the biggest competitor Ferrari, the Scuderia keeps failing in itself. Verstappen is currently 98 points ahead of his supposed rival Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari. Even a winning streak would only bring the Monegasque slowly – Verstappen would also have to have a sudden phase of weakness. Only then would his lead shrink.
Will Ferrari come back again?
At least that is the hope of the Italian fans and the traditional Scuderia itself. Because the start of the season was so promising, Leclerc was considered a title candidate after a strong first race. In the meantime, however, the Monegasse has fallen to third place in the drivers’ standings. So it’s going to be very difficult. Already last weekend at the first Grand Prix after the summer break, Ferrari was outclassed by Red Bull, there was the next painful demonstration. The pressure is also increasing on team boss Mattia Binotto. “We have to try to improve,” says Binotto. Leclerc remains realistic: “I don’t think there will be a few miracles next week that we’re very close to Red Bull.”
Who else is in the spotlight?
Quite a lot of eyes are on Mick Schumacher at the moment. The 23-year-old will probably no longer be part of the Ferrari academy from the end of the year. His sponsorship contract is said to be expiring – Schumacher has long been a regular driver in Formula 1. Otherwise, the future from 2023 is uncertain: Whether he will also drive for the small Haas team in the coming year remains questionable, without a contractual commitment at Ferrari, however, he is now also an option for other teams. For Schumacher, every race is currently an application drive.
The case of Oscar Piastri also remains interesting. The Australian, who has not yet contested a Formula 1 race, wants to go to McLaren, but Alpine claims his services. An arbitral tribunal should now clarify this, and the rest of the transfer market should also be at rest until a decision is made.