Max Verstappen goes into the returning Singapore Grand Prix this weekend knowing that he has his first opportunity to wrap up his second consecutive Drivers’ Championship, should results go his way.
With a 116-point-lead over Charles Leclerc, and with only six races remaining, Verstappen could win the title at the first race at the Marina Bay Circuit since 2019.
The highly popular race, which is regarded as one of the most demanding on the calendar due to its high temperatures and humidity, was cancelled like most Asian races in 2020 and 2021, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
However, the race returns this weekend, and it’s interestingly one of the very few venues the Dutchman hasn’t won at.
His best result at Singapore was in 2018 where he finished second, to become a double World Champion this weekend, though, he will most likely need to win.
If Verstappen wins a sixth consecutive race of the season and gets the fastest lap, then Leclerc must finish in the top eight or Sergio Pérez must cross the line in the top four, if neither happens then the Dutchman will successfully have retained his 2021 Drivers’ Championship.
This weekend is important for two other reasons, though, as the Dutch driver is closing in on other impressive milestones.
The 24-year-old has won 11 races so far this season and is two behind Sebastian Vettel’s and Michael Schumacher’s joint record of 13 victories in a single season.
Verstappen could match this record at next weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, and then eclipse it at the United States Grand Prix.
He’s also closing in on the record for most consecutive victories, which is another joint record shared once again by Vettel, but also with double World Champion Alberto Ascari.
The current record sits at nine consecutive victories, something Verstappen can match at the Brazilian Grand Prix but make his own at the season finale at Abu Dhabi.
It is a record that many thought would never be beaten; however, given the form the number 33 is currently in, it would be foolish to write him off from beating the milestone.
Vettel became incredibly emotional when he matched the record in 2013, where he shared how “proud” he was with his former Red Bull side.
“Guys, I am so proud of you,” Vettel said over his team’s radio after winning the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix.
“I love you. Remember this, enjoy this moment. Yes, we did it! This is unbelievable.”