Despite being on the brink of claiming a second consecutive World Drivers’ Championship, Max Verstappen appears to be as relaxed as ever before, and with a 116-point lead it’s understandable why.
The Dutchman was seen with McLaren star and close friend Lando Norris, with the pair in a restaurant with a large group of friends celebrating one of their birthdays.
The duo became close over the last few years through Esports, with Verstappen and Norris happening to drive for the same online simulation team, Team Redline.
The side are one of the most successful in the motorsport-sim world, with the pair having claimed many a race victories and championships.
Verstappen has previously stated before that he takes sim-racing just as seriously as real-life racing, with the Dutchman having admitted he at times will spend hours discussing set-ups for the competitive sim side.
The reigning World Champion’s skillset actually takes him beyond driving a real and simulated racing car, with the 24-year-old also, incredibly, being one of the top FIFA players in the world.
Former team-mate, Alex Albon has even revealed that he’d quite often spot the Dutch driver playing the popular football videogame before and after F1 sessions, something cameras have even captured themselves.
You would have to imagine that Red Bull have made their Dutch superstar reign in his FIFA playing time, with the championship leader on the brink of retaining his controversial 2021 title.
At the recent Italian Grand Prix, Verstappen claimed his first ever victory at the ‘Temple of Speed’, in what was his fifth win in a row thanks to a run which started back at the French Grand Prix.
The Dutchman boasts an almost uncatchable 116-point-lead over another friend of his, Charles Leclerc.
This is largely thanks to Ferrari’s woeful reliability and inability to perform a successful strategy.
Verstappen to his credit, has also won an unthinkable 11 race victories, putting him within touching distance of one of the sport’s greatest records.
Should Verstappen win at Singapore, then he could match Sebastian Vettel’s and Michael Schumacher’s joint record of 13 victories in a single season at the Japanese Grand Prix; however, the number 33 could make the record his own at the following event in the United States.
He could wrap the title up at the Marina Bay Circuit next weekend, but it will most likely require a DNF or a shockingly poor result by Leclerc.
This could very well happen given Ferrari’s issues with their power unit this season, for which they’ve suffered three retirements this year as a result of.
Leclerc’s engine failed whilst leading at Barcelona and Azerbaijan, Carlos Sainz’s also gave way whilst attempting to overtake Verstappen at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Given how humid and hot the race at Singapore is, the Maranello-based team may well be concerned that their engine could well give way, something which would most likely guarantee Verstappen the chance to claim a second world title.