Why a Qatar sprint race coronation for Verstappen befits a dull 2023 F1 season
Max Verstappen could foreseeably wrap up his third Formula 1 world championship title during the sprint race for this weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix. It has been a case of when, not if, given the Dutchman’s domination of the 2023 campaign and would, in some ways, be a fitting detail in a season that hasn’t been a classic
There’s no need to feel sorry for Max Verstappen. He’s on the cusp of becoming a three-time Formula 1 world champion, after all. But for a driver presently operating at such a consistently high level, perhaps he deserves to wrap up one of his titles in something approaching ‘normal fashion’.
The last-lap farce of Abu Dhabi 2021 was met by Mercedes seeking immediate legal counsel to throw the result into doubt. Few could get their points permutations correct for a rain-shortened Suzuka contest last year that left Verstappen to eventually find out his fate courtesy of a parc ferme chat with the FIA.