A pesar de que Verstappen se ha asegurado el título, la F1 aún reserva seis emocionantes alicientes para lo que queda de este año.


A pesar de que Verstappen se ha asegurado el título, la F1 aún reserva seis emocionantes alicientes para lo que queda de este año.

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Over the past weekend, the Losail International Circuit crowned Max Verstappen as the world champion for the third consecutive year. This momentous feat was achieved during the sprint race on Saturday, with six races still remaining in the season. Just two weeks prior, Red Bull had secured their constructor’s title, effectively sealing the deal for the 2023 World Championship, even though Formula One still has stops in Austin, Mexico, Interlagos, Las Vegas, and Abu Dhabi ahead.

The fact that both championships have already been decided doesn’t mean the season has concluded. There’s still plenty at stake for the teams, both in the current campaign and looking ahead to the next. The drivers, too, have their battles to fight for the highest possible placement. Only Max Verstappen’s position is guaranteed in the standings. From there on, the incentives are significant for the rest.

Runner-Up Titles As mentioned, Verstappen and Red Bull have clinched their respective titles, and no one can take these trophies away from them. What remains uncertain is which team and which driver will finish the year as runners-up. In the constructor’s standings, Mercedes currently holds the second position with 326 points. Just 28 points behind is Ferrari, which has shown notable progress after the summer break, securing several podium finishes and even a victory in Singapore with Carlos Sainz. It appears clear, however, that these three teams will dominate the final podium.

In the driver’s category, the table also exhibits a tight race from the second position onwards. Currently, it’s Checo Pérez who occupies this spot, amassing 224 points in his tally despite his inconsistent performance throughout the season. Thirty points behind is Lewis Hamilton, who missed a good opportunity to close the gap further after his accident in the first corner in Qatar. Even Fernando Alonso has a chance to challenge for the second position, trailing the Mexican by 41 points.

Aston Martin vs McLaren In the latter half of the current season, Aston Martin and McLaren have taken vastly different paths. While the former gradually moved away from the podiums they had secured early in the season, mainly with Alonso, the latter turned around their dismal start, consistently placing Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri at the front. In Losail, for instance, the Australian secured victory in the sprint race, and both drivers joined Verstappen on the podium.

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With only five races remaining, along with two more sprint events, the gap between the two teams has narrowed to just 11 points. This is primarily due to Lance Stroll’s inability to deliver strong results. The Canadian has only managed to accumulate three points in the last eight Grand Prix races, which are disappointing figures. The trend suggests that McLaren is likely to finish the year in fourth place in the standings. This would imply that Aston Martin would have more hours in the wind tunnel in the first six months of 2024.

Verstappen and Red Bull Records The Dutch driver is putting together an extraordinary season. He has secured 14 victories in 17 races, in addition to two more wins in sprint events and 10 pole positions. It’s a complete and absolute domination that shows no signs of stopping. He has the opportunity to surpass his own record of 15 wins from last year and also break the highest win percentage in a single season, currently held by Michael Schumacher with 72.22% in 2004. This season, the world champion has an 82% win rate and only needs two more wins to surpass the ‘Kaiser’. Furthermore, he’s just 22 points away from surpassing the 454 points he achieved last season.

The Austrian team, on the other hand, also has records within reach, particularly in terms of victories in a single season. The highest historical win count is held by Mercedes in 2016, when they won 19 out of 21 races in that championship, accounting for 90% of the races. Between Verstappen and Pérez, they have accumulated 16 wins this year, and if they manage to secure victory in four of the remaining five races, they will surpass the total number achieved by the Germans and also surpass their win percentage.

Ferrari Showdown Among the top five teams in the standings, the difference between their drivers is significant in favor of Verstappen, Hamilton, Alonso, and Lando Norris. Only in Ferrari is there equality between the two teammates. Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc have maintained a healthy rivalry for three seasons now, both vying to be the number one driver for the prestigious Italian team. However, it has always been stated from the management that both are on equal footing. In their two full seasons together, they have shared the honor of finishing ahead of each other.

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The Spaniard has been ahead of Leclerc for most of this year. However, not being able to compete in Qatar due to a mechanical issue has narrowed the gap between them to just eight points. Leclerc has secured three podium finishes compared to Sainz’s two. Nevertheless, Sainz managed to clinch the only victory this season that did not go to Red Bull. With both drivers under contract until 2024, the end of the season could prove pivotal.

The Sole Vacant Seat for 2024 Nine out of ten teams have already finalized their driver pairings for the upcoming season. Hamilton (Mercedes), Tsunoda and Ricciardo (Alpha Tauri), and Zhou (Alfa Romeo) recently extended their contracts. Currently, there’s only one seat available, and it’s at Williams. The British outfit granted a drive this year to Logan Sargeant, who hasn’t managed to finish any race in the points. The team states that the American still has time to meet the objectives set at the beginning of the year to secure another season, but his opportunities are dwindling.

The Quest for 33 If there’s one thing that has excited Spanish fans this year, it’s the possibility of seeing Fernando Alonso clinch a Formula 1 victory a decade after his last one. The Asturian is having an outstanding season, standing on the podium seven times (with three second places and four third places). However, the elusive 33rd victory in the Grand Prix still eludes him. He has five races ahead to try to bring some joy in his debut year with Aston Martin.



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