Max Verstappen won his second Drivers’ Championship title in the Japanese Grand Prix, continuing his dominance in Formula 1.
The defending champion sealed the crown with four races to go in what was his 12th Grand Prix win of the season.
Verstappen will be hoping to make it a hat-trick of victories in 2023. The Red Bull driver will once again be the man to beat, but here is a look at who his biggest challengers could be next season.
Lewis Hamilton wins seventh Formula One title, equalling Schumacher’s record https://t.co/C8Ja7YfnRj pic.twitter.com/eF7US5JEOs
— FRANCE 24 (@FRANCE24) November 15, 2020
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is on course for his worst finish to an F1 season. However, he has vowed to return in 2023 and he is optimistic that Mercedes will bounce back with a better car.
Hamilton has failed to win a single race so far this season but will be hoping to put that right before the campaign comes to an end. He is 12/1 in the sports betting odds to win the United States Grand Prix in Texas, a race he has previously been successful in on six occasions. Mercedes have plenty of time to fix the issues which have plagued the team in 2022. Although Hamilton will be 38 by the time the new season comes around, Verstappen will be fully aware of how big of a threat the joint-record holder for the most titles will be.
Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez could make it a 1-2 for Red Bull this season in the Drivers’ Championship standings as many sports betting tips have considered. Following the Japanese Grand Prix, the Mexican was just behind the champion in second place.
Perez has had wins in Monaco and Singapore this season and has also been very consistent with nine podium finishes. If he can convert some of his second and third-place results to victories in 2023, he will be right in the mix for the title.
We have seen some great rivalries among teammates in F1 over the last couple of decades, and a Verstappen-Perez dual has the makings of being another. Red Bull should support both men in their bid for the title, and both are worthy.
Carlos Sainz Jr
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr has had the best season of his career in F1. He scored over 200 points for the first time and showed what he was capable of when he took the chequered flag at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone back in July.
Carlos Sainz earns his 1st career win in Formula 1 in his 150th Grand Prix start. He becomes the 8th driver to win their 1st F1 race in the British Grand Prix (1st since 1995).
Sainz joins Fernando Alonso as the only Spanish-born drivers to win an F1 race. pic.twitter.com/4hhdVxEiTQ
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 3, 2022
The 28-year-old should go into 2023 full of confidence. Ferrari has shown they can be competitive in the Constructors’ Championship, and with two drivers who are improving every year, they will be hoping for their first world champion since Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.
Sainz Jr has been on the podium eight times already in 2022. He is now familiar with being in contention for just about every Grand Prix he lines up in. With further improvements over the winter, Ferrari and their Spanish driver can push Verstappen even harder next year.
The 2023 F1 season begins with the Bahrain Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit between March 3-5.