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NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 09: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing and the Red Bull Racing team celebrate after the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone Circuit on July 09, 2023 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Verstappen a winning machine, losers behind an F1 lottery

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 09: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing and the Red Bull Racing team celebrate after the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone Circuit on July 09, 2023 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Max Verstappen is running away with the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship to such an extent that the Red Bull driver, a winning machine this season, is unsure who his main rival for the title is anymore… if anyone!

Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez is mathematically closest, and fighting with the same equipment, but the Mexican is already a whopping 99 points behind the soon-to-be triple F1 World champion after 10 of 22 races.

Perez has also not been the closest driver to Verstappen at the chequered flag since he was second in Miami in May, six races ago. While Verstappen has won the last six races in a row, most recently at Silverstone’s British Grand Prix on Sunday, and has had five different teams and drivers finish second in that same period.

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After Perez, it was Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso in Monaco, Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton in Spain, Alonso again in Canada, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in Austria and McLaren’s Lando Norris in Britain.

“It’s very confusing to me because every single race weekend, it’s someone else,” said the Dutch 25-year-old after celebrating his eighth win of the season, this time at the British Grand Prix last Sunday and Red Bull’s record-equalling 11th in a row.

Verstappen: The stable factor so far is every single weekend it seems like we’re on top

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 09: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone Circuit on July 09, 2023 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

“I think it’s because it’s so close behind that if you get your car in a little bit of a better window, it works on one particular track So for me, I don’t know what’s going to happen in Hungary to be honest, who is going to be quick or the second quickest,” he added, referring to the next race at Budapest’s Hungaroring.

“The stable factor so far is that every single weekend, it seems like we are on top, which of course is the most important from our side,” reasoned the Dutch ace.

Verstappen is now effectively four races clear of Perez. The countdown has already started to where he might win his third crown.

Japan, at the end of September with six races to spare, does not look too outlandish a suggestion at Verstappen’s current rate of points accumulation. Still, it could be even earlier if the Mexican has a meltdown.

Schumacher won 11 races from 17 in 2002 when he dominated F1 with Ferrari

Schumacher celebrates Ferrari

The Red Bull pair were level-pegging after four races with two wins each but Perez’s challenge then ran out of road. Since round four in Baku, Verstappen’s lead has accelerated from six points to 14 to 39 to 53 to 69 to 81 to 99. There is every chance of the champion going into the August break with a five-race cushion.

The most dominant season of the modern F1, so far was Michael Schumacher’s 2002 F1 title sealed with Ferrari after 11 of 17 races.

Verstappen’s eight wins from 10 suggest his own record of 15 for a single season set last year is in danger, even if Red Bull stop developing the 2023 car to focus on 2024.

Simple mathematics already say that with 12 races remaining, and a win worth 25 points with 18 for second, Verstappen could clinch his third title without having to win another grand prix this season.

As for McLaren’s showing at Silverstone, Verstappen reckoned: “At the end of the day you just have to focus on yourself throughout the whole weekend and then you just find out anyway what happens behind you, right? Let’s see what the next race will bring again.” (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)

2023 F1 world championshipo standings after round 10 silverstone british gp verstappen red bull leaders