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F1 permutations: When and where can Red Bull and Max Verstappen win 2023's Formula 1 world titles?

How Red Bull can clinch Formula 1's Constructors' Championship at Suzuka; watch the Japanese Grand Prix on Sky Sports F1 on Sunday, with the race live at 6am

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Max Verstappen took a stunning pole position in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix with Oscar Piastri joining him on the front row

Red Bull's first significant chance to clinch Formula 1's Constructors' Championship for the second year running comes at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday.

But Max Verstappen has to wait at least another two weeks and in Qatar before he gets his first shot at wrapping up his third drivers' crown.

The reigning champions' long unbeaten run ended in emphatic fashion in Singapore - meaning what had been a first remote mathematical chance to clinch the constructors' there never seriously looked on from practice onwards - but little changed in the bigger season championship picture with Red Bull having been totally dominant up to that point and making coronations for 2023 a matter of when and not if.

He now starts on a dominant pole position again at Suzuka on Sunday.

How can Red Bull win the Constructors' Championship in Japan?

To be celebrating the sixth constructors' crown in their history on Sunday, Red Bull must finish Sunday's Suzuka race holding a lead of 309 points, or more, over their nearest challengers.

That's currently second-placed Mercedes, but third-placed Ferrari are also not yet officially mathematically out of contention either after their victory in Singapore.

Red Bull currently lead Mercedes by 308 points and Ferrari by 332.

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So to win the 2023 Constructors' Championship at Suzuka, Red Bull must:

  • Outscore Mercedes by one point or more


  • Not be outscored by Ferrari by 24 points or more

The odds are certainly in their favour as Singapore was the only time this year that Red Bull had been outscored by Mercedes (by two points), while Ferrari last pulled at least 24 points out on Red Bull at a single weekend right back at 2022's season-opener in Bahrain.

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Karun Chandhok called it 'one of the greatest qualifying laps in F1 history'. Take a look at Max Verstappen's incredible pole lap at the Suzuka Circuit

Red Bull's vast win tally this year means they have long been guaranteed to win any points tie-break at the end of the season.

Were Red Bull to wrap things up in Japan, they would become the first team in history to become constructors' champions with six races left to spare in a campaign.

Suzuka is owned by Honda, who continue to have a technical partnership with Red Bull in production of the team's engines.

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Highlights of the Singapore Grand Prix from the Marina Bay Street Circuit

How soon can Max Verstappen clinch the Drivers' Championship?

The flying Dutchman didn't quite increase his points advantage by enough over team-mate Sergio Perez at Marina Bay to bring the prospect of the title into view for Japan for the second year running, but he remains firmly on course to officially wrap things up at the Qatar Grand Prix on October 6-8.

Verstappen's championship lead is up to 151 points and to be champion in Qatar he needs to be at least 146 points ahead in the standings.

The races left live on Sky Sports F1 in 2023

Date Grand Prix UK race start time
September 22-24 Japanese GP 6am
October 6-8 Qatar GP* 6pm
October 20-22 United States GP* 8pm
October 27-29 Mexico City GP 8pm
November 3-5 Sao Paulo GP* 5pm
November 17-19 Las Vegas GP 6am
November 24-26 Abu Dhabi GP 1pm
*Sprint weekend

So, with Verstappen already guaranteed to end the season with the most race wins, Perez needs to take six points or more out of him across the Japan and Qatar weekends to get the gap down to 145 points and delay his team-mate's coronation a little longer.

If you like your mathematics, then it's worth pointing out that Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are the only drivers on the grid not yet out of the equation officially, but that will no longer be the case after this Sunday in Japan unless they outscore Max by 15 points and 25 points respectively.

Get ready to set those early alarms as Formula 1 now heads to Suzuka for the Japanese GP. Watch all sessions live on Sky Sports F1 from September 22-24. Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW. Cancel anytime

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