In the round-up: Runaway F1 points leader Max Verstappen says he isn’t thinking about winning his second world championship this weekend.
Verstappen’s focus not on title this weekend
Verstappen can clinch his second world championship in three days’ time but he says he is keeping thoughts of that from his mind.
The Red Bull driver leads by 116 points after winning the last five grands prix. If his lead is at least 138 points by Sunday evening he will win the title.
A race win with Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc finishing far enough behind will make him championship again. But he says he isn’t dwelling on the arithmetic.
“I don’t really think about the championship,” he said. “I just want to have a positive weekend on track and take it race by race, there’s no rush.”
F1 is racing in Singapore for the first time since 2019, the last two races having been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We haven’t been to Singapore for a while so it will be interesting to see how the track has evolved,” he said. “It’s definitely one of the best races of the year and it’s a beautiful place to be. It’s important to have a good qualifying lap here so we’ll be focussing on that.
“During the race we just have to be ready for anything as there’s usually a lot of Safety Cars. In general, it’s a challenging circuit, the humidity is tough on the body and it’s very difficult to do a perfect lap because of tight turns and how close the walls are.”
Singapore extends DRS zones for F1’s return
The first and third DRS zones on the Marina Bay street circuit have been extended by five metres each for F1’s return this weekend.
The first DRS zone, on the straight between turns five and six, used to begin 53 metres after turn five. For 2022, the activation point has been moved back five metres so drivers can use DRS 48m after the corner.
The second DRS zone, situation after the turn 13 hairpin with its detection point on the preceding bridge section, is unchanged. However the third zone, which used to begin 48m after the final corner, will now start 43m after the apex of turn 23.
W Series wants to add reversed-grid races
W Series’ CEO Catherine Bond Muir says she would like to see reversed-grid races again in her championship, after the series successfully trialled the format in 2019.
A non-championship race was held at Assen that year as W Series supported the DTM, and the victory battle was decided in a photo finish. Since then it has run on the F1 support bill, where scheduling has been tighter, although it has been able to hold two races in a weekend twice last year and twice this year.
But although the championship could be clinched this weekend by Jamie Chadwick, who has dominated much of the 2022 season, Bond Muir said the series is unlikely to vary its format to add interest to the final rounds.
“I just don’t think that under our rules we’re able to do that quickly,” she explained. “I think with DTM, we had a lot more time and that reversed-grid race was an extra race, so to speak.
“And racing with F1, our time is limited and very prescribed. So unfortunately, in this instance, I don’t think we can. But it would be nice to have and I definitely would love to have a reversed grid again, given how good it was in 2019. But at the moment, that’s not to be this season.”
Exclusive Autosport makes first Road to Indy signings
Exclusive Autosport ran Louis Foster to this year’s Indy Pro 2000 title, and the team has already started filling its books for 2023.
Its IP2000 line-up will be bolstered by the arrival of Yuven Sundaramoorthy, who came 10th in his rookie season this year. Before that he won races in USF2000, where Exclusive has retained Jacob Douglas for a second season.
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On this day in motorsport
- 20 years ago today Michael Schumacher tried to orchestrate a dead heat in the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis – and accidentally let Ferrari team mate Rubens Barrichello win by 0.011 seconds