Just the right amount of luck and a beastly physique to withstand the heat and humidity of Singapore.
Max Verstappen knows that in Marina Bay he can already be crowned world champion, but also that an ideal situation is needed to celebrate with a few GPs in advance: with the prohibitive climate (the pilots lose up to 3 kg due to heat) and opponents ready to put spanner in the works, the Dutchman from Red Bull does not have too many illusions.
"I don't really think about the championship - said Verstappen, winner of 11 out of 16 races in 2022, the last five in a row -. I just want to enjoy the weekend and obviously try to win the race. I need a lot of luck for that to happen here. so I don't really count on it. "
On the Marina Bay track he returns after three seasons and offers the match point to the Dutchman, who reiterates that he needs many factors in his favor to celebrate: "In the meantime I have to win, Perez has to finish fourth or more behind and Charles Leclerc eighth down. So I mean it's a little unrealistic for that to happen, so I don't really think about it. "
Rather Verstappen is thinking about qualifying, because pole is crucial on a track where overtaking is difficult: "We have always been good in the race this year, but here the lap performance counts."
The Dutchman has never won in Singapore: it is considered the most demanding race on the calendar, also due to the extreme weather conditions.
"We haven't been to Singapore for a while, so it will be interesting to see how the track has evolved."
added Verstappen, who has a 116-point lead over Leclerc after his victory at Monza, and 125 over Perez, third in the standings.
He must reach +138 points to secure his first world victory since Michael Schumacher won in 2002 with six GPs to spare for the championship.
"I am very focused on this weekend, I don't think about the rest" added the leader of the drivers' standings.
Ferrari for its part can only try to delay the celebrations.
For other objectives, please refer again.
"They say that we are competitive here? I would say that Red Bull is too.
However, we want to give them a hard time," admitted the Spaniard from Maranello Carlos Sainz.
"Here, if you are ahead in the race, you have
more opportunities to end with the victory, for example compared to Monza - the Ferrari driver underlined -.
step worse than Mercedes and fight with Red Bull ".
In the night test, between heat, bumps, and a few straights, anything can happen.