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What is the earliest a driver has clinched an F1 points title?

Max Verstappen can’t set a record in 2022, but he is on track for an impressive performance.

Michael Schumacher from Germany, driver of the #1 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F2002 Ferrari V10 making a pit stop for fuel and tyres during the Formula One San Marino Grand Prix on 14th April 2002 at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy. Photo by Darren Heath/Getty Images

The 2022 F1 season has six race remaining, but we could be a week or two from having a points champion declared. Dutch driver Max Verstappen is dominating the circuit this season and has a chance to clinch the points total this weekend at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Verstappen’s clinching scenario requires him winning the race and Charles Leclerc and Sergio Pérez finishing down the leaderboard. If Verstappen wins and also claims the fastest lap, he’ll need Leclerc to finish no higher than eighth and Pérez to finish no higher than fourth. If Verstappen wins but does not claim the fastest lap, he’ll need Leclerc to finish no higher than ninth and Pérez to finish no higher than fourth. Even if Verstappen doesn’t clinch this, he’ll likely clinch in one of the next two races.

Verstappen has dominated the circuit, but he won’t set the record for most races left in the season when he clinched the F1 points title. Michael Schumacher secured that record in 2002 when he clinched it in the 11th race of the season. There were 17 races that year and he won it with six remaining. Nigel Mansell previously held the record, winning in race 11 of 16 in 1992.

This weekend will be the 17th race of the 2022 season, with 22 total on the schedule. At best, Verstappen can match Mansell. If he does not clinch until the following week’s Japanese Grand Prix, he’d tie Schumacher (2001, 2004) and Sebastian Vettel (2011) for third most races remaining.