By Efosa Taiwo

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen could clinch a second world championship when the Singapore Grand Prix returns this weekend after a three-year absence owing to COVID.

The blazing Dutchman has a mathematical chance to seal back-to-back world titles under lights around the spectacular and demanding Marina Bay street circuit.

To achieve this, the 24-year-old must win the race – something he has never done in Singapore – and needs his closest rivals to falter badly.

If that does not happen, the championship fight will move on to the Japanese Grand Prix a week later. It looks a case of when, not if.

“You need a bit of luck for that as well,” Verstappen told Sky Sports of retaining his crown in Singapore.

“I don’t think about it.”

Verstappen opened up a 116-point lead in the drivers’ standings over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc following his victory at the Italian Grand Prix. He is 125 clear of third-placed Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez.

He needs to extend his lead to 138 points by Sunday’s chequered flag to be crowned with five races to spare – the earliest championship win since Michael Schumacher’s in 2002 with six GPs remaining.

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