Next Sunday can be a very important day for Max Verstappen. The Dutchman is already able to defend his world championship title in Formula 1 at the Japanese Grand Prix (7 a.m., in the WELT live ticker). The Red Bull driver needs a perfect race to triumph. Verstappen has to win in Suzua and also set the fastest race lap. Only then can the title no longer be taken away from him.

“It would be great if it works here. But if not, then it might be even more likely to work out in the next race,” said Verstappen. With the race in Japan, the Dutchman still has five Grands Prix left to clinch the title.

Mick Schumacher is still a long way from the World Cup. The son of record world champion Michael Schumacher is currently even without a cockpit for the upcoming Formula 1 season. In the struggle for a new contract, patience is still required for the 23-year-old.

“I don’t know,” said team boss Günther Steiner on Thursday in Suzuka when asked when the US racing team Haas will announce the name of its second driver for 2023. “There’s always the same answer, I don’t want to be rude,” said Steiner and added: “I don’t enjoy always giving that answer either.” to be able to answer.

So far, Haas has only signed Kevin Magnussen from Denmark for the coming season. Schumacher is only tied to the team until the end of the year. Steiner reiterated that there is no rush to commit to someone. According to the team boss, extending with Schumacher would have an advantage: “If you can have someone you’ve worked with for two years, that’s always better than getting someone new. Then you don’t need to get used to it.”

Steiner praised Schumacher for his development, but he wanted to wait for further appearances. “He didn’t get his world championship points with luck, but through performance. I’ve always said that. The points are the result of a development,” said Steiner. The 23-year-old Schumacher is 16th overall with twelve World Cup points. He scored his last points so far in July at the Grand Prix in Austria.