There could be six more Grands Prix in the next two months, but Max Verstappen is already tipped to win the 2022 Formula 1 World Championship.
Verstappen could take second place in Singapore next week. When he does, he will join the number of top single-seater champions crowned this year.
Stoffel Vandoorne won the Formula E title in August. IndyCar already has a champion, with Will Power claiming his second title earlier this month, and Linus Lundqvist taking the lightsaber crown.
There’s not much to contend for on the F1 support bill for either, with Alpine junior Victor Martins crowned at the end of the Formula 3 season at Monza, and new Aston Martin junior Felipe Drugovic wrapping up his Formula 2 title earlier that weekend.
The W Series returns to action at the Singapore Grand Prix next month. But he has his own Verstappen-style situation, with nobody looking likely to stop Jamie Chadwick from winning the title for a third season in a row.
Even in Super Formula, Japan’s top-level open-wheel series, there is an unusual level of dominance that means Tomoki Nojiri could become a two-time champion.
So if you’re a single seater fan, where can you find a real title fight now?
The good news is that while Super Formula can be somewhat predictable, the F3-level feeder series’ SF lights have discredited single-driver dominance. The title fight between Toyota-backed Kazuto Kotaka and Honda Junior Kakunoshin Ota takes place in Okayama this weekend.
Kotaka has won two of Ohta’s seven races, but the more experienced Ohta has won more poles. At the end of the season, they are 35 points away and 13 points behind.
Japanese Formula 4 also has a heated front-to-back battle between Honda juniors Yusuke Mitsui and Seun Koide and Toyota junior Rin Arakawa with two rounds to go. They could continue their rivalry with SF Lights next year, or Honda could decide to send the two drivers to Europe, as it did with Red Bull juniors Yuki Shunoda and Ayumu Iwasa.
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The battle for the GB3 title between 2020 British F4 Champion Luke Browning and 2020 Formula Nordic Champion Joel Granfors is sure to be a must-see for the prize F3 test. They are split by 16.5 points at Donington Park with one round to go next month.
On their support bill is GB4, Britain’s second F4 series. This boasts a five-way fight heading into Donington, but current points leader Nicholas Taylor and Max Marzorati are the most genuine title contenders. Regardless of who wins, this series is sure to produce an especially close contest.
German ADAC F4 series Mercedes junior Andrea Kimi has runaway leader Antonelli but is unlikely to contest the final round at the Nürburgring next month. This gives former Nico Rosberg defender Taylor Barnard a chance to make amends in the points table.
There are enough races left to run in US F4 to provide a long list of contenders, while Denmark F4 is another series where the title fight will hinge on the top two. Both will advance to the final round.
Huw Barter is on the back foot in the French F4 title fight as he was ineligible for points in two events due to previous circuit experience. But his form suggests he can overturn his 32-point deficit to Alessandro Giusti, which could set up a final challenge for the crown at Paul Ricard next month.
Finally, one of the most amazing series has yet to start. Australia’s S5000 Tasman series uses cars based on the same Formula 1 regional-spec chassis as the W Series, but fitted with a 560bhp Ford Coyote V8 engine. It revived the Tasman name used in the sixties for the winter series, which many F1 drivers disputed.
The three-round series visits three famous tracks and will feature a host of professional racing drivers, as well as rising talent from the junior single-seater and stock car scene of the southern hemisphere. Former IndyCar road venue Surfers Paradise kicks off the race on Queensland’s coastal streets in late October, followed by the formidable Mount Panorama for round two in November.
Finally, the S5000 will support Australian Supercars on the streets of Adelaide in December, which has previously hosted F1. If the five-round streak from earlier this year is anything to go by, expect plenty of action.
Which of these series do you watch? And are there any title fights outside of the single-seater world you’ve got your eye on?
Let us know in the comments.
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