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WEEKEND WARM-UP: Verstappen on the brink of a third drivers' title in Qatar as the constructors' battle heats up

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The stage is set for the Qatar Grand Prix and there is only one place to begin – will this be where Max Verstappen seals his third drivers' title in a row? Our Weekend Warm-Up crew are here to discuss it all.

The Red Bull man has dominated throughout the year and scored his 13th win of the season last time out in Suzuka. In simple terms, Verstappen will be crowned champion if he leaves Qatar with a lead of 146 points or more over second-placed Sergio Perez.

NEED TO KNOW: The most important facts, stats and trivia ahead of the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix

Even if Perez wins Saturday's Sprint, Verstappen will secure the title by finishing sixth or higher. Anything could, of course, happen throughout the Sprint weekend at the Lusail International Circuit but you'd be hard pushed to find someone who doesn't believe Verstappen will seal the deal in Qatar and join a list of legendary former champions with three titles.

But it's not just the Dutchman looking to make a mark in Qatar. Can McLaren continue their spectacular form after a double podium in Japan? The Papaya team have Aston Martin's current P4 place in the constructors' table locked in their sights and they hold the momentum.

There will also be plenty of eyes on the P2 battle, with Mercedes and Ferrari separated by just 20 points.

For a full discussion on all the hot topics out in Qatar, click on the video player above to watch Laura Winter, Will Buxton and Lawrence Barretto in the latest instalment of the Weekend Warm-Up show.

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