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What would this season look like without Max Verstappen?

The 2023 season has been dominated by Max Verstappen – but what would the points table look in his absence?

Marshals on the gri with the national flag

Marshals on the gri with the national flag

Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The impressive dominance delivered by Max Verstappen this season has masked what is actually a very competitive field in Formula One. Heading into this weekend’s season-ending event, Verstappen has won all but three of the 21 main races and collected more than double the points of his closest rival and team-mate, Sergio Perez.

In fact, Verstappen has been so dominant that he is the odds-on favourite at 2/7 to sign off his season with victory – compared to the next most fancied driver, Lando Norris, at 12/1!

Yet behind him, more than half of the other drivers on the grid have managed to get onto the podium this year - which is why nine drivers are on tight odds to do so again this weekend!

So, we wondered what the table would look like if Verstappen was taken out of the equation and all the points-scoring places, including the sprints and points for the fastest lap, were adjusted to suit.

Clearly, this could never have happened – for a start, there would have been someone else in a second Red Bull! – but anyway, for a bit of fun, it still goes to show just how competitive F1 has actually been behind the leader in 2023.

TITLE TRIUMPH

First of all, removing Verstappen would not have eliminated Red Bull’s triumph as Sergio Perez would have already claimed the world title and be heading to Abu Dhabi on 337 points (compared to the 273 points he actually has).

Despite his impressive points tally, Perez has fallen off form in the second half of the season and the odds of him actually taking a win for real in the final race are 14/1. If Verstappen does win, the chances of Perez coming second are at odds of 7/4.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Erik Junius

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

In a Verstappen-free championship, Lewis Hamilton would have sealed the runners-up spot already, heading to Abu Dhabi with 294 points (compared to his current 232), but there would still be a tough battle for third between Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris. This is the Verstappen-free top 10:

Position Driver Points
1 Sergio Perez 337
2 Lewis Hamilton 294
3 Fernando Alonso 261
4 Lando Norris 258
5 Carlos Sainz 243
6 Charles Leclerc 236
7 George Russell 202
8 Oscar Piastri 117
9 Lance Stroll 99
10 Pierre Gasly 88

RACE WINNERS

Without Verstappen hogging the top step of the podium, there would have been far more competition for race wins. In fact, instead of three winning drivers – Verstappen, Perez and Carlos Sainz – there would have been seven – Perez (6), Hamilton (3), Sainz (1), Alonso (3), Norris (5), Charles Leclerc (2) and Oscar Piastri (1).

Of those, Hamilton has not won since December 2021 in Saudi Arabia and the odds of him ending that spell this weekend – or, for that matter, Leclerc winning for Ferrari – are 16/1. Piastri, meanwhile, is at 28/1 while Alonso is far less fancied at 66/1 for the win.

PODIUM PLACINGS

A total of 11 different drivers, including Verstappen, have made it onto the podium this season. That would have changed very little without him – there would still have been 11 – but the one to benefit would have been Lance Stroll. The Canadian has failed to get his Aston Martin on the podium all year but would have done in Australia without Verstappen ahead of him. The odds of a top-three for him this weekend are 100/1!

POINTS SCORERS

Negating the leading Red Bull’s points would hand a lot more out to the drivers at the bottom end of the table. Logan Sargeant, for example, currently has just one point but would have had three more, while Kevin Magnussen would have six and Zhou Guanyu would have double his current total with 12. The odds of any of those drivers getting another point for real are 5/1 for Guanyu, 6/1 for Magnussen and 8/1 for Sargeant.

Alex Albon would have gained significantly in this scenario, gaining almost 20 points more than his already impressive 27 for Williams. He has scored twice in the last four races and will be hoping to sign off the season with another top 10 – the odds of which are 7/4 or 12/1 for a top-six finish.

LAST HURRAH

All that said, Verstappen WILL be on the grid for the season finale (unless anything unexpected occurs) and win number 19 could well be just around the corner. That would be an astonishing three more than the record of 16 that he set last season.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, in Parc Ferme

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, in Parc Ferme

The Dutch driver has even managed to secure pole, victory and fastest lap on five occasions this year and the odds of him adding a sixth are 2/1 – making that still more likely than anyone else simply winning the race!

The rest of the field, at least, does have something to fight for – as just four points separates Ferrari from Mercedes in the chase for second place in the constructors’ championship. In terms of odds, both are valued the same to do so, at 10/11.

KEEP TRACK OF THE ACTION

To keep track of the action, wherever you are, the F1 Live Tracker from bet365 – is a good place to go – covering all the information you could possibly need, from all the practice sessions, through qualifying, sprints and the race itself.

It allows users to track each driver’s position from the starting grid to the finish, live throughout the race, with current leaderboard information, the latest fastest lap, current lap times, number of pitstops by driver, current tyre settings and driver gaps.

To make it simple to catch up, a timeline details all the important race updates – including all the key overtakes and incidents – and it also allows two drivers to be compared head-to-head within the race, highlighting them on the tracker.

On top of that, all the safety car updates, red flags and yellow flags are covered, while track information such as temperatures, humidity and chance of rain makes it possible to keep tabs on potential changes and challenges and more easily predict what could happen.

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