Red Bull’s Verstappen can clinch his second successive world championship at this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix if he claims a sixth consecutive victory and his rivals score lowly. 

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After overcoming early reliability setbacks, Verstappen and Red Bull have dominated the 2022 season, with Verstappen winning 11 of the 16 races to build a seemingly unassailable 116-point lead over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. 

Verstappen could become a two-time world champion with five races to spare, marking a dramatic contrast to last year’s epic, season-long title fight with Hamilton that was not decided until the last lap of the controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Hamilton did not congratulate Verstappen when he was asked about his former title rival’s impending achievement. 

"From my point of view, I’m not really thinking much about it,” the seven-time world champion said during Thursday’s press conferences in Singapore. 

“I definitely feel for the fans because for everyone and even for us, last year, going right down to the wire, that was intense for everybody. So it’s never great when the season finishes early. 

"Even when I’ve experienced having it finish early in places like Mexico. For you as the one individual, it’s great but for the actual sport it’s not spectacular. 

“I’m really grateful to have had 2008 right down to the last 17 seconds, and obviously last year, pretty much the same thing. Let’s hope for the future, it’s a bit better.” 

Hamilton said he remains focused on ending what has been a disappointing season for Mercedes strongly, as he looks to save his record of winning at least one race in every season he has contested. 

"For me, we’ve still got six races, I’m still enjoying the challenge and proud of the strength and the growth in our team, in terms of the focus,” he explained. 

“Just seeing how hard everyone works is for me the most inspiring thing. Trying to come up with solutions, trying to crack the code. That’s really impressive, because it’s just relentless, the season.” 

The 37-year-old stressed he has no expectations going into the weekend at a venue that has been a bit of a bogey track for Mercedes in recent years. 

“I would definitely say it was a track that we struggled at quite a lot,” Hamilton added. “I don’t think it was aero based, it was more probably ride quality, we hadn’t been as good as some of the others had been. 

“We will discover if that is a true theory this weekend but they have resurfaced some parts of the circuit so hopefully it is not as bouncy as before. 

He continued: “We hope that the car works better here but it really depends how bumpy it is. The bumps often set the car off and upset the car in a lot of instances. We do know it will be bumpy. 

“Maybe the car will be fine, maybe it won’t. So I have no expectations at all, just going to try and have the best weekend with whatever we are faced with.”