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It's lights out and away we go in Qatar...

It's a triumvirate for Max Verstappen, who secured his third world championship in the sprint race on Saturday. In Doha, the Dutch maestro's achievement is a fitting conclusion for Red Bull's utter dominance this season. There were question marks over cost cap breaches in 2022, while a huge controversy loomed over the season final in Abu Dhabi in 2022. This time, however, there can be no questions, no doubts over Verstappen's stranglehold over Formula One this season.

Winning the title with six races remaining equals Michael Schumacher's record, but for a few months now, Verstappen lifting the Championship has seemed inevitable. Regardless of Red Bull's overwhelming dominance, credit must go to Verstappen, who has proved unbeatable from anywhere on the grid, comprehensively outshining teammate Sergio Perez.

The 19-lap dash was peppered by three safety cars, but once again, this sprint was a surprisingly entertaining affair. Verstappen celebrated abundantly, but it was Oscar Piastri's first F1 victory that was far more remarkable. Under pressure from the start, the Australian rookie held his nerve under immense pressure.

A minor blip for Max Verstappen, yet it was business at Lusail circuit. This season, Verstappen has redefined the word 'dominance', breaking countless records with an air of infallibility. Max was won by embarrassing margins, with untouched ease and from every position on the grid. He has been calmness personified in the arduous conditions in Monaco, and in Zandvoort, and now sealed the deal in Qatar.

On Sunday, the World Champion led the McLarens of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris, after the first lap saw the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell collide. McLaren backed up their impressive display in the Sprint, exuding much of their recent form. Russell's fine recovery drive earned a fourth-place finish, ahead of Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso.

With an impressive number 14 this season, perhaps now, Max Verstappen can stake a claim to be considered among the greats of the sport.

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