Red Bull’s Max Verstappen claimed victory on Sunday at the Suzuka Circuit to win the Japanese Grand Prix. Winning the race was quite defining as it meant that Verstappen gained enough points to be crowned the 2022 Formula 1 World Champion for the second time and the second year in a row.
Last year, Verstappen won the title after claiming victory at the controversial season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where he beat off Lewis Hamilton, who was chasing an eighth world championship title. This year, Verstappen has won the title with about four races still to go this year.
But the race was not without some drama as well, and even Verstappen was doubtful when he was announced as the race winner. The race had to be cut short due to heavy rain and only 29 laps were completed in the 53-lap track. Many people present at the race believed it would not award full points because the laps were not completed. This is according to F1’s rules.
Though the rules were interpreted differently at the end of the race, the FIA said that reduced points would only apply if the race was suspended and did not resume. The Japanese GP was halted for a while but resumed later, although the full 53 laps were not completed.
Still, the fact that the race was continued after the halt was enough for full points to be awarded after the race, giving Verstappen all the points he needed gone crowned champion. Had the full points not been awarded, Verstappen would have had to wait till the United States GP, coming up later this month, to be crowned champion.
Speaking after the win, Verstappen said he never expected the win as he did not know how many points he was going to get: “It’s a pretty crazy feeling, of course, because I didn’t expect it when I crossed the line. Of course, you could see it slowly happening, but it’s incredible at the end of the day that we did win it here.
“I didn’t know how many points I was going to get.”
At just age 25, Verstappen has become the second youngest driver to win two world championship titles.
Written by: Leon Osamor