Max Verstappen is a second time World Champion at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix!

Max Verstappen has been crowned as a second time world champion at Suzuka after a late penalty for Charles Leclerc. Verstappen only needed an 8-point lead on Leclerc meaning a win with a fastest lap which he did on a restarted race owing to heavy downpour at the Japanese circuit. Leclerc initially looked all set to finish second but the Ferrari driver was penalised for cutting the chicane on his final lap as he was trying to defend his position from the other RedBull of Sergio Perez. Carlos Sainz meanwhile was out of the race on lap 1 due to an aquaplaning incident

The dramatic points swing in favour of Verstappen means he is heading to the United States Grand Prix, and the remaining final four races of the season with a lead over Perez and Leclerc that simply cannot be taken back thus, confirming him as champion. The race originally got under way as planned at 1400 HRS local time, with Verstappen defending from Leclerc after a close run to Turn 1 and a beautiful manoeuvre on the outside but, only two laps could be completed before the action was red-flagged amid intense spray and a series of incidents – which included Carlos Sainz crashing out. Alex Albon out, Zhou Guanyu tumbling down and Pierre Gasly carrying an advertising hoarding with him.

There was a lengthy delay followed, with the overall three-hour race limit ticking down alongside the two-hour window coming into force an hour after the initial start. Race Control waited for a suitable gap in the weather to get the action going again. With just under 50 minutes to run on the race clock, the Safety Car led the field out of the pit lane for a planned rolling start, which was soon carried out and released the pack of cars – all of them this time forced to run wets, rather than having the choice to use intermediates.

From this restart onwards, Verstappen was on a mission as he expertly handled the switch from wets to intermediates while the track surfaced gradually improved. Verstappen swiftly edged away at the head of the field, eventually crossing the line more than 20 seconds clear. Leclerc was on course to finish second and to keep the title race alive, but he was penalised for cutting the final chicane on the final lap to keep a charging Perez at bay, with the points difference meaning Verstappen sealed the crown.

All in all it was an eventful and film-like ending for the championship at Honda’s home grand prix just as they are on the verge of taking an exit from Formula 1. It couldn’t have ended any better for them and for RedBull as well to honour the great Japanese engine manufacturer who was also the title sponsor for the Japanese GP at the infamous Suzuka circuit. Moreover, it was Suzuka’s first F1 race in 2 years and it made it even more special!

Show More

Prakhar K.

Editor-in-chief and 4-wheel fanatic

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please disable adblockers to access CarThrust.