Verstappen wins over cluttered, rain-shortened Japanese GP to determine the title

Verstappen wins over cluttered, rain-shortened Japanese GP

October 11, 2022:-Max Verstappen sealed his second Formula 1 world championship amid tremendous confusion after winning a cluttered, rain-shortened Japanese Grand Prix.

There was massive confusion at the chequered flag amid uncertainty over whether total or partial points would be awarded for a race in 29 of the 53 scheduled laps.

With between 50 percent and 75 percent of the laps completed, most of the F1 paddock believed Verstappen would be awarded 19 points for his victory. But for the Japanese GP, there was an interpretation of the rules, stating that the decreasing points are only applied if a race is suspended “and cannot be resumed.”

Verstappen was confused by the situation as celebrations began and were then paused. Still, it was eventually confirmed that total points had been awarded, sealing the 25-year-old’s triumph with four season races remaining.

“The first one is almost more emotional, and the second one is more beautiful,” Verstappen said.

“Looking back, an amazing year we’ve had so far. It’s been incredible. It’s something I could never have imagined. After the year, fighting until the end, and having such a good car again this year. I’m so thankful to everyone contributing to this success.”

The Dutchman would have rejected the title if Charles Leclerc had come second. Still, the Ferrari driver’s final-lap error saw him given a five-second penalty for leaving the track and profiting from an advantage, which demoted him to third behind the different Red Bull of Sergio Perez.

The race had threatened to be overshadowed by controversy. A starting of an attempt to start in heavy rain resulted in chaos; with Carlos Sainz crashing into a barrier, a recovery tractor came on track with the cars still on the circuit.

The race was red-flagged, and a two-hour-plus delay ensued as the rain continued to decrease, with the chances to resume appearing bleak at a few points.

Although, the skies cleared, and the race resumed with a rolling start behind the Safety Car, with 45 minutes left on the three-hour clock that had begun ticking with the initial start.

The drying track is seeing the field switch from whole wet tires to intermediate, but Verstappen was almost throughout as he pulled clear to win by 27 seconds.

Esteban Ocon gives a brilliant defensive display to hold off Lewis Hamilton for fourth. At the same time, Sebastian Vettel and Nicholas Latifi benefitted from being the first cars pitting at the restart, which finished sixth and ninth, respectively.

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