Max Verstappen crowned world champion after chaotic race in Japan


Max Verstappen has won a second Formula 1 title after dramatic scenes at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Verstappen was crowned world champion at Suzuka after putting in a solid performance, finishing ahead of Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez.

Rain delayed the start of the race for almost two hours before it was determined that conditions were good enough for the drivers to enter the track.

And there were some puzzling scenes at the end of the race amid uncertainty over whether full points would be awarded after just 29 of the scheduled 53 laps.

Regardless of the number of points handed out, Verstappen would have been denied the championship had Leclerc finished second.

And after Leclerc crossed the finish line in second place, it looked like Verstappen would have to wait until the next Grand Prix in Austin, Texas to claim his second title.

But the Ferrari driver cut the final corner and incurred a five-second penalty, demoting him to third place, meaning his title challenge was over.

In his post-race interview, Verstappen was heard asking if he had become world champion. “Have I or haven’t I? I hear different things,” he said.

It was later confirmed that he had won.

Heavy spray from the downpour remained a problem during the race and limited visibility.

Race winner and 2022 F1 Drivers’ World Champion Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium during the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at Suzuka International Racing Course on October 09, 2022 in Suzuka, Japan. Wet conditions affected the race.
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A chaotic first lap saw Carlos Sainz crash while Sebastian Vettel and Zhou Guanyu struggled on the track due to wet conditions.

Verstappen’s victory was almost overshadowed when French driver Pierre Gasly nearly missed a recovery vehicle. Gasly expressed concern when he saw the vehicle on the track.

He said, “What’s that tractor? What’s that tractor [the] Track? This is unacceptable. What happened? [I] can’t believe this.”

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.


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