Verstappen claims 2022 championship title after Japanese GP win

Verstappen claims 2022 championship title after Japanese GP win

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen crossed the finish line first and was therefore awarded the title after Charles Leclerc, who finished in second place, was given a five-second penalty, pushing him to third.

Max Verstappen prevailed in a shortened yet action-packed FIA Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix with only twenty-eight racing laps completed. The Red Bull ace won the 2022 Drivers’ World Championship title in a less-than-stellar race that was hampered by rain and difficult driving conditions.

Verstappen became just the third driver, after Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher, to claim the championship with four races left in the 2022 Formula 1 championship as the outcome gave him an unassailable 113-point lead in the standings.

Sergio Perez in the sister Red Bull finished the race in second place behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, however Leclerc was penalized for pushing Perez wide and exiting the track during a late push for the finish line.

In the middle of the post-race TV interview, Verstappen got the news that he had kept his title, albeit the driver was unsure if he had actually won.

Verstappen’s win was his thirty-second, tying him to Fernando Alonso’s total number of victories as well as his two championships. With yet another podium finish, Leclerc boosted Scuderia Ferrari as they competed with Mercedes for second place in the Championship.

The first lap of the race saw the first safety car of the day, as is the norm in Formula 1, as it was the second consecutive wet Formula 1 race. Carlos Sainz Jr. was not the only one who spun about and found himself in the wall as Sebastian Vettel and Zhou Guanyu also had moments, but they managed to avoid the barriers.

Drivers and fans were furious that the race even started after the red flag was pulled out because of the deteriorating weather, and the race barely completed 28 laps despite all the excitement, but the drivers were still given full points.

With a fourth-place result by Esteban Ocon and a seventh-place finish by Fernando Alonso, the BWT Alpine F1 Team extended their lead over McLaren F1 Team in the Constructors Championship to thirteen points.  Alonso took up the lead and earned a free stop after everyone pitted ahead of him, while the Safety Car was in operation.

Mercedes had a lackluster day as they could only manage fifth and eighth place finishes on the course. Ocon was difficult for Lewis Hamilton to overtake as Alpine’s advantage in straight-line speed paid off throughout the race.

George Russell had a thrilling race, but after a slow stop onto the intermediate tyre, he was far back in the pack. Despite only placing eighth, Russell drove brilliantly despite having to make several maneuvers. With just over five minutes left, Alonso’s late pit stop and subsequent switch to fresh tires cost him the chance to finish sixth.

Nicholas Latifi earned his first points of the year by placing ninth and holding off Lando Norris’ pressure on the final lap. The Canadian driver will quit Williams’ Racing at the end of the season due to poor performance and the team’s desire to take a different path, Williams’ Racing stated in recent weeks.

Latifi has had a bad season, but after gaining points today, he can be proud of his Formula One career. Despite all the drama, the other Williams driver, Alex Albon, was forced to retire on the opening lap because of an engine problem.

Vettel placing sixth for the Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team in his final Japanese Grand Prix was one of the day’s most heartwarming accomplishments. Despite spinning on the opening lap, Vettel was able to climb back up the rankings thanks to a cunning strategy and a few overtaking maneuvers. 

Lance Stroll had a bad day since he could only manage to place 12th for the British team. Although the Canadian driver improved by seven positions during the race and applied pressure to Daniel Ricciardo in the final, it was too little, too late.

McLaren had a frustrating day as they completed the Grand Prix in the same place they began. Before making a last-lap attempt to try to put pressure on Latifi, Norris, who finished in tenth place, lacked pace throughout the race.

Similar to the Singapore Grand Prix, Ricciardo had trouble keeping up with the pack for McLaren since the car looked more worse in the rain. Alpine overtook McLaren in the Championship as a result, making the outcome of that duel dependent on the results of the season’s remaining races.

In the race for seventh place with Aston Martin and the Haas F1 Team, Scuderia AlphaTauri was unable to accrue any points and lost ground due to a genuine lack of speed from the cars. Home favorite Yuki Tsunoda was unable to score points and t he fact that Pierre Gasly was the last to enter the pit lane while it was red made headlines. Gasly was also observed having an animated conversation with a team worker in the pits after exiting his car.

Onboard footage saw Gasly passing a stopped tractor on the track, and the Frenchman was visibly upset and animated as a result. “What is this tractor on the track?” The driver aired his grievances over the team radio. “I passed next to it… This is unacceptable! Remember what happened? I can’t believe this! We don’t want to see ever, a crane on the track.”

Once again, the Alfa Romeo ORLEN F1 Team failed to earn any points, while Mick Schumacher’s Haas team also failed to score any points despite running strongly for portions of the race and finishing eighth overall after taking a chance to start the race later than the rest of the field.

Verstappen won the championship, but there are still battles taking place all over the Formula 1 grid. The upcoming American Grand Prix should be a real showdown as Hamilton is still seeking his first victory of the year.


1 Max Verstappen NED Oracle Red Bull Racing 28 Laps
2 Sergio Perez MEX Oracle Bull Racing 27.066s
3 Charles Leclerc MON Scuderia Ferrari 32.736s
4 Esteban Ocon FRA BWT Alpine F1 Team 39.685s
5 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team 40.326s
6 Sebastian Vettel GER Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team 46.358s
7 Fernando Alonso ESP BWT Alpine F1 Team 46.369s
8 George Russell GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team 47.661s
9 Nicholas Latifi CAN Williams Racing 70.143s
10 Lando Norris GBR McLaren F1 Team 70.782s
11 Daniel Ricciardo AUS McLaren F1 Team 72.877s
12 Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team 73.904s
13 Yuki Tsunoda JPN Scuderia AlphaTauri  75.599s
14 Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas F1 Team 86.016s
15 Valtteri Bottas FIN Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen 86.496s
16 Zhou Guanyu CHN Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen 87.043s
17 Mick Schumacher GER Haas F1 Team 92.532s
18 Pierre Gasly FRA Scuderia AlphaTauri 108.091s
  Alex Albon THA Williams Racing DNF
  Carlos Sainz ESP Scuderia Ferrari DNF


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