Red Bull’s Verstappen retains F1 world title after Japan GP win

LONDON: Red Bull’s Max Verstappen wrapped up a second successive Formula One title on Sunday with victory in a rain-shortened Japanese Grand Prix after his closest rival Charles Leclerc was hit with a post-race penalty.
Dutchman Verstappen had crossed the line ahead of the Ferrari driver who, defending against the other Red Bull of Sergio Perez, took the chequered flag a distant second.

But the Monegasque had five seconds added to his race time for cutting across the final chicane on the last lap which dropped him down to third.
“It’s a crazy feeling of course as I didn’t expect it when I crossed the line,” said Verstappen amid confusion over whether reduced points under new rules introduced this year would apply with the race running to just over its halfway mark.

“Was it going to be half points, I didn’t know how many points I was going to get,” he added.
The sport’s governing FIA clarified that the reduced points rule only applies to races that are suspended and cannot be resumed.
Sunday’s race was halted after two laps due to heavy rain but it resumed a little over two hours later, with drivers completing 28 of the scheduled 53 laps and full points awarded.

Verstappen as a result leaves Japan with a 113-point margin over Perez, who now moves into second in the overall standings. He needed at least 112-point margin to his closest challenger to be crowned champion on Sunday.
Verstappen’s win in Japan was his 12th from 18 races. With four races left, the Dutchman is on course to beat the record for most wins in a season which, shared by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, stands at 13.
“Max has just been incredible,” said Leclerc, the early title favourite who held a 46-point lead over Verstappen after the opening three races.
“It’s a title fully deserved.
“We will try to push over the last four races to improve as a team and hopefully put more of a challenge next year.”

Verstappen started Sunday’s race from pole.
He was beaten off the line by Leclerc in the wet but went wheel-to-wheel with the Ferrari, spray streaming behind them, over the first two corners and seized back the initiative.
Incidents involving several cars brought out the safety car before the opening lap could be completed, while a recovery vehicle deployed on the track caused alarm as Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri sped past.
The conditions forced a halt to the race on the second lap and, after the two-hour delay, it resumed with a rolling start.
But Verstappen disappeared into the distance and was classified as having finished 27 seconds clear of his team mate.
List of Formula One world champions after Max Verstappen secured his second successive title at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday:
2022 – Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Red Bull
2021 – Verstappen, Red Bull
2020 – Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes
2019 – Hamilton, Mercedes
2018 – Hamilton, Mercedes
2017 – Hamilton, Mercedes
2016 – Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes
2015 – Hamilton, Mercedes
2014 – Hamilton, Mercedes
2013 – Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull
2012 – Vettel, Red Bull
2011 – Vettel, Red Bull
2010 – Vettel, Red Bull
2009 – Jenson Button (Britain) Brawn
2008 – Hamilton, McLaren
2007 – Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari
2006 – Fernando Alonso (Spain) Renault
2005 – Alonso, Renault
2004 – Michael Schumacher (Germany) Ferrari
2003 – Schumacher, Ferrari 2002 – Schumacher, Ferrari
2001 – Schumacher, Ferrari
2000 – Schumacher, Ferrari
1999 – Mika Hakkinen (Finland) McLaren
1998 – Hakkinen, McLaren
1997 – Jacques Villeneuve (Canada) Williams
1996 – Damon Hill (Britain) Williams 1995 – Schumacher, Benetton
1994 – Schumacher, Benetton 1993 – Alain Prost (France) Williams
1992 – Nigel Mansell (Britain) Williams
1991 – Ayrton Senna (Brazil) McLaren
1990 – Senna, McLaren
1989 – Prost, McLaren
1988 – Senna, McLaren
1987 – Nelson Piquet (Brazil) Williams
1986 – Prost, McLaren
1985 – Prost, McLaren
1984 – Niki Lauda (Austria) McLaren
1983 – Piquet, Brabham
1982 – Keke Rosberg (Finland) Williams
1981 – Piquet, Brabham
1980 – Alan Jones (Australia) Williams
1979 – Jody Scheckter (South Africa) Ferrari
1978 – Mario Andretti (U.S.) Lotus
1977 – Lauda, Ferrari
1976 – James Hunt (Britain) McLaren
1975 – Lauda, Ferrari
1974 – Emerson Fittipaldi (Brazil) McLaren
1973 – Jackie Stewart (Britain) Tyrrell
1972 – Fittipaldi, Lotus
1971 – Stewart, Tyrrell
1970 – Jochen Rindt (Austria) Lotus
1969 – Stewart, Matra
1968 – Graham Hill (Britain) Lotus
1967 – Denny Hulme (New Zealand) Brabham
1966 – Jack Brabham (Australia) Brabham
1965 – Jim Clark (Britain) Lotus
1964 – John Surtees (Britain) Ferrari
1963 – Clark, Lotus
1962 – Hill, BRM
1961 – Phil Hill (U.S.) Ferrari
1960 – Brabham, Cooper
1959 – Brabham, Cooper
1958 – Mike Hawthorn (Britain) Ferrari
1957 – Juan Manuel Fangio (Argentina) Maserati
1956 – Fangio, Lancia/Ferrari
1955 – Fangio, Mercedes
1954 – Fangio, Mercedes/Maserati
1953 – Alberto Ascari (Italy) Ferrari
1952 – Ascari, Ferrari
1951 – Fangio, Alfa Romeo
1950 – Giuseppe Farina (Italy) Alfa Romeo
Multiple champions:
7 – Schumacher, Hamilton 5 – Fangio 4 – Prost, Vettel 3 – Brabham, Stewart, Lauda, Piquet, Senna 2 – Alonso, Ascari, Clark, Fittipaldi, Hakkinen, Graham Hill, Verstappen.

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