Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen claimed victory for Red Bull at the Japanese Grand Prix, and clinched the 2022 world title, after a dramatic late penalty for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc put the championship beyond doubt on Sunday. Verstappen, who retained the world title, won the restarted race at Suzuka amid incessant rain, with Leclerc finishing second at the start. But according to Formula1.com, the Ferrari driver was penalized for biting a chicken on the final lap as he defended Sergio Pérez’s second Red Bull. The dramatic points swing means Verstappen heads to the United States Grand Prix, and the final four races of the season, with an unassailable lead over Perez and Leclerc – confirm them as champions.
Point Scorer at Suzuka _#JapaneseGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/ENIVQpvikb– Formula 1 (@F1) 9 October 2022
The race went as originally planned, with Verstappen defending Leclerc after running close to Turn 1, and completing only two laps before the action was ‘red-flagged’ amid intense spray and a series of incidents. were being carried out – which included other Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz in the crash.
After a long delay, the total race limit was ticked down to three hours, and the two-hour window came into force one hour after the initial start, as race control waited for a suitable interval in the weather to resume action. .
With only less than 50 minutes on the race clock, the Safety Car took the field out of the pit lane for a planned rolling start, which was soon completed and released the pack of cars – all of them this time. Forced to get wet, instead of having the option of using intermediates.
From there, Verstappen mastered the switch from weights to intermediate as the track gradually improved and turned away at the head of the field, eventually crossing the clear line over 20 seconds.
Leclerc was on course to finish second, and survive the title race, but he was penalized for biting the final chicken on the final lap to keep Charge Perez at bay, meaning Verstappen The Taj was sealed.
Esteban Ocon finished fourth for Alpine after some fierce defenses against Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes, with Sebastian Vettel recovering from a clash with Fernando Alonso to take the P6 in his final Suzuka appearance at the start.
Japanese Grand Prix race results: Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing) 3:01:44.004; Sergio Perez (Red Bull Racing) +27.066s; 3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +31.763; 4. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) +39.685s; 5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +40.326s.