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Max Verstappen takes his second world championship title at Suzuka

Written by Olivia Hartley, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Photo Credit - Clive Mason/Getty Images

Max Verstappen started the Japanese Grand Prix weekend 104 points ahead of his championship rival, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. With 112 points available in the final four rounds of the Formula 1 championship after Suzuka, this meant the reigning champion had to finish today’s race at least 8 points ahead of Leclerc to ensure the championship win, and that’s exactly what he did.

Verstappen dominated in an eventful, rain-shortened race, winning out ahead of Leclerc, who initially finished second. However, during a late-race battle with Sergio Perez, Leclerc left the track while defending against the Mexican driver, and was ultimately awarded a five-second time penalty for gaining a time advantage. This meant that the Monegasque driver was demoted to third, putting him 114 points behind Max Verstappen in the championship. With Perez finishing second in the race, without the fastest lap, he was also no longer in title contention, being 113 points behind his teammate. As a result, Verstappen was crowned World Champion for the second time in his career, sparking celebrations in the Red Bull camp.

Suzuka is well known for being a frequent title decider in the Formula 1 championship, due to its position in the calendar, and this reputation continues into 2022. There have now been 12 separate occasions during which a World Champion was crowned at Suzuka, and another nine Suzuka races that have decided the Constructors' Championship. The most memorable amongst these include Michael Schumacher’s first driver’s championship for Ferrari in 2000, which began his five year reign with the fabled Italian team. More recently, Mercedes also marked the start of an astounding and record-breaking eight-year reign in the Constructors Championship at Suzuka, in 2014.

The Dutch driver has been completely dominant throughout the season, and has earned a championship title that no controversy can take away from him. Max Verstappen successfully demonstrated an immense level of skill this season, and the F1 community will look forward to seeing him achieve more such accolades throughout his Formula 1 career.



Oct 09, 2022

It was a mess really, starting a race that was destined to only ever run a lap or two initially, then put the drivers further at risk with the ludicrous vehicle on track, compound it all by making the global audience wait about for a further two hours before we basically got a 'sprint race' in which conditions were so bad that anyone outside the top two basically drove looking for trackside landmarks or reference points, then finish the race without anyone knowing what points to award. Punishments for Leclerc in one of the only real racing incidents that took place, a punishment for Gasly who was put at risk unnecessarily by the very people dishing out his punishment -…

Unknown member
Oct 13, 2022
Replying to

Completely agree for the most part! The race was absolute chaos and I think the FIA have a lot to answer for.

In terms of Verstappen’s future I try to remain unbiased. So although I wouldn’t describe myself as a big Max Verstappen fan, I do think he has certainly displayed an incredible driving ability this season and I personally do look forward to seeing what more he can achieve and how many more records he can break at such an impressively young age!

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