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Live: F1 Japanese GP commentary and updates - Race

Follow along for minute-by-minute updates for Formula 1's Japanese Grand Prix.

Live: F1 Japanese GP commentary and updates - Race

A week after Singapore, Suzuka also returns to the calendar following a three-year absence, where Max Verstappen can claim a second F1 world title if he is 112 points clear of second place in the standings at the chequered flag.

The Red Bull driver starts on pole for Sunday's race, having escaped a penalty after a near-miss with Norris at 130R as both drivers came to prepare for their opening laps in the final stage of qualifying.

He will line up ahead of the Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, with Red Bull's Sergio Perez joining the latter on the second row.

By: Jake Boxall-Legge, Haydn Cobb, Megan White

Summary

  • Max Verstappen wins dramatic F1 Japanese GP and becomes world champion
  • Leclerc and Perez finish 2nd and 3rd on the track, but the Ferrari driver hit with a five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage, to promote Perez to second to decide the title
  • Sainz crashed out in initial start, Gasly under investigation for speeding under red flag in controversial recovery vehicle on track incident
  • Albon also out after mechanical failure

Leaderboard

  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Leclerc, Ferrari
  3. Perez, Red Bull
  4. Ocon, Alpine
  5. Hamilton, Mercedes
  6. Vettel, Aston Martin
  7. Alonso, Alpine
  8. Russell, Mercedes
  9. Latifi, Williams
  10. Norris, McLaren
Status: Stopped
A comedy of errors today, but we really appreciate you joining us so early - it's certainly been a day! We'll see you in a couple of weeks' time for the US Grand Prix - have a good one!
One thing I'd be curious about is if Verstappen crossed the line before the timer went out. Not that it matters, I just reckon it ended a lap too soon.
So, let's wrap up - because the only thing that's clear is that everything is very unclear. Max Verstappen IS the 2022 F1 world champion, and the winner of a Japanese Grand Prix that was quite...unconventional.
And here's the report from the Japanese Grand Prix - essential reading for anyone who needs some clarification!:  https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/f1-japanese-gp-verstappen-crowned-world-champion-in-bizarre-circumstances/10382008/
From the FIA: "The rules regarding the reduced points allocation (article 6.5) only apply in the event of race suspension that cannot be resumed, and therefore full points are awarded and Max Verstappen is World Champion."
From the makers of "is that Glock?" comes the new film: "Is Max world champion?"
So according to the rules, the points distribution for shorter race distances applies if the race didn't resume. It seems it did, so we've got full points...so Max Verstappen appears to be a two-time world champion! This confusion sums the day up, doesn't it?
You'd think, with all of the processing power in the F1 paddock, someone might be able to work out if Verstappen's won the title in all of this. Get someone an abacus.
Five-second penalty for Leclerc - there's a swift decision. Perez thus takes second, and Leclerc third.
Fastest lap for Zhou, his 1m44.411s a mere 0.001s clear of Alonso's best lap.
The Leclerc/Perez incident has been noted for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.
Russell was eighth, Latifi gets his first points of the year in ninth, and Norris completes the top 10.
Vettel and Alonso in a photo finish at the line but it looks like Vettel has his nose ahead to keep hold of sixth place!
Ocon keeps Hamilton at bay for fourth, as Vettel JUST holds off Alonso for sixth with the barest of margins!
Leclerc went off! He crossed the line ahead of Perez, but he went deep into the final chicane and cut across the Red Bull driver!
But Perez is all over Leclerc like a rash, can he pass in the final few corners?
And Max Verstappen wins the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix!
Alonso gets Russell to take seventh - now he's got less than a lap and 1.2s to find to catch Vettel.
The timer's up, lap 28 is our final lap.
Alonso has caught Russell in the fight for seventh and has about a lap and a half to make a move before the finish.
"Are we not going to box for new tyres?" Verstappen asks, hoping to have a chance to go for fastest lap. Red Bull replies in the negative.

No further action taken on the Stroll vs Schumacher incident, as the German driver drops to last place with his pace seriously disappearing.

Perez considered the hairpin to make a move, but Leclerc covers him off with the wide line. Meanwhile, we've five minutes left.
A Stroll vs Schumacher clash at the hairpin has been noted by the stewards.
And just as we say that, Alonso gets by Latifi for eighth, while further back Stroll overtakes Magnussen for 12th.
Perez is on Leclerc's tail, with that Red Bull looking much stronger in these conditions. Matter of time, surely.
Alonso makes light work of getting up to ninth as he passes Norris.
Alonso, who had been running in seventh tucked up behind Vettel, pits for fresh inters and rejoins the action in 10th.
Hamilton's trying to deploy the traction of the Mercedes to nose ahead of Ocon, but he's being outfoxed by the Alpine's better straightline speed. A sneak attack at the hairpin is covered off by Ocon's right foot.
Perez is closing down Leclerc, the gap's down to two seconds between them. "Are you sleeping?" Perez asks engineer Hugh Bird. "You're just in the groove," comes the reply.
Tsunoda pits from 11th and comes out in 16th, as Zhou demonstrates the power of fresh inters as he puts in a new fastest lap of 1m44.411s.
Next time around Stroll and Gasly both pit for fresh inters. Stroll drops to 16th and Gasly to 18th and last.
Hamilton has half a look up the inside of Ocon towards the end of lap 19, but has to ease off through 130R. Ocon's defence was immaculate, and places his car to see off a threat in the Casio Triangle.
Zhou, the driver to most recently pit for intermediate tyres, pits again for fresh inters and drops to last place.
Lead watch: Verstappen is 14s clear of Leclerc now. He makes it look easy, doesn't he?
Hamilton's been sellotaped to Ocon's gearbox for the last few laps, and a good run out of Spoon doesn't translate to a run in 130R on the Alpine driver. Bit of pit-chat between Hamilton and Pete Bonnington, as the bluffs begin...
It is getting gloomy at Suzuka but whatever happens the race will be timed out in 15 minutes. It looks like we'll have a race distance that means half points will be awarded.
Russell is on the move, as he quickly clears Norris up the inside into the chicane to take ninth place. Now he's chasing down former team-mate Latifi.
"How many positions will we lose if we box?" Leclerc asks, and he's told he'd drop behind Alonso.
After a few laps stalking Tsunoda, Russell gets ahead going around the outside at the end of the Esses to take 10th place.