F1 race results: Max Verstappen wins Japanese GP to take title

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won a rain-impacted, red-flagged and shortened Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka on Sunday to be crowned Formula 1 world champion.

F1 race results: Max Verstappen wins Japanese GP to take title

Verstappen just held his lead from pole position at the start in wet conditions, which quickly worsened and led to Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) to crashing heavily. The race was red flagged on lap three, which led to a lengthy delay as the heavy rain continued.

As conditions improved slightly, the race was restarted with 40 minutes remaining on the event clock, with Verstappen holding sway again and pulling clear of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to score his 12th win of the season.

Leclerc just fended off Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez to finish second on the road, but was given a five-second penalty by race stewards for his tactics on the final tour.

That pushed him back to third and was enough for Verstappen to be confirmed as champion as full points were awarded despite the race only running to 28 laps.

2022 Japanese Grand Prix race results

 
Cla Driver Laps Gap Interval km/h Points
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen 28       25
2 Mexico Sergio Perez 28 27.066 27.066   18
3 Monaco Charles Leclerc 28 31.763 4.697   15
4 France Esteban Ocon 28 39.685 7.922   12
5 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 28 40.326 0.641   10
6 Germany Sebastian Vettel 28 46.358 6.032   8
7 Spain Fernando Alonso 28 46.369 0.011   6
8 United Kingdom George Russell 28 47.661 1.292   4
9 Canada Nicholas Latifi 28 1'10.143 22.482   2
10 United Kingdom Lando Norris 28 1'10.782 0.639   1
11 Australia Daniel Ricciardo 28 1'12.877 2.095    
12 Canada Lance Stroll 28 1'13.904 1.027    
13 Japan Yuki Tsunoda 28 1'15.599 1.695    
14 Denmark Kevin Magnussen 28 1'26.016 10.417    
15 Finland Valtteri Bottas 28 1'26.496 0.480    
16 China Zhou Guanyu 28 1'27.043 0.547    
17 France Pierre Gasly 28 1'28.091 1.048    
18 Germany Mick Schumacher 28 1'32.523 4.432    
  Thailand Alex Albon 0        
  Spain Carlos Sainz 0        

How the Japanese Grand Prix unfolded

On a wet track, with all the cars in the field starting on intermediate tyres, Verstappen just held on to his pole advantage on the run to Turn 1 despite a poor initial getaway.

Leclerc, who raced him wheel-to-wheel until Turn 2, led the chase ahead of Perez, Sainz, Esteban Ocon (Alpine) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes).

Sebastian Vettel spun his Aston Martin after he clashed with the Alpine of Fernando Alonso on the chaotic dash to Turn 1, then Sainz aquaplaned off at the right-hander following the hairpin, causing a safety car.

Zhou Guanyu spun his Alfa Romeo at the hairpin, as Pierre Gasly started from the pit lane but picked up an advertising hoarding from the Sainz crash on the front of his AlphaTauri, while Alex Albon’s Williams ground to a halt.

Due to intensifying rain, the race director decided to red flag the race on lap three but not before Gasly, who had pitted for a new nose section, controversially suffered a near miss with a tractor that was recovering Sainz’s car.

After a long delay, due to a prolonged period of torrential rain, the race resumed under the safety car with only 48 minutes remaining on the clock with all cars now on extreme wets. The race went green with 40 minutes to go.

Verstappen led Leclerc, Perez, Ocon, Hamilton and Alonso. Vettel led a handful of cars that pitted for inters almost straight away and began setting faster sector times, prompting the leaders to pit too.

Alonso led for a lap, with Verstappen rejoining in fourth, before he too pitted. Mick Schumacher briefly led for Haas before Verstappen swept past to retake the lead, as Leclerc dropped back to 5s behind. After setting fastest lap, Leclerc struggled for grip as the race went on, losing over 20 seconds to Verstappen and allowing Perez to close in.

Perez attacked hard in the closing stages, but Leclerc managed to fend him off to finish a distant second – but had to straightline the Casio Triangle on the last lap and almost pushed Perez off at the final corner. That led to a five-second penalty, which promoted Perez to second.

Ocon and Hamilton fought out an epic duel over fourth, with Vettel reaping the benefit of his early pit call to jump up to sixth. George Russell lost time in the pitstops, being forced to stack behind Hamilton, but pulled off a sequence of brilliant passes to recover to finish eighth.

Alonso made a second stop for fresh inters, which dropped him to 10th, but he charged back to pass Russell on the final lap for seventh but just missed out on getting Vettel.

2022 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix fastest laps

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 China Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 20 1'44.411     200.220
2 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 25 1'44.412 0.001 0.001 200.218
3 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 10 1'44.489 0.078 0.077 200.070
4 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 10 1'44.911 0.500 0.422 199.266
5 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 21 1'45.205 0.794 0.294 198.709
6 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 22 1'45.387 0.976 0.182 198.366
7 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 11 1'45.530 1.119 0.143 198.097
8 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 22 1'45.893 1.482 0.363 197.418
9 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 11 1'46.120 1.709 0.227 196.995
10 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 13 1'46.545 2.134 0.425 196.210
11 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 11 1'46.559 2.148 0.014 196.184
12 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 13 1'46.964 2.553 0.405 195.441
13 United Kingdom George Russell Mercedes 21 1'47.004 2.593 0.040 195.368
14 Finland Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 11 1'47.820 3.409 0.816 193.889
15 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 11 1'47.843 3.432 0.023 193.848
16 Denmark Kevin Magnussen Haas 10 1'48.072 3.661 0.229 193.437
17 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 8 1'48.175 3.764 0.103 193.253
18 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 12 1'48.371 3.960 0.196 192.904

2022 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix pitstops

Cla Driver Chassis 1 2 3 4 5
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull I 2 W 5 I 21        
2 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull I 2 W 5 I 21        
3 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari I 2 W 5 I 21        
4 France Esteban Ocon Alpine I 2 W 5 I 21        
5 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes I 3 W 6 I 24        
6 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin I 2 W 3 I 23        
7 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine I 2 W 6 I 14 I 6    
8 United Kingdom George Russell Mercedes I 2 W 5 I 23        
9 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams I 2 W 3 I 23        
10 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren I 2 W 4 I 22        
11 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren I 2 W 6 I 20        
12 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin I 2 W 5 I 12 I 9    
13 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri I 2 W 5 I 13 I 8    
14 Denmark Kevin Magnussen Haas I 2 W 5 I 21        
15 Finland Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo I 2 W 4 I 22        
16 China Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo I 2 W 7 I 9 I 10    
17 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri I 1 W 1 W 5 I 12 I 9
18 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas I 2 W 9 I 17        
  Thailand Alex Albon Williams I 0                
  Spain Carlos Sainz Ferrari I 0                
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F1 Japanese GP: Verstappen wins to clinch world title in bizarre circumstances
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