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Formula 1

Max Verstappen wins 2022 Formula One World Championship in situation that's confused everyone

Daniel Marland

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Max Verstappen wins 2022 Formula One World Championship in situation that's confused everyone

Max Verstappen has won the 2022 Formula One World Championship.

The Red Bull driver finished first in the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday, 26 seconds ahead of Charles Leclerc.

Verstappen was initially one point away from winning the championship but was handed his second world title in an anti-climactic manner.

Leclerc received a five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage. It saw the Ferrari driver swap places with Sergio Perez and Red Bull record a 1-2.

That means Verstappen now has a 113 point lead with only 112 points remaining.

Post-race, even Verstappen himself was stunned. He asked reporters: "Have I or have I not? I am hearing different things."

The race was marred by rain and suffered a two-hour delay, managing to only go just over half distance. Because it restarted, full points were allowed to be awarded.

Verstappen won his first world title in 2021, narrowly defeating Lewis Hamilton in the final race of the season.

This title triumph was in a more ruthless manner, with the 24-year-old recording 12 race victories in 2022.

"It’s crazy," Verstappen admitted in his second post-race interview per The Guardian. "Very mixed emotions, first of all winning the race, looking back now at what a year I’ve had so far, it’s been incredible. Something I could never have imagined happening after last year…

Verstappen is a two-time world champion at the age of 24. (Image Credit: Alamy)
Verstappen is a two-time world champion at the age of 24. (Image Credit: Alamy)

"I’m so thankful to everyone who has contributed to this success. The work we’ve done together with Honda all the way through, constantly improving rapidly to win now twice, it’s very emotional. Especially with everyone here watching. It’s a little bit more pressure, but good pressure.

"I think the first one is always a little emotional but the second is even more beautiful with the season we’ve had… it’s something you really have to remind yourself of because these kinds of years you don’t have very often."

During the first lap, officials deployed a recovery vehicle while drivers were still on the track.

It caused fury on social media, with drivers and team bosses uniting to condemn the decision.

Eight years ago, Jules Bianchi collided with a tractor after losing control of his vehicle and suffered a diffuse axonal injury. He died nine months later due to the injuries he suffered.

Featured Image Credit: F1

Topics: Max Verstappen

Daniel Marland
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