World champion Max Verstappen says he “could have never imagined” winning his second world title in such dominant fashion after taking his first last season.Charles Leclerc classified in third after a penalty. Despite initial confusion, it was confirmed that he had clinched his second world title.
“What can I say? It’s incredible of course,” said Verstappen. “Very special to do it here also in front of all the Honda people, all the Japanese fans. Incredible.”
Verstappen secured the title with four races to spare. He has dominated a large part of the season having taken the lead in the championship after the Spanish Grand Prix, in stark contrast to his first title last season, where he won the championship on the final lap of the final race of the year.
“Looking back – now of course winning the championship – but what a year we’ve had so far,” he said. “It’s been incredible. Something I could have never imagined happening after last year, fighting to the end and then having such a good car again this year.
“I’m so thankful to everyone who has been contributing to this success. Of course the whole team, who are here, but also back at the factories as well, constantly working flat out. They are never missing any motivation to try and make the car faster.”
Verstappen secured the title at the Suzuka circuit owned by Honda – who designed and produced the power units operated and maintained by Red Bull. He says it was extra special to secure his second title for Honda at their home race.
“The work we’ve done together with Honda all the way through – every race just constantly evolving rapidly,” Verstappen said.
“To win now twice with them is very emotional. Especially also here with everyone watching. I’m very proud we could do it here.”
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