Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2022

Verstappen clinches world championship in rain-shortened Japanese Grand Prix

2022 Japanese Grand Prix summary

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Max Verstappen has been declared 2022 Formula 1 world champion after winning a rain-shortened Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

After an accident at the start led to the race being red flagged for over two hours, the race eventually resumed with Verstappen winning by almost half a minute. Charles Leclerc finished second on track but was handed a five second time penalty after the race which moved him behind Sergio Perez into third.

With full points awarded despite only just over half of original race distance having been completed, Verstappen clinched his second world championship title.

The field lined up on the grid on intermediate tyres for a standing start, with Pierre Gasly starting from the pit lane having changed parts on his AlphaTauri prior to the start. When the lights went out, Leclerc got a better getaway than Verstappen and was marginally ahead on the inside approaching turn one, but Verstappen held firm around the outside and kept the lead.

Visibility in the pack was close to zero. Eventually, Carlos Sainz Jnr aquaplaned off the road rounding turn 12 and crashed into the barrier. Fortunately, the field behind all managed to miss the Ferrari off on the left side of the track. Alexander Albon pulled off soon after passing the Ferrari with a loss of water pressure following earlier contact.

The Safety Car was deployed with Verstappen leading from Leclerc, Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon. With drivers complaining of dangerously low visibility, the race was red flagged with all drivers returning to the pits.

Gasly had pitted on the opening lap with front wing damage and was infuriated to find a recovery vehicle on the track as he passed Sainz’s stricken Ferrari in the treacherous conditions. The stewards have placed Gasly under investigation for driving too quickly under red flag conditions.

There was a delay of over an hour and a half as race control waited for conditions to improve. Eventually, it was announced the race would resume with around 50 minutes of time remaining. The field took to the track again on full wet tyres, with the race eventually restarting finally with 40 minutes of time remaining.

Verstappen led away from Leclerc, Perez, Ocon and Lewis Hamilton in fifth. As the race resumed, Sebastian Vettel and Nicholas Latifi both pitted for intermediate tyres. After two laps of racing, it was clear that the intermediates were the quickest tyre to be on.

Verstappen, Leclerc, Perez, Hamilton, Ocon and Russell all pitted for intermediates, while Fernando Alonso stayed out on wet tyres, as did Daniel Ricciardo, Mick Schumacher. Alonso gained the lead for a single lap before pitting for intermediates, handing the lead to Schumacher, who was immediately overtaken by Verstappen, then Leclerc and Perez.

Back in the lead, Verstappen quickly pulled out a healthy advantage over Leclerc behind him. Perez began slowly reeling in the Ferrari driver ahead of him, but drivers began to struggle with their intermediate tyres falling away as the laps progressed.

With just over eight minutes remaining, Alonso opted to pit from seventh for a second set of intermediates, rejoining in tenth. However, the rest of the field remained out on their used tyres.

Verstappen continued to control the race out in the lead as the final minutes ticked away. When time expired, Perez was right behind Leclerc and pressuring the Ferrari for second place. There was confusion with some teams expecting an additional lap after time expired, but the chequered flag flew as Verstappen crossed the line after the time had hit zero.

Almost half a minute behind the winner, Leclerc and Perez were battling hard over second place on the final lap but Leclerc missed the chicane at the end of the lap and rejoined ahead of Perez, before blocking the Red Bull driver from passing him over the line. Leclerc was quickly handed a five second time penalty by the stewards for leaving the track and gaining a lasting advantage, which promoted Perez up to second on the podium.

Full championship points were awarded for the race, with Leclerc’s penalty meaning that Verstappen was now mathematically unable to be beaten on points and was world champion.

Outside the podium, Esteban Ocon finished fourth, holding off Lewis Hamilton over the final laps. Sebastian Vettel only just held onto sixth place from Alonso, who recovered back to the position he was in prior to pitting for new tyres. George Russell took eighth, with Nicholas Latifi securing his first points of the year in ninth. Lando Norris completed the top ten.

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2022 Japanese Grand Prix reaction

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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106 comments on “Verstappen clinches world championship in rain-shortened Japanese Grand Prix”

  1. The recovery vehicle shouldn’t have entered the track until everyone has passed Sainz’s stranded car, regardless of Gasly’s approach speed, so investigation into Gasly’s behavior is questionable.
    Otherwise, Max was in a class of his own, & Checo rightfully got 2nd place.

    1. Gasly is not above FIA wide flag rules, which are there for everyone’s safety, not just F1 drivers’.

  2. Tomorrow will be more exciting. Great battle Ocon and Hamilton shows we do not need DRS.

    1. They don’t care about battles, the care about successful overtakes unfortunately

    2. I think Mercedes needs DRS. Especially against Alpine. It was deflating to see all the gains that Lewis made in the corners just disappear on the straights. Even with tow. Just count how many times this season he got stuck behind others with higher straight line speed. Yeah I know many people will point to the several years when he enjoyed better machinery than most. But I don’t look at it with a wish for revenge or payback. We all know how excellent Hamilton is on the wet, and that was just neutralised by the draggy car. He should be fighting at the front where he belongs.

  3. To bad being great leads to lack of interesting racing. Much better title fight last yeat.

    1. That was always going to happen under new rules. Some teams get it right and some get it wrong. You also need two good teams in it and Mercedes got their car badly wrong this year. Ferrari was better but car still inferior and some bad strategy calls.

  4. How Max won 2 tittles :
    2021 : because of Mercedes fault for not pitting Lewis after SC
    2022 : because of LEC fault for leaving the track and gaining advantage

    1. Well, and winning the most races in both seasons too

    2. Yes, both titles were absolutely won by only those incidents. All the other races in the seasons didn’t matter, it was only those things.

    3. Yes, he would not have won the championship otherwise, great analysis!

    4. Pitting Lewis at the safety car slick have being pretty stupid, as the fia would then followed the proper rules, instead of changing them to gift Max.

    5. How disingenuous of you to blame the outcome of Abu Dhabi 2021 on Mercedes’ pitstop decision. You know very well, everybody knows at this point that Masi rushed into “going racing” under pressure from Redbull, without letting all cars through before the restart, and before waiting until the unlapping cars rejoined at the back of the queue. Had Mercedes pitted and lost position to Redbull, and the SC protocol been broken in the same way, with Hamilton repassing Max at the restart, you’d now still be accusing Masi of having cheated and handed the title to Hamilton. Breaking the rules is not part of racing, like a tyre blowout, a collision or a mistakenly pressed magic button. No matter what happened before Abu Dhabi, the SC procedure was broken, contradicting the actions of the stewards in previous occasions, and it favoured some drivers unfairly more than others. There’s no way how one can justify and accept the outcome of that race as legitimate, because it was so clearly not according to the rules and had no precedence in F1’s modern history.

      1. The season was long and there were a lot of fortunate points that swung the title battle in a certain way, mostly in Lewis’ favour.
        Red flag Imola +18 points.
        Shunt & Red flag Silverstone + 26 points/Max 0 points.
        Hungaroring – Lewis + 16 points on Max after a shunt by Bottas.
        Monza – Lewis 0/Max 0
        Abu Dhabi – Max only +7 points/ Lewis -7 points.
        Hardly fair to only focus on the last race when it was minimal points gained compared to other races.

        1. Yes, looks like some of the people in the “hamilton should’ve won 2021” camp consider bad luck part of racing, while a slightly wrong interpretation of the rules is not part of racing in their opinion, to which I would bring up what happened in the first race of 2021, where they allowed hamilton to cut the track 29 times or so, gaining like 3 sec, and then when verstappen overtook him and ended up outside the track after the overtake, they told him to give the place back. This can’t be completely according to the rules either, the track is the same for all drivers.

        2. Looks like you even forgot to mention 1 event that goes in favour of hamilton as well: baku, he’d have lost points were it not for verstappen’s tyre problem.

        3. Spa 25 points for 2 laps

          1. Fair point. It was actually 12.5 points in Spa and Lewis got 7.5 points. A 5 point swing for Max.

      2. Old news. Wouldnt have made a difference anyway. A season is more than a single race

  5. Deserves a better celebration, but it was inevitable, 2022 belongs to him.

  6. Deserved winner, the best driver-car combo by some margin. Shame the FIA felt the need to force the issue at Honda-owned Suzuka.

    1. What do you mean by force the issue though? The rules are the rules, and this is not like last year where there was a clear rule that was badly applied.

      1. I can’t think of a single case where driver was penalized for missing a chicane, especially when the corner wasn’t being contested, on his first mistake.

        1. Vettel Canada 2017

          1. 2017 or 2019? 2017 vettel had a crash with verstappen, I believe and had to pit to repair some damage, 2019 it was vettel was hamilton for the lead, 5 sec penalty.

          2. vs hamilton*

        2. So the precedent is wrong….?
          Just because they’ve done something wrong multiple times before is no justification for doing it wrong again.

          1. Correct, but what do you think about the following –

            The precedent that already exists and has been applied multiple times is at least equally as valid for what we judge to be the ‘right’ precedent, no?

            I think that we should be focussed more on setting/updating the right precedents, by the way. Just that the above argument makes so many situations in F1 so confusing, especially driver battles.

          2. I think regardless of what has happened in the past, every incident is unique and must be judged accordingly.
            Precedents only really assist when incidents are remarkable similar.
            A precedent may be ‘right’ sometimes, but not at other times….

            And it is never the wrong time to set a better precedent.

          3. It wasn’t wrong then and isn’t wrong now

        3. petebaldwin (@)
          9th October 2022, 11:03

          He outbraked himself and then straight-lined it to keep his position. Do that at the chicane at Spa or Monza and you’ve lost the position. Therefore I think a penalty is fair. It’s ultimately irrelevant anyway as it’s not lead to a different outcome – just brought it forward slightly.

        4. My understanding is Charles would have been expected to give the position over to Checo due to gaining a lasting advantage. As that didn’t happen before the end of the race, a time penalty is the next sanction. Which is what was metered out.

          I do think the scenes at the end of no one seemingly knowing whether Max was champion due to most of the teams not realising full points were being awarded dampened it a little, but good to see the smile on his face when he realised (after triple-checking) that he had done it.

          I’m a big Lewis and Merc fan, but congrats to Max and RB – they’ve been the class of the field this year. Mercedes have been pretty much nowhere and Ferrari has failed to make it a competition this year. Hopefully, the pair of them can get their acts together for next year to make it more of a fight.

          1. Sad to say but this wasn’t a great championship fight, verstappen still drove better than his opponents, but I consider it way more of an achievement to win the title last year than this.

        5. José Lopes da Silva
          9th October 2022, 14:37

          Hamilton, Belgium 2008

        6. Even charles thinks the penalty is fair. You leave the track and keep your position clear advantage

      2. @yaru when you look at the regulations, there is an argument that, depending on when exactly Verstappen crossed the line when the time limit expired, the FIA didn’t actually end the race correctly and the incident between Leclerc and Perez occurred on a lap that, technically, might not actually exist.

        Article 59.2 of the sporting regulations states the following:
        59.2 Should for any reason the end-of-session signal be given before the leading car completes the scheduled number of laps, or the prescribed time has been completed, the sprint session or the race will be deemed to have finished when the leading car last crossed the Line before the signal was given.

        There were a number of individuals who commented that Verstappen crossed the line around 4 seconds before the time limit occurred, which would suggest the time limit didn’t actually expire until after he started the 28th lap. Now, under Article 5.4, the leading car should be “shown the end-of-session signal when he crosses the control line (the Line) at the end of the lap following the lap during which the two (2) hour period ended” – which means he should not have been shown the chequered flag until the end of lap 29 (i.e. if the time limit did actually expire on the 28th lap, then he shouldn’t have been shown the chequered flag until the end of lap 29).

        If that timing data is correct, then by showing the chequered flag at the end of lap 28, instead of on lap 29, there is an argument that the race did not run to the distance required under Article 5.4 and the end of session signal was shown prematurely. If the signal was shown prematurely at the end of lap 28, then under Article 59.2, the FIA should have declared the race to have been completed at the end of lap 27, which was the last time that Verstappen crossed the start/finish line before the signal was given – which also means that lap 28 officially never took place.

        If Article 59.2 should have been applied and thus the race should have officially ended at the end of lap 27, that then raises the question of whether the FIA can impose a penalty on Leclerc for an incident on lap 28.

        1. I admire your thoroug investigation but don’t you agree a checkered flag is given so that ends the race in that lap?

          1. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
            9th October 2022, 19:38

            No, there are specific separate provisions for what happens if the chequered flag appears when it is not supposed to (under other regulations). These have been invoked before and usually result in a one-lap count back.

        2. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
          9th October 2022, 19:37

          I agree. Thanks for the breakdown.

  7. ‘ FIA stewards to investigate Gasly for red flag speeding after tractor incident..’ well if I where the FIA I would first and foremost investigate how the hell this could have happened – again – in the first place. Quite shameless.

    1. I mean, they are the stewards. Their job was to investigate race related incident and this was race related. The crane screwup will be investigate by other parts of the FIA.

      The FIA is not a hivemind, there are different parts that are in charge of different things.

      1. I understand that. But in this instance. The investigation message came after the race. The stewards had plenty of time to think and review during the race delay. They might have also thought better of it and declare the incident as a whole – to be investigated – instead of pointing the finger only at Gasly. What happened today was inexcusable.

        1. But it isn’t one incident – it is two.

          1) The machinery shouldn’t have been on the track yet.
          2) Gasly was going way too fast through a known incident controlled by yellow flags. Regardless of teh delta time he was focusing on, he can not legally or safely go through an incident at that pace.

          Blaming the FIA for messing up their bit does not excuse Gasly for doing the wrong thing.

          1. Also agree. But it feels like the FIA is a bit to keen to use point 2 in order to wipe point 1 under the carpet

          2. Perhaps they will – but then it isn’t uncommon for vehicles to be on the track under SC without anyone flying past at 240kph.
            Like Monza this year, for instance…. Nobody went too fast, nobody complained.

  8. The race was 1 lap too short 🤷‍♀️

    1. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
      9th October 2022, 11:14

      I believe it was! Max crossed the line to start what was declared the final lap just before the 3 hours were up.

      Max’s race time: 3h 01m 44.004s
      Zhou’s race fastest lap: 1m 44.411s
      Even if Max had matched the race fastest lap, he’d have been circa 0.4s within 3 hours.

      Past precedent suggests a 1-lap count back is to be applied in such situations, which might also see the reversal of the Leclerc penalty (as happening on a race lap no longer counted to the result) and the reversal (albeit surely only short term) of the Max WDC declaration…

      1. It’s not 3 hours plus 1 lap.

        1. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
          9th October 2022, 11:53

          This direct quote from Article 5.4 of the Sporting Regs suggests it is 3 hours plus 1 lap.

          …However, should two hours elapse before the scheduled race distance is completed, the leader will be shown the end-of-session signal when he crosses the control line (the Line) at the end of the lap following the lap during which the two (2) hour period ended, provided this does not result in the scheduled number of laps being exceeded. Only under the circumstances below will any exception be made to the above:

          b) Should the race be suspended (see Article 57) the length of the suspension will be added to this period up to a maximum total race time of three (3) hours.

          1. I think that means it’s 2 hours plus 1 lap… However the maximum total race time is 3 hours not 3 hours plus 1 lap. 3 hours plus 1 lap is impossible if the race is stopped at that time so the rule wouldn’t make sense.

            However this race showed why the rule should be modified if the race is running at the end of 3 hours. In that case it should be 3 hours + 1 lap. If Verstappen had a slow final sector he could have crossed the line after 3 hours with no chequered flag and would think he should drive through the esses at full speed while marshalls etc think the race is over.

            There could also be the potential for a repeat of the Mehri / Latifi incident if 1 of any of the battling drivers slowed thinking the race was over, while the other kept their foot down.

          2. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
            9th October 2022, 13:21

            Re: Michael

            That’s quite an imaginative reading of clause b).

            All I took from clause b) is that in the event of a race suspension, replace the number 2 in the above article 5.4 with either (the lesser of) 2 + [time suspended], or 3. I see nothing to suggest the other provisions of article 5.4 should be amended or set aside.

            Article 5.4 discusses when to show the chequered flag, in the case of a race not resumed there is no chequered flag, so I don’t follow that angle either.

    2. The race could have been 1 lap shorter even. If RBR instructed max to slow down the last few corners the clock would have ended the race. Now because he crossed the line before that moment it took one lap extra.

  9. What is it about Redbull that gains them FIA support?
    Charles a penalty quick as a flash.

    Perez last race and silverstone take ages with no pen. Take Max in Brazil last year, nothing to investigate!
    Absolutely laughable

    1. Lol the same was said everytime merc got away with things. Its Just fans bias creating it

      1. Nope. It’s just the FIA works hard to make this a show, not sport.

        1. How does giving Charles a pen in seconds, but always finding Redbull not guilty good for the show

      2. So… FIA biased towards Merc? Even when they cheated them out of 2021 WDC…. Sure

        1. Abu dhabi, taken in unison with the other events of the 2021 championship, was justice, not cheating.

  10. Why were full points awarded for a shortened race? Another stitch-up to favour the chosen one.

    1. Tommy Scragend
      9th October 2022, 13:53

      Maybe you should read the Formula One Sporting Regulations before showing your ignorance.

      1. Last years drama filled season clearly broke some fragile minds. Comments on unrelated articles can be filled with Hamilton/Merc v Max/Red Bull derangement

    2. If one wants to go down the conspiracy theory, this was honda’s home race!

  11. Another pathetic display from the FIA. I feel sorry for the 10% of people who stayed awake to watch this after all the shameful delays.

  12. For clarity, What happens if we had only completed 3 laps from the restart into the finish line?

    Would full points be applied then?

    Max would have been champ anyway so regardless full points on not.

    Let’s see if RB cheated with the budget,

  13. Let me explain if it’s so hard for you.

    Before 2021 the FIA president Jean Todt openly said that they need to stop Mercedes from winning again. Red Bull asked to forbid the “qualification” mode for all teams (obviously, Mercedes were good at it; Honda – not so much). The FIA did just that.

    In 2021, there were multiple occasions when Verstappen wasn’t given a penalty (or the penalty was meaningless) because the FIA “is so afraid to mess up with the championship”. This clearly helps Red Bull and Verstappen. For example, in Brasil, it was a drive-through for pushing the other driver off the track. In Jeddah, it was a black flag for deliberately crashing into another racer.

    What we get in the end? Most fans are glory hunters. They see a new toy and they want to see their toy win. Especially after Mercedes domination. Considering the FIA is desperate to get the viewers back, they do this – bend rules or avoid applying rules with one purpose only – help win anyone but Mercedes.

    PS: I am not a Mercedes or Hamilton fan. In fact, I don’t care if they win or lose.

    1. This is an answer to Neil.

    2. PS: I am not a Mercedes or Hamilton fan. In fact, I don’t care if they win or lose.

      Funny that you need to say so, while discrediting both the FIA and Mercedes’ rivals.
      Also noteworthy that you have not included any of the incidents where Red Bull came off worse than Mercedes…

    3. Why do you even watch F1 if you feel this way? I would never watch a sport if I think its fixed

    4. Hahaha, Will Wood had to write something but you can almost read the sour taste in his mouth because Verstappen destroyed the competition this year… Too bad Will maybe next time your guy has an actual shot at the title.

    5. In Brazil, max didn’t get a drive through he was allowed to push Lewis about 6 metres odd the track

    6. Crashing in jeddah? There’s a saying that the person who hits the car in front is always wrong!

  14. Congratulations to Max and to Red Bull.

    Despite early signs that Ferrari, in the form of Leclerc, might do something special, Max and Red Bull have been streets ahead. Best overall car and by far and away the strongest driver.

    Bring on 2023 and hopefully a much closer battle.

  15. If a driver deserved to be champion this year, it was Max. Red Bull made a fantastic combo with Max and that car, and it was just a matter of time before Max was the champion this season. He was on fire.

    But is was sad joke that for the second season in a row F1 managed to make a massive mess at the title clincher.
    The fact that not even Max knew that they decided to award full points and so he was the new champion, tell a lot about the sad state of affairs.
    The pinnacle of motor racing, the Mount Olympus of car engineering in racing, made cars unable to race under the rain, and the organizers are unable to made clear rules so everyone understand what’s is going on.
    F1 became the WWE of motorsports.

    1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
      9th October 2022, 14:22

      It’s different. Though I disagree with the penalty… It was a matter of time for Max to take it. RBR just got faster and Ferrari really fell behind. If it wasn’t today… It will be next weekend. Max and RBR are just too good atm.

      1. There’s no doubt about that but it’s no reason not to complain about the fia: no more full wet weather races, even when there’s the occasion, such as in this case, it rained for hours, and they also manage to give a strange points system which makes it a surprise that he even won the title in this occasion, when according to the duration it should’ve been 75% points.

  16. Mercedes (brawn) to red bull to mercedes to redbull domination. Nice

    1. That’s what happens when they tell all the teams to build essentially the same cars.

      Go back a few decades and dominance was excessive if it lasted even a full season.

  17. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
    9th October 2022, 14:19

    Congratulations to RBR and Max! Dominant season with very few mistakes and just being the class of the field!

  18. Good that the championship is concluded. I wish Mercedes gets their act together and builds a top 2 car for next year. Thats the only way we get a good championship between two equally competent teams. RBR and Mercs fighting it was fun last year. If Ferrari is one of the teams fighting for wins, it has usually meant the championship is won by September October for their rivals, so no thanks. It hurts to be a fan of Ferrari right now, but we need to get better at race management and avoiding errors if we want to enjoy a proper championship battle with them as a factor.

  19. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    9th October 2022, 14:42

    Just 2 folks congratulating Red Bull and Verstappen. I guess I should be the bigger person and congratulate him on his 1st WDC. May it be his last!

    1. He didn’t say boring he said sad…

    2. Wow, I’m actually more impressive by verstappen’s 2021 season than this, not that he made a lot of mistakes, but there was far more competition last year.

    3. impressed*

  20. The worst championship final ever…

  21. The 2nd non-event in less than a week.
    F1 as a sport or/and entertainment has let me down countless times in the past, but now they’re topping themselves.
    They delay the even and you know straight away it will be not worth the wait.

    What is happening?

    1. Yes, it’s such a shame that you have full wet conditions and they don’t let them race, in these conditions it’s even harder to overtake than with standing water.

  22. I think I’m done with F1. I have been watched F1 since the 70s but the FIA with the fiasco last year and then this years new fiasco has turned F1 into not a real sport with all the credibility of wrestling. Bad news is the FIA is not done yet for 2022 wait for how they mishandled the spending cap issue!! Seems the FIA has lost its way since the loss of Bernie’s boys.

    1. Been watching since the 70’s and you still dont know how to read the sporting regulations? oof, ignorance sure is bliss

    2. Ok buddy live long and prosper.

    3. Byeee
      Don’t let the door hit you on your way out

  23. Jelle van der Meer (@)
    9th October 2022, 19:02

    Red Bull will clinch the WCC in the next race unless Ferrari manages to outscore Red Bull with 19 points or more.

    With max 191 points available and Red Bull 165 points ahead, Red Bull only need to score 26 more points in 4 races + 1 sprint race even if Ferrari finishes them all 1-2 with Flap.

    Meaning if Red Bull wins the next race they are WCC. If Ferrari scores the maximum 44 points Red Bull must finish 3rd and 4th to still win WCC in Austin.

  24. This weekend shows a lot of the problems F1 is facing at the moment and it’s not the racing. It’s all rules, procedures and gouvernance.
    1. With the three hour rules (and the late starting time of course) they’ve boxed themselves in. They had to abort a perfectly fine race in improving conditions.
    2. The rules are unnecessary complicated and full of loopholes. After 2 hours it’s + one lap and after 3 hours it’s not…
    3. They don’t understand their own rules anymore: Half points? Full points! Surprise, surprise. And the explanation is not really convincing either. And it raises another question: If a race is stopped after three laps, suspended for 150 minutes and then resumed for three further laps. Will they award full points as well?
    4. Penalties are still inconsistent and the decision making is bad.
    Last race it took forever and now they made it too quick, explained it wrong and didn’t consider the precedents in recent history.
    5. Loss of trust and predictability: Questionable decisions in the past lead to a situation in which the delay of the publication of the cost cap results opens the door for conspiracy theories on one side and is hanging like a sword of democles over the championship party of the other side.
    5. Unacceptable an unexplainable errors.
    It’s completely nuts to see a recovery vehicle on track in conditions like that. We had it in turkey two years ago. It was horrible then and it was even worse today.

    So by needing five new rules to specify each unnecessary rule instead of just abolish it FIA created a monster of bureaucracy and overregulation that feeds on it’s own.

    Congratulations to Verstappen, the poor lad. Great season, great drive (again) but he really deserved better circumstances to become champion.

    1. @roadrunner Well stated.

      I love the posters stating that everyone is ignorant of the rules when the former drivers and professional commentators were just as confused as to the length of the race and the number of points being awarded.

      1. Which is exceptionally unprofessional of them to be so unprepared and unversed on this season’s regulations changes.

    2. 1) It was dark! What were they supposed to do? How would you like your local F1 race to start at 11am?
      2) The regs clearly state the 2 hour +1 lap (soft) rule and the 3 hour (hard) rule.
      3) The FIA were right about the points – everyone else was wrong, and many of them should be mighty embarrassed about it. That’s how the rule is written, and all the teams and broadcasters have it in front of them.
      Yes, it is conceivable that a GP could last 2 laps and award full points if prevented from being completed by reaching the 3 hour time limit. Deal with it. Although in reality, that wouldn’t happen – it would be called off if there were only a few minutes remaining at the end.
      4) Penalties will always be inconsistent because no two incidents are ever identical. Absolute consistency in stewarding would result in many clearly incorrect rulings.
      5) Why on earth would you put your trust in the FIA? Conspiracy theories come from insecure people, or those just stirring up some trouble (or fun, depending on your viewpoint).
      Other 5) Recovery vehicles on track under SC is not uncommon. It was only an issue because Gasly wasn’t in the SC train, and because he chose to fly through the (yellow flag) incident zone at 200kph.

      F1 always has had problems and always will – but some of them exist predominantly in the minds of viewers.

  25. Perfect confusing race to give him his 2nd title…
    What’s next from FIA? Ban Lewis for the nose piercing?
    And what about the cost cap? Maybe a secret deal with Red Bull ‘a la Ferrari’…
    Never been so sick and tired of F1 since the time of Schumacher at Ferrari…
    Seb and Lewis World titles were almost all competitive… there was always someone fighting with them…
    This guys is handed a World Title with cheating, and maybe because they spent more money than other in last year and this year’s cars and now in 20 minute’s race, he gain more than a second to the second place…

    1. Eh? Lewis and Mercedes had actual opposition for their titles? Disagree strongly, with exception of Nico

    2. At least in the time, there was some good racing

    3. Have to disagree as well, if you want to look race by race verstappen had some competition this year, same for example with some races in 2019 for hamilton. But in terms of championship in neither case.

  26. F1 credibility is way down…
    I thought Todt was bad…
    Mohammed is worst…

  27. If FIA had cars in F1, they would be behind Williams.

    1. Indeed, such a shameful display in terms of never racing in full wet conditions and that you don’t even know a title won the championship because of the strange points rule.

  28. So many comments above have made me realise that a load of F1 “fans” are actually just here to try and stoke controversy. There is nothing here.
    Full points is correct, it is not the FIA’s fault that Teams did not know the rules properly.
    5 Second penalty is correct, Even Leclerc himself agrees.
    Done, no controversy. Dominant season for Max/RB = WC, up to the rest to become competitive.

  29. Congrats to Max on legitimately winning his first driver’s Championship!

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