SportF1F1 - Verstappen world champion in Japan controversy

F1 – Verstappen world champion in Japan controversy

The 2022 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix would be one of strong emotions due to the forecast of rain, but nobody counted on a standing start, a red flag that neutralized the test in Suzuka and all the controversy that arose after the Pierre Gasly incident with a crane in the middle of the track, remembering what happened in 2014 with Jules Bianchi.

Max Verstappen had before him the opportunity to proclaim himself two-time world champion, although he needed a combination of results that did not occur on the starting grid, but he also did not want to risk the water and complicate the achievement of his second title.

However, the Dutchman was impassive and reaped a new triumph that proclaimed him as world champion for the second consecutive year together with Red Bull. This is the 32nd victory in the Great Circus, which equals Fernando Alonso as the sixth driver in history with the most times on top of the podium, and puts one of the best of all time, Ayrton Senna , as the next stop.

The Dutchman was accompanied on the podium by a Charles Leclerc who could have opted for victory in Japan if the pole position had not escaped him by just 10 thousandths, and who mathematically bids farewell to the title after a five-second penalty at the end of the a race that relegated him to third place, raising Sergio Pérez to the second step of the podium, closing the double for the Austrian team on a day of celebration.

Behind them there was a fierce fight to be the best of the rest, with Esteban Ocon holding Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes throughout the race, even when the seven-time champion pressed with all his energy in the final moments. Behind, Sebastian Vettel was the smartest in the class at his farewell in Japan to be sixth as he was the first driver to switch to intermediates, less than two thousandths ahead of Fernando Alonso, who fell several places trying to stay on track on the extreme wet tires and then took advantage of an extra stop to make a comeback with newer intermediates than his rivals.

Closing out the points zone, George Russell staged a comeback from his pit stop to catch up with Nicholas Latifi and cross the finish line eighth, with the Canadian ninth and Lando Norris tenth.

F1 Japan GP 2022 Race Results

Cla Pilot Chassis laps Weather Difference Points
1 NetherlandsMax Verstappen Red Bull 28   13
2 MonacoCharles Leclerc Ferrari 28 26.763 26.763 9
3 MexicoSergio Pérez Red Bull 28 27.066 27.066 8
4 FranceEsteban Ocon Alpine 28 39.685 39.685 6
5 United KingdomLewis Hamilton Mercedes 28 40.326 40.326 5
6 GermanySebastian Vettel Aston Martin 28 46.358 46.358 4
7 SpainFernando Alonso Alpine 28 46.369 46.369 3
8 United KingdomGeorge Russell Mercedes 28 47.661 47.661 2
9 CanadaNicholas Latifi Williams 28 1’10.143 1’10.143 1
10 United KingdomLando Norris McLaren 28 1’10.782 1’10.782 1
Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03

1/14 _

Photo by: Zak Mauger/Motorsport Images

Carlos Sainz’s car, Ferrari F1-75, on a crane

El coche de Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75, en una grúa

2 / 14

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin


Foto de: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR22, Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR22, Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42.


Foto de: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Red Bull mechanics on the grid

Los mecánicos de Red Bull en la parrilla

5 / 14

Photo by: Sam Bloxham/Motorsport Images

Red light for stopped race

Luz roja por la carrera detenida

6 / 14

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Sebastian VettelAston Martin

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin

7 / 14

Photo by: Zak Mauger/Motorsport Images

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT03 a crane on the track

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT03 una grua enla pista

8 /
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL36

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL36

9 / 14

Photo de: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes W13

George Russell, Mercedes W13

10 / 14

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22

11 / 14

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR22

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR22


Foto de: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36

13 / 14

Photo by: Zak Mauger/Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22

14 / 14

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

F1 Japan GP 2022 Race Summary

Formula 1 was preparing to see what could be Max Verstappen’s coronation race as two-time world champion, but the rain altered all plans. The drivers went out for a few laps to check the condition of the tarmac before taking up their starting positions on the grid, with all opting to fit the intermediate tyres.

For that reason, the FIA also decided to allow a start in the usual way, following the lights of the traffic lights and not behind the safety car, something quite normal when the Grand Circus sees raindrops falling from the sky. However, from the first meters it was possible to verify that it was not the right thing, not because of the amount of rain, but because of the visibility enjoyed by the pilots.

At the start, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc went parallel before reaching the first corner, and when it seemed that the Ferrari man managed to take the lead, the defending champion retained pole position, so the Monegasque had to settle with second place. That was until the second sector, since his Prancing Horse partner, Carlos Sainz, went straight into the wall before reaching Spoon due to aquaplaning .

The man from Madrid, who had lost his third place against Checo Pérez, was left in the middle of the track at the mercy of the rest of the pack that was going at full speed in Suzuka, but, fortunately, nobody hit the F1-75 of the Spaniard. However, the controversy and critical messages towards the FIA came when Pierre Gasly encountered a crane in the middle of the asphalt while the AlphaTauri driver was traveling at more than 250 km/h.

The Frenchman showed his anger via the radio, and that generated a large number of social media posts from heavyweight personalities on social media as a show of disagreement with the action that Race Direction allowed. The memory of Jules Bianchi and his terrible accident on the same stage in 2014, which ended his life months later, in July 2015, due to the aftermath, made his father, Philippe, express his anger at “not having respect in memory of Jules”.

The governing body, immediately after Sainz’s coup, showed the red flag, thus paralyzing the test, but the international federation was already in the spotlight for what happened. On the sporting side, Sebastian Vettel had suffered a small touch with Fernando Alonso that sent him to the gravel and to the back of the grid, although it was worse for Alexander Albon, who suffered a mechanical problem that forced him to retire.

The fans, hoping to see the single-seaters running again, stayed in the stands in the rain, watching the maximum stopwatch of the 3-hour race tick down, until 45 minutes before the limit, they returned to the asphalt with extreme rain tires.

During that period, the FIA had announced that they were going to resume the event, but seconds before starting the engines, and when the drivers were already inside the cars, they announced a delay to the restart. However, when they returned to the track on the third lap, the protagonists affirmed on the radio that it was possible to race in these conditions, since the rain had lessened its intensity.

The FIA resumes the race after the Safety Car (40 minutes remaining)

The federation decided to restart the race under competitive conditions, and with 40 minutes remaining, the safety car returned to the pitlane to let Max Verstappen lead, ahead of Leclerc, Pérez, Ocon, Hamilton, Alonso , Russell, Ricciardo, Tsunoda and Mick Schumacher. They were all on the extreme rain tyres, but both Sebastian Vettel and Nicholas Latifi took a chance on the intermediates as they were at the back of the pack.

All the drivers who were in the points zone kept their place, and despite the fact that those who opted for the mixed compounds improved their times, they received an investigation for an unsafe release that did not go any further. That got everyone ready to switch to intermediates, which was followed suit by Norris and Bottas, although Lewis Hamilton insisted the extreme wet tires were still the right ones.

However, the leader, followed by Leclerc, Pérez and the rest of the front, except for Fernando Alonso, went through the pits to change tires, leaving the Spaniard in the virtual leadership of the Suzuka event. At Alpine they hoped to take advantage of the situation, but the Spaniard went wide at the Casio chicane and pitted, handing over the lead to Mick Schumacher, something that was short-lived when Verstappen and Leclerc overtook the Haas.

In this way, those who first rode the intermediates benefited, proof of this was Vettel’s seventh place, who was last before changing tires, or Latifi, ninth and in the points zone.

Everything is sorted after the pit stops (30 minutes left)

Mick Schumacher formed a train from fourth to tenth, holding off Esteban Ocon and Lewis Hamilton, who saw Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso close in, while Verstappen retained the lead, followed by Leclerc and Checo Pérez. The German from Haas finally entered the pitlane after losing a lot of time, and returned to the track in last place.

Qualifying stabilized with everyone on the intermediates, leaving small gaps for the spray to let them see the tricky Suzuka circuit, though that was no reason for George Russell to move up to ninth when he passed Yuki Tsunoda and Lando Norris with excellent moves.

The fight continued between Ocon and Hamilton and Vettel and Alonso, who were separated by tenths with only a quarter of an hour left to see the checkered flag, although some were thinking of entering the pitlane to mount a new set of intermediates.

Some risks and fights in the final minutes (15 minutes remaining)

Lewis Hamilton came to parallel Esteban Ocon at turn 130R, but when he left the slipstream, he lost all top speed and was unable to overtake the Frenchman from Alpine, although he did not give up, he was even about to touch at certain times. Meanwhile, his partner, George Russell, was already eighth after passing Nicholas Latifi, and Alonso could not beat Vettel.

Ahead, Checo Pérez was dangerously close to Leclerc, at the same time that the Spaniard from Alpine played it with another new compound to go for the comeback, and it did not take him long to pass Latifi again to get eighth and go in pursuit Russell, who was 11 seconds behind. The Mexican pressed, but could not with the Monegasque, and they would play it all in one lap.

Max Verstappen crossed the finish line after dominating without opposition, while it was necessary to wait to see who would go second. Finally it was Leclerc who came out ahead after missing the Casio chicane after a fierce fight, followed by Ocon, Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, Russell, Latifi and Norris. Leclerc was handed a five-second penalty after the race and lost second to Pérez, ultimately giving Max Verstappen his second title.

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