Max Verstappen Wins his second Formula 1 world championship amid massive confusion following his victory at the chaotic race shortened by rain Japanese Grand Prix.
There was much confusion before the flag was raised in the face of uncertainty about whether partial or complete scores would be handed out in the race. Only 49 of the laps scheduled were completed.
Between 50 percent to 75 percent of the completed laps, many in the F1 Paddock believed that Verstappen would only receive 19 points in his win. However, during his victory in the Japanese GP, there was a different version of the rules, which stipulated that the reduced points only apply in the event of a race being suspended “and cannot be restarted.”
When Celebrations Began
Verstappen was disoriented by the situation when celebrations began. They were interrupted until it was confirmed that all points were given to the 25-year-old, securing his victory with just four races remaining.
“The initial one’s more emotional, while the second one is prettier,” Verstappen said.
“Looking to the back of our eyes, we can see what an amazing year we’ve had thus far. It’s been awe-inspiring. It’s something I would never imagine. After last year’s struggle until the end, then getting such a nice car in the same year. I am so grateful to everyone who’s been a part of this achievement.”
The Dutchman would not have won the title had Charles Leclerc come second. However, the Ferrari driver’s error on the race’s final lap resulted in him receiving five seconds in the penalty – due to abandoning the track and getting an advantage. This pushed him to third, behind another Red Bull of Sergio Perez.
The race was earlier threatening to be ruined by controversy as the first attempt, to begin with heavy rain, caused chaos, and Carlos Sainz crashed into a barrier before a tractor arrived on the track, and the cars remained on the way.
Race Delay of More Than Two Hours
The race was red-flagged, and a delay of more than two hours followed as rain fell continuously. With the possibility of a return looking bleak at several places.
The sky cleared, and racing resumed a slow start in front of the Safety Car at around 45 minutes remaining. So on the clock of three hours that had been ticking since the beginning.
The dry track was where the race changed from wet tires in full to intermediate. However, Verstappen was at ease when he sprinted clear to win by just 27 seconds.
Esteban Ocon displayed a superb defensive performance to keep out Lewis Hamilton for fourth. Sebastian Vettel and Nicholas Latifi were among the early to take off for the first time. And finish the race in sixth and ninth place, respectively.