Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen won the Japanese Grand Prix under the chaos of the rain in Suzuka and defended his world title. However, there was some confusion over the evaluation of the race.
The Dutchman won the Japanese Grand Prix ahead of Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez and Ferrari champion Charles Leclerc (Monaco). Having crossed the finish line with four races remaining, Verstappen can no longer be pushed off the top of the world rankings by either of his two rivals.
Verstappen took advantage of Leclerc missing a corner, receiving a five-second penalty and subsequently had to give second place to Perez. Although only 28 of the planned 53 laps were completed, the FIA World Automobile Association awarded full points. There was a lot of confusion on this point even after the end of the race.
But then came the explanation: The International Automobile Association awarded the full number of points, even if less than the prescribed 75 percent of the 53 laps were completed, or only 28. This rule only applies if the race cannot be resumed after a break, they belatedly explained the rulers.
“Am I world champion? Isn’t it?”
“They are mixed feelings” Verstappen said: “Thanks to everyone who contributed to this success”. At first it was not clear whether he had already made the title perfect. “Am I world champion? Isn’t it?”, he asked before the awards ceremony. Then he had the certainty after his 32nd victory in Formula 1 and the twelfth of the season: “After the race I was told by the FIA. Incredible.”
“When I look back on our season now, it’s amazing”Verstappen later said, “It’s very exciting.” The second title is given superiority “Even a little bit nicer. It’s been a very special year, something like this doesn’t happen often.” He just wants now “home” go and enjoy.
Heavy rain causes a long break
On Sunday it rained continuously in Suzuka. The restart took place more than two hours after the interruption. Meanwhile it seemed he couldn’t be driven at all. Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel (Heppenheim / Aston Martin) finished sixth in the points in his last race in Japan thanks to a bold strategy. The bet on Mick Schumacher’s tires went badly, the Haas driver missed the points and finished 18th and the last driver to cross the finish line.
Shocking moment for Gasly
Frenchman Pierre Gasly experienced a moment of shock. On the second lap, the AlphaTauri driver has just passed in front of a rescue vehicle: memories of the serious Suzuka accident in 2014, which cost the life of his friend Jules Bianchi, have awakened. The race had already been stopped at this point. However, Gasly was still on track because he had previously switched parts in the pit lane under the safety car and was following the pitch. “This is unacceptable”, Gasly scolded on the radio. The FIA World Association announced that Gasly was with “up to 250 km / h” on the way, even though the red flag had already been shown. The race marshals deal with the incident after the race.