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Max Verstappen. (Photo- Max Verstappen Twitter)
Max Verstappen. (Photo- Max Verstappen Twitter)

Max Verstappen wins rain-hit Japanese GP, captures second F1 title

ANI | Updated: Oct 09, 2022 15:24 IST

Suzuka [Japan], October 9 (ANI): Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing clinched his second Formula one championship as he won a restarted Japanese GP race at Suzuka after Charles Leclerc of Ferrari was penalised for cutting the chicane on the final lap while defending from other Red Bull racers, Sergio Perez.
A dramatic late penalty for Leclerc helped Verstappen win the race and clinch his second title. The star racer heads to United States Grand Prix and final four races of the season with a massive lead over his rivals Perez and Leclerc, with him at 366 points and Perez, Leclerc at 253 and 252 points respectively. This confirms Verstappen's status as a champion of the ongoing season.
The race got underway at 1400 local time. But a lengthy delay happened, with the three-hour race limit ticking down. Two-hour window came into force after the initial start.

With 50 minutes left to race on clock, the Safety Car carried out a rolling start. And the pack of cars was released, forced to run wets, rather than having the choice to use intermediates.
Verstappen defended from Leclerc after a close run to Turn 1. Only two laps were completed before the action got red-flagged amid intense rain and other incidents, which also saw Carlos Sainz of Ferrari crashing out of the race.
There was huge confusion about whether full or partial points will be awarded for the GP which saw only 29 laps out of 53 being completed. Regardless of full or partial points being awarded, Leclerc finishing second would have denied Verstappen the title. But his final lap error led to him being handed over a five-second penalty that saw him pushed back to the third spot behind Perez.
The race was threatened by controversy, as an initial attempt to start during heavy rain resulted in chaos, with Carlos Sainz crashing into the barrier, before a recovery tractor came on track before the race had been red-flagged, with the cars still on the circuit.
Race Standings: Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing), Sergio Perez (Red Bull Racing), Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Esteban Ocon (Alpine Renault), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), Fernando Alonso (Alpine Renault), George Russell (Mercedes), Nicholas Latifi (Williams Racing), Lando Norris (Williams Racing). (ANI)