Max Verstappen wins and becomes world champion

Max Verstappen wins and becomes world champion

Max Verstappen is Formula 1 World Champion for the second time. The Dutchman won the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka ahead of his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez and Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc (Monaco). After crossing the finish line with four remaining races, Verstappen can no longer be pushed off the top of the world championship rankings by either of his two pursuers.

Verstappen benefited from Leclerc missing a corner, receiving a five-second penalty and subsequently having to give up second place to Perez. Although only 28 of the 53 planned laps were driven, the world automobile association FIA awarded full points. There was a lot of confusion on this point even after the end of the race.

It rained continuously in Suzuka on Sunday. The restart occurred more than two hours after the interruption. In the meantime it looked like it could not 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 daring strategy. Mick Schumacher’s tire gamble went wrong, the Haas driver missed out on the points and finished 18th and the last driver to cross the finish line.

Frenchman Pierre Gasly experienced a moment of shock. On the second lap, the AlphaTauri driver just sped past a recovery vehicle – memories of the serious accident in Suzuka in 2014, which cost his friend Jules Bianchi his life, were awakened.

The race was already interrupted at this point. However, Gasly was still on the track because he had previously changed parts in the pit lane under the safety car and was following the field. “This is unacceptable,” Gasly ranted on the radio. The world association FIA announced that Gasly was traveling at “up to 250 kilometers per hour”, although the red flag had already been shown. The race stewards deal with the incident after the race.

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