It was Red Bull driver Max Verstappen who won the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix, the Dutchman ahead of Sergio Perez’s Red Bull and Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari at the finish line.
Behind, Esteban Ocon, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, George Russell, Nicholas Latifi and Lando Norris complete the top ten of this Japanese Grand Prix interrupted by the arrival of rain just before the start. It should be noted that Charles Leclerc – who crossed the line in P2 – was penalized by five seconds for blocking Sergio Perez’s Red Bull, which means that the Monegasque officially finished third.
This penalty imposed on Charles Leclerc and the award of all points mean that Max Verstappen won his second world title in Formula 1 this Sunday, although he will officially receive it only at the end of the season.
Leaving in the rain
The rain expected this Sunday in Suzuka arrived on the circuit when the first drops began to fall on the track an hour before the start. The start of this eighteenth round of the year was therefore given on a wet track.
Sainz and Albon leave
From the very first lap of the race, Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz suffered from aquaplaning and crashed into tire barriers. End of the game for the Spaniard who still managed to get out of his car by himself. Following this incident, race management first fielded a Safety Car before finally waving a red flag to allow the stewards to clear Sainz’s damaged Ferrari, while at the same time Williams driver Alex Albon also retired for mechanical failure.
When Sainz left the track, an advertising panel ended up on the track and it was the Frenchman Pierre Gasly who recovered it from the nose of his car. Fortunately, the AlphaTauri driver was able to reach the pit lane without damaging his car.
Once in the pits, Pierre Gasly was visibly very upset and only a few minutes later we understood why. The Frenchman overtook a tractor on a wet track, reminiscent of the fatal accident suffered by the Frenchman Jules Bianchi in 2024 on the same track. However, the Frenchman was placed under investigation for driving too fast during this lap back to the pits (speed increased to 250 km / h) …
Race suspended for two hours!
The race was eventually suspended for two hours due to the complicated weather conditions in Suzuka. All the drivers therefore remained in the pits waiting for a respite before receiving the famous message from the race direction, they will be back on track for a test of less than an hour.
The wise pilots
Finally, the drivers remained very wise when the race resumed on a still wet track. The start took place behind a Safety Car before it entered the pit lane to let the group explain themselves once and for all.
At no time was Max Verstappen worried by his rival Charles Leclerc. The Red Bull driver finished this Japanese Grand Prix over 20 seconds ahead of Leclerc who finished third on Sunday. Max Verstappen is then crowned for the second time in his Formula 1 career.
Latifi scores his first points
At the end of this race, Williams driver Nicholas Latifi scored the first points of the season to finish the Japanese Grand Prix in ninth place.
The next race of the 2022 F1 World Championship will take place on the COTA track in Austin, Texas from 21-23 October. All driving sessions will obviously be followed live on our site.
Japanese GP results