As the lights went off, Charles Leclerc got the better of Max Verstappen, taking the lead. However, Verstappen was quick to regain the first spot by the first corner itself. Meanwhile the other Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz went into the barriers, ending his race there and then. With the safety car out, the race was red flagged. Alex Albon was another driver that saw his race cut short due to mechanical issues.
The race had to be halted considering the track was still pretty wet. Meanwhile AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly was furious after spotting a recovery truck on the track that was deployed to collect Carlos Sainz’s car. “What is this tractor?! What is this tractor on track?” he shouted. “I passed next to it, this is unacceptable! Remember what has happened. I don’t believe this!”
The race resumed with a rolling start, with all drivers quickly switching to Intermediates. Take a look at all the point scorers at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix –
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
4. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
6. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
7. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
8. George Russell (Mercedes)
9. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
10. Lando Norris (McLaren)
After Charles Leclerc received a 5 second penalty for trying to gain an advantage, Sergio Perez was promoted to P2. This helped Max Verstappen seal the 2022 Formula 1 Driver’s Championship for the second year running after having dominated the entire season, with 4 races still to go this season.
Behind the podium takers, there was another battle going on between Esteban Ocon and Lewis Hamilton. In the end, it was Ocon who managed to retain the fourth position while the 7-time World Champion had to settle for fifth. Behind these two, the other two former World Champions Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso finished with just 0.011 seconds separating the two! George Russell, Nicholas Latifi, Lando Norris were the remaining three point scorers at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen now holds as many World Championship titles as Fernando Alonso. Meanwhile the fight for the Constructor’s trophy is still on, with Red Bull Racing leading sitting atop with 619 points to its name, and Scuderia Ferrari on second with 454 points.