Max Verstappen Wins Second F1 Title

Max Verstappen
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has now won back-to-back world championships. Eugene Hoshiko/AP

Max Verstappen wins his second consecutive Formula 1 Championship, and it, once again, comes in a very weird way. The Belgian-Dutch driver captured his second title without even knowing as he won Sunday’s rain-soaked Japanese Grand Prix. He captured the title after F1 penalized one of his chief rivals and a decision to award full points for a shortened race. The moves put him an insurmountable 113 points up with four races to go.


Max Verstappen‘s nearest rival, Monacan driver Charles Leclerc, was penalized five seconds for cutting the final chicane while battling Sergio Perez for position. That penalty dropped Leclerc from second place to third in the final standings. Even with the penalty, Verstappen was still confused about the possibility of him being champion due to Formula One’s multi-tiered points system for shortened races.


Formula One added a multi-tiered points system this season following a rained-out race in Belgium last year that led to full points despite no competitive racing. That system is now under fire after it led to confusion following Sunday’s race in Japan. Verstappen was convinced he wouldn’t have enough points to clinch the title because he thought he would only receive half pints or 75 percent of points. The decision to award full points is seen as controversial, but it was enough to clinch the title for Verstappen.


Verstappen’s first Formula One title was shrouded in a much bigger controversy. Verstappen passed Lewis Hamilton on the last lap of the final race to win the 2021 title. Formula One’s governor body determined the race director had incorrectly allowed the pass to happen. Had Verstappen not been allowed to pass Hamilton, Hamilton would’ve won the 2021 title. While these circumstance are far less controversial, I’m sure Verstappen would like to win a championship without something odd happening in the race where he clinches the title. With four races left, Verstappen was likely going to win the title anyway. Congratulations are in order for Max Verstappen, the 2022 Formula One Champion.

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