And Just Like That, Max Verstappen Is A Two-Time Formula 1 World Champion
(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
— Updated on 20 February 2023

And Just Like That, Max Verstappen Is A Two-Time Formula 1 World Champion

— Updated on 20 February 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen has secured his second Formula 1 world championship title after a chaotic, confusing, and controversial 2022 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

Heading into the weekend, the extremely dominant Dutch motorsport talent – who has claimed 12 victories from the past 18 races – only needed closest challenger and Scuderia Ferrari rival, Charles Leclerc, to finish P3 or lower to retain his throne. Mathematically speaking, this was the Leclerc’s final chance to secure the necessary points to stay in the title fight.

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And right until the 28th and final lap, Charles Leclerc was still technically in contention for this year’s crown. But in a Drive To Survive-worthy moment of symmetry that mirrored the 2019 season conclusion in Abu Dhabi, Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez (AKA the Minister of Defence) pressured Leclerc into exceeding track limits, effectively earning the latter a five-second penalty. As a result, Perez was awarded P2 despite crossing the finish line behind Leclerc.

“It was a bit hectic with Charles [Leclerc], good racing, I tried to make a move and he locked up and went off. The penalty was fair.”

Sergio Perez

Now, the only driver on the grid who can realistically dethrone Max Verstappen is old Checo. Which we know with 100% certainty will never happen given the next six years of Red Bull Racing’s team orders probably definitely involves some variation of “help Max win at all costs.”

“It’s crazy. Very mixed emotions, first of all winning the race, looking back now at what a year I’ve had so far, it’s been incredible,” said Max Verstappen during his post-race interview at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix.

“Something I could never have imagined happening after last year… I’m so thankful to everyone who has contributed to this success. The work we’ve done together with Honda all the way through, constantly improving rapidly to win now twice.”

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“I didn’t expect it when I crossed the line. Was it going to be half points? I didn’t know how many points I was going to get.”

Max Verstappen

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has become a two-time Formula 1 world champion with four races to spare. The next race on the calendar after the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix (Suzuka) is the 2022 United States Grand Prix (Austin).

2022 Japanese Grand Prix (Suzuka) - And Just Like That, Max Verstappen Is A Two-Time Formula 1 World Champion
Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]