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The confusion: why is Verstappen champion if the Japanese GP was not completed?

The confusion: why is Verstappen champion if the Japanese GP was not completed?

It caught Verstappen himself by surprise, that he found out that he was world champion in the ‘prepodium’ interview with Johnny Herbert. First, because the initial result of the race did not help him: he won without a fast lap, Leclerc was second and Pérez was third. So Charles still had remote options (by one point). But the post-monegasque penalty yes mathematically assured the second ‘Mad Max’ World Cup, not without some confusion.

Because the FIA ​​approved in February 2022 a new article for the sporting regulations of Formula 1 that expected to distribute fewer points depending on the duration actual racing. If a test is failed without completing 25%, 50% or 75% of the original mileage, the points format varied considerably: less than a quarter of the distance, 6 points for the winner; less than half, 13 points; less than three quarters, 19 points. Most took this detail into account when they crossed the finish line of the Japanese GP with 29 laps played instead of the 53 official laps. But… the race had not finished due to suspension, instead it had been completed based on maximum time rather than laps.

It was 40 final minutes test because, by regulation, it cannot be longer than three hours from the start (or two hours without a red flag). But contrary to what it seemed, there was no need to distribute fewer points than usual (25-18-15…) because the Japanese GP was not suspended. It was completed in time, and not in laps.

Thus, Verstappen adds 366 points and Pérez, the next classified, stays at 253. With four races remaining (100 points) with four fastest laps (four points) and a sprint in Brazil (eight points to the winner), that’s 112 points up for grabs, but the Dutchman’s current lead is 113 points. beyond the doubts, Max is a two-time world champion.

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