Suzuka, Japan – Complete success in the land of the rising sun: Red Bull won its second consecutive Formula 1 World Championship constructors’ title on Sunday at the end of the Japanese Grand Prix, which was won by its driver Max Verstappen, the undisputed world championship leader. The World Drivers’ Championship is about to be crowned third.
The double world champion outperformed British McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Australian Oscar Piastri, to win his 13th race this season out of 16 possible prizes at the Suzuka Circuit.
“It’s an amazing weekend and it’s great to win here (…) but the most important thing is to win the Constructors’ Championship. Many thanks to everyone at the factory, we are having an amazing year! », savored the Dutchman upon his arrival.
On the legendary, sunny Suzuka track, the Austrian team obtained a new decisive point after Singapore to win the sixth title in its history.
To achieve this, it had to lead Mercedes by at least one point at the end and not lead Ferrari by more than 23 points. This has been done since the Silver Arrows’ Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finished fifth and seventh – while the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finished fourth and sixth.
For Piastri, this is the first podium of his career. He also became the first rookie to reach the podium since Lance Stroll in 2017.
Quebecer Stroll did not complete the race due to a mechanical problem.
Holy than the Sabbath?
Red Bull also secured another drivers’ title by the end of the season, with world champions Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) and Hamilton – two of the four drivers still mathematically in contention for the title at the track end in Japan – officially eliminated from the title race.
Only Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Perez remain – separated by a gap: the second is 177 points behind the first, the two-time world champion.
In Qatar, Verstappen has his first chance at the title on Saturday, at the end of the sprint race – the fourth to be held this season.
Perez surrenders… then leaves
Verstappen started from pole position in front of more than 100,000 people, and led from start to finish in a race that saw numerous crashes at the start.
While the Dutchman was almost caught off guard at the end by Piastri, second on the grid, and Norris, third, at the back, several drivers stuck around, including Perez, who was forced to return to the pits to have his single-seater repaired after contact with Lewis Hamilton. Mercedes.
Then things went from bad to worse for the Mexican. Hooked by the Haas of Dane Kevin Magnussen, he eventually threw in the towel in the first third of the race.
However, unusually, Perez returned to the track on lap 40 of the race (of 53) to serve a 5-second penalty after being found guilty of a collision with Magnussen. Then he returned to the garage.
A decision taken in light of regulations which stipulate that if a penalty is not given, a penalty may be imposed on the driver in the next round.
1. Max Verstappen (Netherlands/Red Bull)
2. Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes)
3. Oscar Piastri (Australia/McLaren-Mercedes)
4.Charles Leclerc (Mona Lisa/Ferrari)
5.Lewis Hamilton (Britain/Mercedes)
6. Carlos Sainz Jr. (Spain/Ferrari)
7. George Russell (Britain/Mercedes)
8. Fernando Alonso (ESP/Aston Martin-Mercedes)
9. Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault)
10. Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpine-Renault)
11. Liam Lawson (New Zealand/AlphaTauri-Red Bull)
12. Yuki Tsunoda (Japan/AlphaTauri-Red Bull)
13. Zhou Guanyu (China/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari)
14. Nico Hulkenberg (Germany/Haas Ferrari)
15. Kevin Magnussen (Denmark/Haas Ferrari)
Let’s give up:
Valtteri Bottas (Finland/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari): Mechanical problem on lap eight
Sergio Perez (Mexico/Red Bull): Mechanical problem on lap 16
Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes): Mechanical problem on lap 21
Logan Sargeant (USA/Williams-Mercedes): Mechanical issue on Lap 23
Alexander Albon (Thailand/Williams-Mercedes): Mechanical problem on lap 27
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