In the aftermath of the Japanese Grand Prix there was mass confusion over whether Max Verstappen had actually become World Champion. Teams were under the impression that due to the shortened race distance, fewer points would be awarded as a result. This was a rule that was changed last year after the 2021 Belgium Grand Prix ended in a farce, when only two laps were completed under Safety Car and full points were handed out. With the late penalty for Charles Leclerc dropping him to third behind Sergio Perez, it appeared that Verstappen would be short of winning the championship by one point with the reduced amount awarded. However the wording of the regulation change only states that if a race "cannot be resumed" points would be awarded in a criteria , based on how much distance had been covered. As the Japanese GP had been stopped and then resumed to run to the three-hour time limit, this constituted as being enough for full points to be awarded. While the rules were applied correctly, McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl says that the loophole wasn't what the teams had in mind when it was changed post-Belgium GP. "At the end of the day it wasn't what we all had in mind. That wasn't the intention from the FIA's side and from the teams side," said Seidl. "But in the end it seems like we all overlooked this loophole, therefore we are all responsible for that and it means we should all try to do a better job next time."
Binotto: Ferrari 'accepts interpretation' from FIA, but should be reviewed
Under the current rules a race could theoretically be stopped and restarted, then run for three laps and have full points awarded because it has been run to the time limit. Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto shares Seidl's viewpoint that the teams should look at the intention of the regulation, having accepted that the FIA applied the correct procedure at Suzuka. He told media: "I need to check with our sporting guys what has been the clear understanding and what has been the conclusion the way that it [regulation] has been written and interpreted, with the intentions. "It's a detail now which I understand is something to clarify for the future; What is the true intention? What should we do? Is that clear enough? "But I'm not too concerned and not too disappointed by it as well. I accept the way that the FIA has interpreted [it] and let's review and discuss."