Christian Horner believes that awarding full points for the shortened Japanese Grand Prix was a "mistake". After initially getting underway on time, the race was delayed by two hours due to rain but was able to resume for a 45-minute event, running to 28 laps out of what had originally been set to be a 53-lap encounter. Pole-sitter Max Verstappen took victory, and many had expected reduced points to be awarded following the introduction of a new system earlier this year in light of the rain-affected 2021 Belgian Grand Prix, which ran for just three laps behind the Safety Car. Under the new rules, the amount of points awarded in line with the race distance completed were set out, leading to expectations after the race at Suzuka that points would be given for a race distance between 50 per cent and 75 per cent. However, full points were awarded due to the race having resumed after the initial red flag. As it was not stopped under Article 57 of the Sporting Regulations and not restarted, this made Verstappen eligible for the full 25 points. With second-placed Charles Leclerc handed a five-second time penalty for cutting a chicane on the final lap as he tried to hold off a charging Sergio Perez, the Monegasque was pushed down to third, giving Verstappen the points advantage he needed over both Leclerc and Perez to win the World Championship.
Surprise over points system from Red Bull
The decision to hand out full points took many by surprise, including Horner, who has questioned whether there is a "mistake" in the regulations. "I think it's a mistake that wasn't included after the issues in Spa last year," Horner told media after the race. "The regulations obviously haven't been mopped up, because we were under the strong impression that only 75 per cent points would be scored. "So we felt we were going to be one point short. But in the end, Checo's move on Charles nailed Max the championship. So you could see his surprise, the team’s surprise. But what a wonderful surprise." Horner is "certain" that the regulation will now be revised.