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The rules quirk that handed Verstappen a second World Championship

Max Verstappen is a two-time World Champion, but only after a rules quirk handed him the title in Japan.

Max Verstappen has won the 2022 Formula 1 World Championship in perhaps the most unusual of circumstances at the Japanese Grand Prix. With the race delayed by two hours due to rain, it resumed for a 45 minute sprint in which Verstappen pulled 26 seconds on the field in just 28 racing laps. On the final lap, Charles Leclerc was under pressure for P2 from Sergio Perez, running wide at the final chicane. Leclerc was slapped with a 5s time penalty for gaining an advantage, promoting Perez to P2. This decision handed Verstappen the World Championship.

Rules quirk explained

It was not immediately obvious that Verstappen had won the title as many believed the staggered points system was in play. However, according to the FIA, full points were dished out as the race resumed after the 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. He needed to outscore Leclerc by eight points and Perez by six. With the revised result, he pulled 10 on Leclerc and seven on Perez. That, according to the FIA puts him 113 clear with just 112 available in the final four rounds on 366 points.

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