Verstappen champion after controversial FIA ruling

Finally the Japanese GP was restarted though the conditions were not great. The drivers were forced to complete several laps behind the safety car on full wet tyres in an attempt to clear the standing water on the track. When race control finally called the safety car in the restart allowed a race which saw the drivers compete over a frantic 29 laps.

Verstappen was dominant driving away from the field at 1 second a lap to finish 27 seconds ahead of P2 at the chequered flag.

Behind him Charles LeClerc was in a desperate battle to hold off Verstapen’s team mate Sergio Perez for lap after lap. LeClerc claimed after the race his tyres began to go off after lap 4 of the restart. Yet the wet conditions made it difficult for Sergio to make his way past the Ferrari



Final lap controversy

Yet on the final lap, Perez was along side LeClerc twice but failed to make the overtake. Then the Monegasque made a mistake at the final corner and cut the chicane. When he returned to the circuit Sergio surged alongside his having greater traction, but LeClerc squeezed him on the outside preventing him from completing the pass.

However, in what was a strange departure for the F1 stewards this year they noted the infringement quickly, then within 5 minutes decided LeClerc had left the track and gained a lasting advantage awarding him a 5 second penalty following the chequered flag.

This of course promoted Perez into P2.

However, confusion reigned during the podium interviews as the news came through. British broadcaster Sky still believed only 75% of the points were being awarded which was not enough for Max to be champion.


FIA ruling that made Max champion

Yet the FIA rule on 25%/50% and 75% points only applies when a race completes under the red flag. Clearly this race restarted after a red flag and so full points are awarded.

The FIA posted the explanation: “the rules regarding the reduced points allocation (article 6.5) only apply in the event of race suspension that cannot be resumed, and therefore full points are awarded and Max Verstappen is World Champion.”


LeClerc loses P2 after the chequered flag

This meant with LeClerc being dropped from second place which would have seen him score  7 points less than Verstappen, the Dutchman had the 8 point advantage over his closest rival in this race to win the F1’s World Drivers’ Title.

Verstappen has now won 12 races together with Perez’s two which makes the RB18 the Adrian Newey car with the most wins in any season.

In what has to be the quote of the year, when Newey was asked about his most successful ever car design he replied, “I didn’t know, I’m not very good with numbers.”

Story being updated….

4 responses to “Verstappen champion after controversial FIA ruling

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  2. Pingback: ‘Have I or have I not?’: Max Verstappen crowned world champion in chaotic circumstances at Japanese Grand Prix – CNN - Spain News·

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