Verstappen leads the Japanese Grand Prix and seeks the two-time Formula 1 championship: red flag at Suzuka

Max Verstappen fended off Charles Leclerc at the start of the race and held first position (REUTERS / Issei Kato)
Max Verstappen fended off Charles Leclerc at the start of the race and held first position (REUTERS / Issei Kato)

Everyone will be expectant of what happens this Sunday in the Japanese Grand Prix because the Dutch pilot Max Verstappen (Red Bull) can be crowned world champion for the second time in a row. After having got the pole position, made sure to start in the first place on the grid to seek that victory that will allow him to defend the title won last year. The race is broadcast on Fox Sports.

At the start the Monegasque charles leclerc (Ferrari) wanted to surpass Verstappen, who knew how to defend his first position and took the lead. It was a bumpy start since before completing the first the Spanish Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) suffered an oversight and hit that left them out. There was also an oversight of Chinese Zhou Guangyu (Alfa Romeo) and German Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) accused a touch of Spanish Fernando Alonso (Alpine).

Given these incidents and to remove Sainz’s Ferrari, the sports stewards decided to put a red flag for prevention and that the corresponding crane can do its job without the cars on the track. The authorities did not want to repeat a circumstance like the race held on this track in 2014 when, despite the fact that the race was neutralized, the remembered Frenchman Jules Bianchi collided with a crane that was removing the Sauber from the German Adrian Subtle.

Another reason to stop the race was the complicated conditions of the track due to the constant rain that occurred since the previous competition. The puddles on the asphalt gave the Japanese track a dangerous frame.

the previous

Verstappen beat the Monegasque by a hundredth of a second charles leclerc (Ferrari) in the qualy –the Spanish Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) stayed with the third position– and has his sights set on the circuit of Suzuka which would give him his second world champion title this Sunday.

The Dutch pilot 25 years it could be crowned with other results, which would depend on its two main rivals. In any case, he needs to get eight points more than Charles Leclerc and six more than Czech Perezhis teammate from Red Bullwhich leads respectively 104 and 106 units ahead in the general classification of the World Cup.

victory in the Japanese Grand Prix – where it was last run in 2019, due to the COVID-19 pandemic – gives you 25 points a Verstappenseven more than the second, which would get 18. If you add one more to those seven units of advantage with the best lap, you would already have the necessary eight.

* This was the classification of the Japanese Grand Prix 2022

“I am very happy to leave the poleand also very happy to come back here. I don’t really think about the title. I take things as they come. The important thing is to have a competitive car and that is clearly the case,” he said. mad max that depends on himself, since a victory and an additional point as the protagonist of the best lap in the race would assure him the title.

Verstappen could have lost his pole position having been under investigation by the race management, for a movement by the Dutchman that upset the British lando norris (McLaren), who had to go slightly off the track to avoid the leader of the world. But the race direction finally considered that this incident did not deserve a penalty and a warning.

The Spanish Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and the Mexican Czech Pérez (Red Bull) will start on the second row, followed by the French Stephen Ocon (Alpine) and British Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes). Before his public, the Japanese yuki tsunoda, will start in thirteenth place. The German Sebastian Vettelwho will retire at the end of the year, took advantage of his ninth place classification to greet the public at his favorite circuit, since he won four times in Suzuka.

Verstappen achieved pole position ahead of Leclerc and Sainz Jr. (Photo: REUTERS)
Verstappen achieved pole position ahead of Leclerc and Sainz Jr. (Photo: REUTERS)

After the first two sessions of rainy and insignificant free trials on Friday, dominated by Fernando Alonso (Alpine) and George Russell (Mercedes), finally Verstappen put things in their place on Saturday on a dry track. The teams knew that the conditions of the qualifications were going to be different, without precipitation in the program of this circuit of 5,807 kilometersconsidered one of the most technical on the calendar.

But the tests on the wet track could be important for Sunday: the forecasts speak of a 40% chance of rain from the beginning of the race, and until a 80% at the end. It could be an epic ending Max Verstappen He plans to be champion again Formula 1.


1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 1:29,304

2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 1:29,314

3. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) – 1:29,361

4. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) – 1:29,709

5. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) – 1:30,165

6. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 1:30,261

7. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) – 1:30,322

8. George Russell (Mercedes) – 1:30,389

9. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) – 1:30,554

10. Lando Norris (McLaren) – 1:31,003

11. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) – 1:30,659

12. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) – 1:30,709

13. Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri) – 1:30,808

14. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) – 1:30,953

15. Mick Schumacher (Haas) – 1:31,439

16. Alexander Albon (Williams) – 1:31,311

17. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) – 1:31,322

18. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) – 1:31,352

19. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) – 1:31,419

20. Nicholas Latifi (Williams) – 1:31,511

TV: Fox Sports/Star+


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