Max Verstappen been crowned the 2022 World Champion following his win at the Japanese Grand Prix – after another hectic race was cut short due to intense rain.
The Dutchman’s title win was left in the balance after Leclerc was handed a last-minute penalty crossing the line ahead of Perez.
The Ferrari driver crossed the line ahead of Sergio Perez for the second step on today’s podium, although a mistake at the final corner led to the Monegasque driver receiving a 5-second penalty.
Leclerc went straight over the chicane under pressure from Perez in the Red Bull and then squeezed him wide as they crossed the line. Perez quickly voiced his opinion and said believed that deserved a penalty.
With the sanction later applied to Leclerc’s time, Perez was in second for today’s podium celebration with the Ferrari man demoted to third – securing a second world title for Red Bull’s Verstappen.
Speaking after the race, the surprised champion said: “It’s crazy, very mixed emotions. Winning the race and winning the Championship, what a year we’ve had so far.
“Something I could never imagine happening after last year fighting to the end, but we’ve had such a good car. Here and in the factory they’ve been working flat out.
“The work we’ve done with Honda, every year constantly improving, to win now twice is very emotional here with everyone watching. Very proud we could do it here.
“First one is more emotional, second one is beautiful with the season we’ve had. One-twos we’ve had, it’s been a pretty special here. You have to remind yourself of it because these type of years don’t usually happen.”
A delighted team principal, Christian Horner then added: “Wow that’s beyond all our dreams! Max has been truly dominant, 14th victory for us as a team, a record. Honestly, he the team have raised it to another level. Incredibly proud. Everyone in Milton Keynes has gone above and beyond.
“To get that victory here in Japan with Honda is really special. Charles made a mistake at the end there. Fantastic for Checo.”