Verstappen sees "funny" side of confusing title victory

Zak Mauger/Motorsport Images

Verstappen sees "funny" side of confusing title victory

Formula 1

Verstappen sees "funny" side of confusing title victory


Max Verstappen says he finds the confusing manner in which his second world championship was confirmed “funny” after his victory in the Japanese Grand Prix.

Heavy rain meant the race was suspended after just two laps at Suzuka, but it resumed with Verstappen completing 28 laps in total before time ran out. That appeared to mean points would be awarded based on a race distance of between 50-75% after a change of regulations over the winter, but a gap in the regulations means that full points are awarded regardless of distance as long as the race is running when time expires.

Verstappen was told he’d won the title after Charles Leclerc was handed a five-second time penalty post-race, only to then believe that was false information, before he was finally confirmed as champion in the cool-down room.

“To be honest I don’t mind that it was a little bit confusing, I find it actually quite funny!” Verstappen said. “Because at the end of the day it’s not going to change the result.

“When I crossed the line it was anyway not enough even if you give full points — in that scenario it wouldn’t have changed anything.

“Honestly, these are really complex situations with the weather and the amount of laps, and of course it’s the difference between if you finish a race or the race gets red-flagged early on and then you can’t continue, and there is a difference between the two.

“I do think if you don’t write enough rules it’s not good, if you write too many rules it’s also not good. It’s always really hard to find a middle ground, I think.”

Verstappen admits the title feels completely different to his first success in the 2021 championship showdown against Lewis Hamilton.

“I mean, different emotions of course but that’s because of the whole season being very different anyway. Already starting with completely different cars and a completely different way of racing, and then of course the amount of races we’ve won. They’ve all come in a really different way.

“Last year it was all qualifying-dependent. That’s normally how you would win a race. Now, even with some engine penalties coming back to the front. It’s been a very enjoyable year and a very special year, which will be very hard, I think, in the future to match from myself.

“That’s why I think we really have to appreciate it and really enjoy it. We were enjoying it already but now we can probably enjoy it a bit more.

“I think the first one is always the most emotional but this one is definitely the better one, just in terms of performance.”

Presented by
Subscribe to F1 TV Pro for your ultimate F1 experience. Live and on-demand. Dive into a unique, multi-screen way to watch F1 with exclusive onboard cameras, pre-race shows and live data.