Japanese Grand Prix – Why Verstappen was crowned thanks to the attribution of all the points? Explanation

Champion or not champion? When he got out of the car in the Suzuka Parc Fermé (Japan), Max Verstappen (Red Bull) still did not know if his thirty-second career victory would be enough or not to definitively revalidate his second world crown in Formula 1 .

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Adding to the confusion surrounding the case of Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – the Monegasque crossed the finish line second before being demoted to third due to a five-second penalty for missing the chicane on the final lap of the race-. the Dutchman did not know how many points race direction was going to award him at the end of a Japanese Grand Prix cut down to 29 short laps.

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The rule that the total allocation of points is not effective when less than 75% of the total distance of the race has been covered, the spearhead of the Austrian team would have, in theory, had to wait a few more weeks to celebrate his second world title in the queen category.

Verstappen champion: “It is incomprehensible and crazy”

Awarded 12.5 points last year (half the normal scale) for his victory in Belgium in a race entirely contested under safety car conditions and limited (officially) to one lap, Max Verstappen (Red Bull) added this time 25 full and complete points while the The pilots barely exceeded half of the 53 laps initially planned for this Sunday.

The famous article 6.5

When the race resumed, everyone imagined applying one of the three relief scales created by the FIA ​​after the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, to no longer finish with half points in the classification.

These three intermediate systems depend on the real distance travelled, and are valid for less than 75% of the predicted distance:

  • From 2 laps to 25% of the distance: 6, 4, 3, 2, 1 points
  • From 25% to 50% of the distance: 13, 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 points
  • From 50% to 75% of the distance: 19, 14, 12, 9, 8, 6, 5, 3, 2, 1 points

The FIA ​​simply forgot to communicate that these systems were valid for a race stopped with a red flag. And the stoppage of the Japanese Grand Prix, on the third lap, added to the confusion.

Titled in chaotic circumstances on and off the track, Max Verstappen simply benefited from the strict application of article 6.5 of the FIA ​​regulations, which only applies to a neutralized race that is not restarted. Eduardo Freitas, race director, therefore applied the usual scale, valid when a race exceeds 50% of its distance. Therefore, all the points went to the top ten at this 18th meeting of the season.

With 25 points scored against the only 15 units collected by his rival Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Max Verstappen (Red Bull) leaves Suzuka with an already unrecoverable lead (113 points) for the Scuderia leader, with four races remaining to play for a maximum total of 112 points at stake.

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