Sports Desk, Oct 9 (EFE).- Max Verstappen sealed the Formula One world title on Sunday with a win at the rainy Japanese Grand Prix.
The Dutch driver claimed his second world championship with a Red Bull 1-2.
His Mexican teammate Sergio Pérez finished second after Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was handed a five-second penalty for breaking track limits during a wet and wild race at the Suzuka circuit.
“It’s crazy, very mixed emotions of course,” Verstappen said after the podium ceremony.
“First of all winning the race and looking back, now of course winning the championship, what a year we’ve had so far, it’s been incredible,” he added.
It was Verstappen’s 32nd career win, and his 12th out of 18 so far this season with four races still to go.
The Grand Prix was halted twice amid rain and poor visibility after Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and then Williams’ Alex Albon crashed, prompting a safety car and a red flag respectively.
Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly became incensed after he passed by a safety tractor on the track, which conjured haunting memories of Jules Bianchi’s ultimately fatal crash at the Suzuka circuit eight years ago after he collided with a recovery vehicle in wet conditions.
Alpine’s Esteban Ocon finished the race in P4 ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes.
Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel clinched P6, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso P7, Mercedes driver George Russel P8, Williams racer Nicholas Latifi P9, while McLaren’s Lando Norris completed the top 10.
The F1 circus will head to the United States for the next Grand Prix on October 23 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. EFE