BREAKING: Max Verstappen wins the 2022 F1 World Championship with Suzuka victory

F1 Grand Prix of Japan
F1 Grand Prix of Japan - Max Verstappen wins at Suzuka.

Max Verstappen is the 2022 F1 world champion, clinching his victory at the Japanese GP today. The Dutchman has now joined the likes of Fernando Alonso, Mika Hakkinen, and others.

Verstappen showed his wet-weather driving prowess, easily pulling away from his championship rival Charles Leclerc in treacherous conditions. Unfortunately, for the Monegasque driver, Sergio Perez took second place in the race after Leclerc was awarded a five-second penalty for cutting the final chicane.

The now two-time world champion is now just one win away from equaling Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher's record for the most number of race wins in a season – 13. Rather hilariously, the Dutchman wasn't aware that he had won the championship until after the race.

Speaking to Jenson Button on the podium after the race, Max Verstappen reflected on his title, saying:

"It's crazy. Very mixed emotions, of course. Looking back now, of course, winning the championship but what a year we've had so far. It's been incredible. Something I couldn't have ever imagined happening after last year. Fighting till the end and then having such a good car this year so I'm so thankful to everyone who has been contributing to this success. The whole team here, but also back at the factory, who is constantly working flat out and they're never missing any motivation to try and make the car faster."

Max Verstappen reflects on 2021 vs 2022 title wins

While Max Verstappen had a fairly comfortable second half of the 2022 season, fans of the sport will remember his epic last-lap victory against Lewis Hamilton in 2021. The Dutchman reflected on both his title victories, claiming that while the first was more emotional, the second was more special given his team's dominance in 2022.

Max Verstappen told Jenson Button on the podium:

"I think the first one is always a little more emotional, but the second one is probably even more beautiful because of the way...of the season we've had. With the wins, the great races, and team work. The 1-2s we've had and also, of course, we are leading the constructors so we really want to focus on that as well - to try and secure that. I think it's been a pretty special year and I think it's something you really have to remind yourself of because these kind of years, you don't have very often."

With another championship now under his belt, Verstappen can now fix his eyes on breaking Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher's record for the most wins in a season. The Dutchman has only four races to try and beat the record and with his confidence and the pressure of a world championship off his back, Verstappen is likely to give it his all.

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Edited by Anurag C