On a weekend where the inevitable was confirmed, GPFans takes a look at the best stats and facts from the race at Suzuka.
Verstappen joins F1 legends
Verstappen was crowned as champion with four rounds still to run. Only Michael Schumacher [six in 2002] and Nigel Mansell [five in 1992] managed to win the title earlier in a season.
Verstappen also became the second-youngest double champion in F1 history at the age of 25 years and nine days. Sebastian Vettel was nine months younger.
Remarkably, in identical circumstances to Vettel, Red Bull's only other champion, Verstappen sealed his first championship in Abu Dhabi and second at Suzuka.
Verstappen is only the eighth F1 driver to successfully defend his maiden title win.
The Dutchman claimed the 32nd victory of his career, putting him level with Fernando Alonso’s win tally. Coincidentally, Alonso also became a double champion at the age of 25.
It was Verstappen’s 12th victory of the year, the most for the 25-year-old in a single season. He now has four races remaining to win the two he needs to break the record of 13, held jointly by Schumacher and Vettel.
A remarkable comeback
After the Australian Grand Prix this year, Verstappen was trailing Leclerc by 46 points. It is the biggest points gap to be overturned en route to a title win in F1 history.
Red Bull's best car?
Verstappen’s victory ensured Red Bull recorded its 14th win of the season, the most it has achieved in one season. The winning margin of 27.066secs is the biggest of the campaign.
Red Bull triumphed in Japan for the first time in the hybrid era with its drivers bringing home its fifth one-two result of 2022, the most it has achieved in a year.
It was also the 17th consecutive result in which a driver finished in the top two for the Milton Keynes-based team, equalling the record set by Williams in 1993-1994 and later by Mercedes in 2014-2015.
Perez took back-to-back podiums for the first time since Monaco and Azerbaijan whilst also scoring his first top-six finish at Suzuka.
Leclerc prospers, Sainz struggles
Leclerc has finished on the podium at four consecutive races, equalling his best streak in F1. He achieved the feat on two occasions in 2019.
Carlos Sainz’s race came to a premature end as he aquaplaned off the track after
the hairpin on lap one, marking the Spaniard’s second retirement on the opening lap this year and his third before the completion of three laps.
Hamilton worst in a decade
Lewis Hamilton spent much of the race stuck behind Esteban Ocon's Alpine and eventually finished fifth, his lowest at Suzuka since 2012.
Alpine hit season high
Ocon's defence against Hamilton clinched P4, his and Alpine’s best result of the year.
Team-mate Alonso surpassed Kimi Raikkonen’s all-time record of 278 race finishes in F1 by crossing the line seventh after a titanic tussle with Vettel.
Alpine led a race for the first time this year as Alonso stayed out on extreme wet tyres. The team led two races in 2021 - Hungary and Saudi Arabia.
Tsunoda's troubled spell
Yuki Tsunoda has failed to score in 12 races, the longest scoreless streak of the drivers currently in F1.
Zhou fastest lap delight
Zhou Guanyu set the fastest race lap at Suzuka, marking the first time Alfa Romeo had done so as a team since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, under the Sauber guise.
F1's full house
Nicholas Latifi's ninth-placed finish confirms the first time since 2018 that each of the full-time drivers on the grid has scored during the season.
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