Max Verstappen won the Formula 1 world title on Sunday with victory at the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver claimed his second consecutive drivers’ standings triumph when a five-second penalty after the race confirmed his rival Charles Leclerc had been demoted to third place.
Ferrari’s Leclerc had crossed the line in second ahead of Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez, a result which would have prolonged the title race.
There had also been confusion over whether full points would be awarded after the normal race distance was not completed following a long delay due to heavy rain.
It meant several minutes passed before Verstappen – who had already conducted a post-race interview in parc ferme – was informed he had been crowned world champion.
“It’s crazy,” Verstappen told the crowd having been called back after the clarification he had indeed won the title.
“I have very mixed emotions, of course, winning the race and also, looking back now, winning the championship.
“What a year we’ve had so far. It’s been incredible, something I could never have imagined.”
Verstappen’s 2022 championship has been far more straightforward than his victory last year, when he moved ahead of Lewis Hamilton in a controversial last race of the season.
The Dutchman has already won 12 races, while his Red Bull team have won 14 of the 18 held so far.
This year there are still four races to come, with the United States Grand Prix up next on October 23.
Verstappen joins the likes of Hamilton, Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso in the group of drivers who have won back-to-back F1 crowns.
Red Bull are also on the brink of clinching the constructors’ championship, with that title – which they lost out on to Mercedes last year – likely to be settled in Austin.