Japan Grand Prix 2022 Recap

Story posted October 12, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Joshua Bartosik

On a wet and early Saturday morning, the Driver’s World Champion was officially crowned, although it didn’t come without controversy.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen was named as the 2022 World Champion after full points were awarded, despite less than 75% of the race being completed.

This marks the second year in a row in which Verstappen reigns supreme, yet both championships are littered in controversy.

News broke out earlier this week involving the cost cap report of the FIA, stating that Red Bull breached the cap cost for the 2021 season, which could include penalties, some of which could strip Verstappen of his first title.

Sergio Perez finished right behind his teammate at Red Bull, giving the team a 1-2 finish, their fifth of the season.

Charles Leclerc came home in third after he was given a penalty during a last-lap incident with Sergio Perez, adding to the long list of disappointing finishes for Ferrari this season.

His teammate, Carlos Sainz, spun out on the first lap and went flying into the barriers, for his fifth DNF of the season. Luckily, he managed to avoid any major injuries.

Alpine driver Estaban Ocon held off Lewis Hamilton to finish fourth and push Alpine past McLaren in the Constructors Championship.

Alpine also announced this past weekend that Alpha Tauri driver Pierre Gasly would join their team in 2023, giving the grid its first all-French line-up since 1994.

Filling the empty Alpha Tauri seat will be Nyck de Vries. The 27-year-old raced one time this season, filling in for a hospitalized Alex Albon at Williams.

His surprising ninth place finish raised several eyebrows, as well as secured his seat for the 2023 lineup.

Williams’ other driver, Nicholas Latifi, earned his first points of the season after finishing ninth at the Japan Grand Prix.

Yet another disappointing season for Latifi has led to his exit from Williams, as both he and the team announced he will no longer be with the team after this season's end.

After an incredible fifth and sixth place finish at the Singapore Grand Prix for McLaren, the team followed it up with another lackluster performance.

Lando Norris snagged the last points place on the grid finishing 10th while his teammate Daniel Ricciardo finished 11th.

After finding out his seat at McLaren was being taken by Oscar Piastri, Ricciardo announced this past week that he doesn’t see himself on the grid for 2023 and will most likely take a gap year.

With Ricciardo out of the picture and Gasly and de Vries moving around, there are only two seats left on the grid for the 2023 season, one at Williams and one at Haas.

Haas has to make a decision on whether or not to re-sign Mick Schumacher, the son of seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher.

As for Williams, they can also try to bring in Mick Schumacher, or bring in Logan Sargeant, a name that has been floating around the Williams garage for a few weeks now.

The 21-year-old F2 driver has had an impressive rookie season, with two race wins and third place in the standings to his name.

There are only four races left in the season, and with the Drivers Championship already being decided, all eyes will be focused on solidifying the line-up for next season.

Joshua Bartosik is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jsb6137@psu.edu.