The Red Bull driver won the F1 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka to finally wrap up the F1 2022 title with four races to spare. 

We’ve charted some of the key moments on Verstappen’s way to becoming a two-time world champion. 

Overcoming Red Bull’s early problems 

Amid Verstappen’s superiority in F1 this year, it is easy to forget the disastrous start to his title defence. 

The Dutchman was forced to retire twice in the opening three rounds as Red Bull battled early reliability issues, leaving Verstappen 46 points behind championship leader Charles Leclerc after the Australian Grand Prix in April. 

Verstappen said he “didn’t want to think about the championship fight” after his second DNF in three races in Melbourne left him facing a mountain to climb. 

But Verstappen’s response was phenomenal as he went on to win the following three races. 

Capitalising on Ferrari’s failures 

Much of the foundations of Verstappen’s title triumph were laid on the failures of Red Bull’s self-destructive main rival, Ferrari. 

Verstappen beat Leclerc to important victories at Imola and Miami as the first cracks of Ferrari’s season began to emerge, with an error from Leclerc costing him a podium finish.

But it was across the next three events where the championship turned, as Leclerc suffered catastrophic engine failures while leading in Spain and Azerbaijan. 

Leclerc had been on course to extend his championship advantage over Verstappen to a clear race victory in Barcelona before his power unit let go. 

Verstappen would go from taking the title lead in Spain to taking full control of the world championship in Baku when Leclerc retired again, leaving him trailing Verstappen by 34 points. 

If it hadn’t already, Ferrari’s season well and truly fell apart when Leclerc gifted Verstappen victory and a massive advantage in the championship by crashing out of the lead of the French Grand Prix.

Leclerc’s critical error handed Verstappen a 63-point lead with 10 races to go, and he never looked back from there. 

Relentless consistency

A trademark of Verstappen’s 2022 season has been his remarkable level of consistency. 

Verstappen has been the class of the field throughout the year, having seemingly made another step from his already impressive maiden title-winning campaign. 

Verstappen’s 12 victories in 18 races underlines his dominance, despite Ferrari appearing to have the fastest car, particularly over one lap, at several races.

On three separate occasions Verstappen has been able to string together a run of two back-to-back wins, including a career-best streak of five consecutive victories between France and Italy. 

Aside from his two DNFs, Verstappen has been on the podium at all bar two races and finished no lower than seventh. 

It was thanks to his relentless consistency and purple patch of form that Verstappen was able to seal the championship so early. 

Making the most of ‘bad’ days 

Linked to Verstappen’s consistency has been his ability to extract the maximum result from his weekend on the rare occasions things haven’t gone his way. 

He was second behind Leclerc when Ferrari had a clearly faster race car in Austria, while Red Bull’s strategy enabled Verstappen to vault ahead of his title rival and recover to third in a chaotic rain-hit Monaco Grand Prix. 

A debris strike early in the British Grand Prix heavily compromised Verstappen’s performance. Although he dropped out of contention for the win and struggled for pace over the remaining 37 laps, he was able to salvage important points in seventh. 

Verstappen’s only other non-podium finish - another seventh place in Singapore - was down to a combination of a Red Bull fuel blunder in qualifying that left him out of position in eighth, and a rare driver error in the race. 

Despite dropping to 14th and last after being forced to make an unscheduled visit to the pits following a botched attempt to overtake McLaren’s Lando Norris, Verstappen was still able to fight his way back into the top 10. 

Winning from almost anywhere 

One of the most remarkable stats about Verstappen’s season is that he has achieved so many wins despite starting from pole position only five times. In contrast, Leclerc has been fastest in qualifying on nine occasions.

Some of Verstappen’s best victories came from when he started lower down in the field. The 25-year-old turned winning into an inevitability and an expectation, no matter his grid position. 

In Hungary, Verstappen started 10th, and won. In Belgium, he was 14th on the grid, and won. At the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, he started seventh, and won. 

Verstappen was unstoppable as he crushed the opposition on each occasion - performances that encapsulated the dominant nature of his charge to another championship triumph.