Verstappen sealed his second F1 world title with a dominant victory ahead of Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez and the penalised Charles Leclerc at a chaotic Japanese Grand Prix shortened by heavy rain. 

There was huge confusion after the chequered flag amid uncertainty over whether full points would be awarded with only 29 of the scheduled 53 laps completed. 

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After some initial doubt, Verstappen’s second successive title was confirmed when F1’s governing body the FIA said that reduced points only applied if a suspended race could not be resumed. 

Verstappen wasn’t sure himself if he was world champion until he was informed of the situation by the FIA in the cooldown room just before the podium ceremony. 

“For me, during the race I had no clue what they were going to decide with the points,” Verstappen said. 

“The main plan was to win the race but once I crossed the line I was thinking: ‘that was an amazing race, good points again but I am not world champion yet’.

“Then I was doing my interview after the race and suddenly my mechanics started to cheer and I was like: ‘what is going on?’ 

“I realised that Checo was second instead of Charles, but I didn’t know if it was full points, half points or 75 per cent points because you’re reading through the rules.

“Then Tom [Wood, FIA media delegate] came up to me and said that I was world champion and then suddenly people were saying ‘no you still need a point’. 

“So, it was a bit weird but eventually, we had enough points so then we were world champion again!”

On the confusion, Verstappen said: “To be honest I don't mind that it was a little bit confusing, I find it actually quite funny! 

“Because at the end of the day it’s not going to change the result. When I crossed the line it was anyway not enough even if you give full points, so in that scenario it wouldn’t have changed anything.” 

Asked if he feels the rules need clearing up to avoid such confusion in the future, the Dutchman replied: “Honestly these are really complex situations with the weather and the amount of laps. 

“Of course it's the difference between if you finish a race or the race gets red-flagged early on and then you can’t continue, and there is a difference between the two. 

“I do think if you don’t write enough rules it’s not good, if you write too many rules it’s also not good. It’s always really hard to find a middle ground I think.”