The race was shortened to just 30 minutes following a two-hour delay after being red-flagged amid a chaotic start that was overshadowed by Pierre Gasly having a near-miss with a recovery vehicle, an incident which left the drivers furious and has left serious question marks for the FIA. 

When the race resumed, Verstappen was untouchable as he eased into an unassailable lead on his way to claiming his 12th victory from 18 races. 

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Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez finished second after Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was handed a post-race five-second time penalty for gaining an advantage when he skipped the chicane to stay ahead of Perez on the last lap. 

The position change caused initial confusion over whether it made Verstappen champion or not as only 29 of the 53 scheduled laps were completed. 

But the FIA confirmed the reduced points allocation only applies in the event of a race suspension that cannot be resumed. 

With full points handed out, Verstappen clinched the 2022 drivers’ crown to become world champion for the second time in his F1 career at the age of 25. 

Behind the podium finishers, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon held off Lewis Hamilton to claim fourth place, with the seven-time world champion left frustrated by the lack of straightline speed in his Mercedes having hounded Ocon for the whole race without being able to pull off an overtake. 

Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel recovered from a first lap spin to take a brilliant sixth, having just held off Fernando Alonso’s charging Alpine on the final lap. 

George Russell, Nicholas Latifi and Lando Norris completed the rest of the points-scoring positions for Mercedes, Williams and McLaren respectively.