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Verstappen crowned world champion after rain delays shorten Japanese GP

After a two year hiatus the Japanese Grand Prix returned to the Formula 1 calendar. Unfortunately for the fans, they were treated to a shortened race following the enforced delay due to rain.

While the race initially started in the wet conditions a major crash that saw Carlos Sainz hit the barrier and end his race on the first lap, saw the safety car come out.

A lap later the race was red flagged with the drivers being forced to wait it out in the pit lane for close to two hours.

Gasly and the tractor

A big talking point during the pause was the fact that AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly drove past a tractor while making his way back to the pit lane.

The incident stoked the debate around race safety, with the Suzuka venue also witnessing the crash that ultimately ended Jules Bianchi's life.

The restart

Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc would pull away from the field on the restart, with Verstappen extending his gap after switching onto the intermediate tyres.

The Dutchman would build close to a 25 second advantage over the chasing pack, winning the race comfortably after Leclerc was handed a five second penalty for exceeding track limits while battling Verstappen's Sergio Perez who finished second.

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