Verstappen becomes the second driver to win his second Red Bull title at Suzuka on October 9, Alonso sets a new record for most finishes and Latifi becomes the first driver to score from 9th on the grid at Suzuka in over 30 years. Here’s a statistic from every driver’s 2022 Japanese Grand Prix weekend!
🇳🇱 Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen clinched his second title as a result of his victory in the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix. Verstappen won his second title with Red Bull at Suzuka 11 years to the day since Sebastian Vettel won his second title with Red Bull at Suzuka. He becomes Formula 1’s second-youngest double World Champion and the fourth driver to have won the title with four or more races remaining in the season. On his way to becoming the eighth driver to win the title at Suzuka, Verstappen took his 32nd Grand Prix win, overtaking Nigel Mansell and equalling Fernando Alonso for sixth in the all-time win list. Verstappen won the race by 27.066 seconds, which is the largest win margin ever seen at the Suzuka circuit.
🇲🇽 Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez recorded career-best Japanese Grand Prix. His fourth place in qualifying was his first top five Saturday result at Suzuka, while his runner-up spot on Sunday was his first top six result at the venue. This was Perez’s 24th podium finish, equalling the career tallies of Stirling Moss, John Surtees and Alain Jones.
🇬🇧 Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton equalled Jenson Button as the British driver to have made the most F1 starts at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix, also equalling Button and Michael Schumacher for fifth in the all-time list of most starts. Hamilton qualified in sixth place, which is his worst qualifying result at Suzuka since 2012. He finished in fifth place, failing to finish on the podium at the Japanese Grand Prix for the first time since 2013.
🇬🇧 George Russell
George Russell finished the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix in eighth place. This was the first time Russell has finished two consecutive races outside of the top five during his time at the Mercedes team.
🇲🇨 Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc set the second fastest time in qualifying, making this the second successive Suzuka race for which he started on the front row. Leclerc finished in third place, losing one position from where he started for the fourth race in a row. This was his fourth consecutive podium result, equalling the longest podium streak of his career. He last finished on the podium at four races in a row between the 2019 Canadian and British Grands Prix. Leclerc recorded his 22nd top three finish, equalling Rene Arnoux for 49th in the all-time list of most podiums. It was the 20th podium finish for a Ferrari driver at Suzuka.
🇪🇸 Carlos Sainz
After qualifying in the top six at Suzuka for the first time, Carlos Sainz was eliminated from the race on the opening lap. Sainz recorded his fourth retirement of the season – his first since the Austrian Grand Prix. This was the second time Sainz has retired from the Japanese Grand Prix. He last retired at Suzuka, also on the first lap, on his last appearance with Toro Rosso in 2017. Sainz joined Jean Alesi as only the second driver to record multiple first lap retirements at Suzuka. Alesi was out on Lap 1 in 1991 and 1996.
🇦🇺 Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo finished in 11th place, recording his first finish outside of the top ten at Suzuka since 2015. Ricciardo finished sixth in the last race here in 2019 but was disqualified from the final result, as the Renault team were found to have used illegal driver aids.
🇬🇧 Lando Norris
Lando Norris maintained his 100% Q3 appearance rate at the Japanese Grand Prix and, with tenth place, scored for the first time at Suzuka.
🇪🇸 Fernando Alonso
After recording his best Suzuka qualifying result since 2014, Fernando Alonso finished the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix in seventh place, recording the 279th finish of his career. He sets a new record as the driver to have crossed the finish line on the most occasions in Formula 1. This was the first time Alonso scored points at Suzuka since 2013. Having started and finished seventh, this was the first time in his 16 appearances at Suzuka that Alonso finished in the same position as he started.
Alonso was the only driver other than Verstappen to lead a lap in the Japanese Grand Prix. It was the first time since 2011 that Alonso led a lap at Suzuka.
🇫🇷 Esteban Ocon
Esteban Ocon recorded both his best qualifying result and best race result of the season to date, with fifth place on Saturday and fourth on Sunday. It was his best ever result at Suzuka and his first top four finish since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. This was Ocon’s third consecutive visit to Suzuka in which he picked up points.
🇫🇷 Pierre Gasly
On the weekend that he was confirmed as an Alpine driver for 2023, Pierre Gasly recorded his sixth Q1 exit of the season. It was the first time he was eliminated in Q1 since the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Frenchman equalled his worst Suzuka qualifying result. He also qualified 17th at the track in 2017. In the race, after picking up a penalty for driving too fast under red flag conditions, Gasly finished 18th. This was the third time he’s finished 18th in a race, after the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix and the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
🇯🇵 Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda became the first Japanese driver to partake in his home Grand Prix since Kamui Kobayashi in 2014. He qualified in 13th place for the race and finished where he started. Only three Japanese drivers have scored on their Suzuka debut: failed to score on his Suzuka: Satoru Nakajima, Takuma Sato and Kamui Kobayashi.
🇩🇪 Sebastian Vettel
It was a stellar Suzuka weekend for Sebastian Vettel, who maintained his 100% Q3 record at Suzuka, recording his fourth Q3 appearance of the 2022 season – his first since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. With ninth place, Vettel equalled his best qualifying result of the season to date. It was the fourth time he qualified ninth this year.
Despite spinning on the opening lap, Vettel equalled his best result of the season with sixth place. He fended off Fernando Alonso to finish ahead of the Spaniard by just 0.011 seconds. Vettel kept his record of having never finished outside of the top six on any of the 11 occasions on which he has crossed the finish line at Suzuka.
🇨🇦 Lance Stroll
Lance Stroll recorded his 59th Q1 elimination, equalling Timo Glock for second in the list of most Q1 eliminations in Formula 1. With 19th place, Stroll recorded his worst qualifying result at Suzuka to date. His previous worst was 18th place in 2017. This was the first time Stroll qualified on the back row since the British Grand Prix. A great performance on the opening lap saw him gain seven positions and he ultimately finished the race in 12th.
🇹🇭 Alex Albon
Alex Albon recorded consecutive Q1 exits for the first time since being out in Q1 at all seven races between the Saudi Arabian and Azerbaijan Grands Prix. On Sunday, Albon was out on Lap 1 and recorded retirements at consecutive races for the first time in his career. This was Albon’s first retirement at Suzuka, meaning he lost his 100% points-scoring rate at the track.
🇨🇦 Nicholas Latifi
After starting 19th on the grid, Nicholas Latifi scored his first points of the season with ninth place. This was the third time Latifi has scored in his F1 career – the first time he has done so since the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix. Latifi has only ever scored in rain-affected races. His only other points-scoring appearance came at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix. Latifi became the first driver to score a point from 19th on the grid at Suzuka since Martin Brundle, who finished fifth in 1991.
Latifi became one of only two drivers to have scored on every visit to Suzuka. The only other driver to have done so is Cristiano da Matta, who finished seventh on his only start at the circuit with Toyota in 2003.
🇫🇮 Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas finished 15th, failing to score at the Japanese Grand Prix for the first time since his maiden season in 2013.
🇨🇳 Zhou Guanyu
Zhou Guanyu recorded the fastest lap of the race for the first time in his career. He became the 136th driver to set the fastest lap in a World Championship race. It was the first fastest lap for the Alfa Romeo marque since Andrea de Cesaris set the fastest lap in the 1983 Belgian Grand Prix and the first fastest lap for the former Sauber team since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix.
🇩🇪 Mick Schumacher
Being the last driver to pit for intermediate tyres, Mick Schumacher almost led a lap for the first time in his career but was overtaken just before the line by Max Verstappen. Schumacher finished 17th at Suzuka, equalling his worst result of the last nine races.
🇩🇰 Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen made his 97th start with Haas at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix. It saw him overtake Romain Grosjean as the driver to have made the most race appearances with the American team. Magnussen recorded his fourth Q1 exit in the last five races and made this the third time he has been out in Q1 from his six appearances at the Japanese Grand Prix. He finished the race in 14th place – his best Suzuka race result since 2017.