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Michael Masi Played a Role In Max Verstappen’s Second Championship Mayhem As Well

Published 10/10/2022, 8:30 AM EDT

4 min read

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via Reuters

Michael Masi set out rules that helped Max Verstappen pick up his title, yet again. After the first championship in Abu Dhabi in 2021, the former race director helped the Dutchman once again in Japan in 2022. Even though this might look odd after last year’s controversial title decider race, this time it’s perfectly cut out.

According to a report published by BBC, Verstappen became a two-time champion by the rules set up by Michael Masi when he was the F1’s race director. The Red Bull driver picked up his 12th win of the 2022 season and hence took home the F1 championship. However, it was unclear if the FIA would give the drivers their full points, later it was known that full points were awarded.


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The confusion arose as the race was shortened and delayed due to rain. Similar to the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix situation. However, the circumstances were different this time around, as some new rules were set to prevent the repetition of the Spa race. Hence the full points distribution by the FIA, unlike Belgium last year.

The points were half in Spa as it had only two laps covered, whereas, in Japan, as many as 28 laps were covered out of the initial 53. Even though the race started after two hours after the red flag, FIA made sure the race covers at least 50% of the total distance. As this criterion was fulfilled, FIA applied Article 6.5 to give maximum points in the race.

Max Verstappen was unaware of his championship

Much like all the fans, engineers, and team crew, Max Verstappen was unaware of his title win as well. The driver only celebrated his Japan GP win with Sergio Perez. It was in the cool-down room when the 25-year-old was given the news of his title win.


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The Red Bull driver couldn’t believe it at first, assured and reassured a couple of times and then from the confirmation by Jenson Button, a former F1 champion, Verstappen finally believed the case to be true as the full points gave him enough cushion over Championship rivals Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez.


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In a report published by Motorsport, Verstappen conveyed this, “During the race, I had no clue what they were going to decide with the points. The main target was to win the race, but once I crossed the line, I was like OK, that was an amazing race, good points again, but not world champion yet.”


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WATCH THIS STORY: Max Verstappen Wittily Responds to Backlash for 2021 Championship Win

But then you read through the rules, and [the FIA media delegate] came to me and he said that I was the world champion. So then we celebrated – and then people were telling me no, you’re still missing a point. I was like, that’s a bit weird. But eventually, we had enough points, so then we were world champion again”, concluded the two-time world champion.



Sabyasachi Biswas

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Sabyasachi Biswas is an F1 and NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. He has completed his Master's in Mass Communication and Journalism from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Sabyasachi is an ardent Red Bull and Max Verstappen fan and has been following the sport for over a decade now.

Edited By: Nizamul Haque Bhuyan