While confusion reigned at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix over whether Max Verstappen had mathematically won the Drivers’ Championship after a last-lap incident between Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez demoted the Monegasque to third, a titanic battle for sixth place between Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso was missed on the official broadcast.
Thankfully, it’s 2022 and fan footage is a thing, with many users posting clips on social media. Check out some examples below…
The Spaniard had been stuck behind his fellow world champion for the majority of the rain-shortened race and was called into the pits with little over eight minutes left on the clock as the three-hour time limit ran down.
Jenson Button immediately said he thought the decision was taken “a lap late”, but nevertheless, equipped with a fresh set of intermediate tyres, Alonso was seconds quicker than everyone else when he emerged in 10th.
The Alpine driver made extremely light work of Lando Norris and Nicholas Latifi, who were powerless to defend, before hunting down George Russell and Vettel.
That set up a last-lap scrap for sixth place that wasn’t shown on TV. Alonso was nearly 2.5 seconds behind Vettel when he dispatched Russell into Turn 1 but ate up the lap time at an astounding rate.
By the time the pair approached the final chicane, they were separated by a few tenths and went on to take the chequered flag almost in complete unison, with the German prevailing by just 0.011s.