Where is Max Verstappen's championship trophy?

Verstappen reflects on 'special' World Championship (0:58)

Max Verstappen says winning the World Driver's Championship in Suzuka was the perfect scenario for him. (0:58)

Max Verstappen wrapped up a second F1 world championship on Sunday, but you won't find any pictures of him celebrating with the trophy he just won.

It remains one of the archaic quirks of Formula One that the world champion does not receive their trophy until the end of the year. Verstappen will not get his hands on it again until the black tie FIA Prize Giving Gala in December.

The championship trophy makes fleeting appearances at F1 events. At the Japanese Grand Prix it was on the front of the grid during the pre-race formalities but was conspicuously nowhere to be seen when Verstappen was celebrating winning it several hours later.

A lot of F1 fans would probably struggle to immediately think of what the championship trophy looks like, which is bizarre when you compare that to other sports.

Most major sporting events immediately conjure up mental images of the trophy on offer -- the enormous Stanley Cup, the golden FIFA World Cup, the Vincent Lombardi Trophy, the Ashes urn, or the Indy 500's Borg-Warner Trophy, to name a few examples. Even the sight of the winner of the Masters slipping into a crisp green jacket is legendary -- it is as synonymous with golf as Tiger Woods walking down a fairway in a red shirt on the final day of a major.

These trophies are special because they are associated with the raw emotion of victory. But search for any image of the F1 trophy and you will usually find pictures of it in a sterile environment, being held by drivers in smart suits several weeks or months down the line, when the moment has long passed them by.

After winning in Japan, Verstappen briefly held the Japanese Grand Prix trophy while on the podium (which in itself was very impressive) but that was it. There was no trophy ceremony for the new world champion.

The FIA and F1 are really doing the championship trophy a disservice, too, because it is a really striking prize. A towering silver jug with gold lining, featuring the name of every champion dating back to the inaugural championship in 1950.

To show you how unknown it is, there is no Wikipedia page for the trophy, which is officially called the FIA Formula One World Drivers' Championship trophy.

Why does he have to wait for it?

F1 has pushed for a rethink in how the trophy is handed out in recent years, but the FIA has stuck to its current formula.

The reason the FIA gives is that a postseason appeal by a rival team could alter the outcome of the championship if points are deducted from a driver. While that logic makes sense, it directly contradicts what happens at the end of the grand prix event.

As we saw at last week's Singapore Grand Prix, Sergio Perez celebrated victory on the podium despite the fact he faced what could have been a result-altering penalty. After doing the podium and conducting his media duties, he went to see the stewards -- on that occasion he kept the victory, but it shows you how the current procedure rewards the winner in the moment rather than after the fact.

Ironically, the best example of a post-championship appeal threatening the outcome of the championship was last year, when Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the title at the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Mercedes eventually dropped their appeal several hours before Verstappen was formally presented with the trophy at the gala event.

But you have to go further back to find other examples. In 1999, Ferrari was briefly disqualified -- handing Mika Hakkinen and McLaren the championship -- from the penultimate race of the season, the Malaysian Grand Prix, only to be reinstated later that evening. In 2007, McLaren appealed Sauber and Williams for fuel irregularities the week after Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen had won the title -- which could have altered the result of the Brazilian Grand Prix and made Hamilton champion -- but it came to nothing.