Formula 1

Pérez Wins Singapore Grand Prix in Challenging Weather Conditions

6 Mins read
Image: Octane Photographic Ltd.

POST RACE:

Sergio Pérez has crossed the line to take an impressive victory for Oracle Red Bull Racing on Sunday evening at the Singapore Grand Prix, but is not able to fully celebrate as he is currently under investigation by the stewards for breaking a Safety Car procedure. The Mexican passed pole-sitter, Charles Leclerc, at the start of the race and controlled the pace throughout; retaining his lead during the transition from Intermediate tyres to slick tyres.

Pérez’s infringement was decided to be investigated after the race, meaning a potential post-race penalty could demote the number eleven driver to second place. Pérez was able to build a gap of seven-and-a-half seconds to Leclerc behind, making his win secure in the event of a five-second penalty. However, a ten second penalty would see the Red Bull driver lose his victory.

POST INVESTIGATION:

Sergio Pérez remains victorious at the Singapore Grand Prix after a post-race investigation was initiated by the Stewards due to a breach of the Safety Car rules. Pérez infringed upon the rules after dropping behind the Safety Car more than ten car lengths on two occasions during the race. For the first, the Mexican received a reprimand. However, the second resulted in a five-second time penalty added to his race time, and two penalty points.

Due to the gap to Leclerc being over seven seconds, Pérez remains the victor of the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix.

Leclerc would challenge the number eleven driver in the closing stages of the race (which was forced into a count-down timer due to the two-hour rule) but ultimately was unable to make his way past.

Team-mate Max Verstappen was unable to take the Drivers’ Championship trophy this weekend in the other Red Bull car, after qualifying eighth on Saturday evening due to a fuel miscalculation. The reigning champion suffered a bad start where his car went into Anti-Stall, dropping him out of the points on the opening lap. Verstappen slowly made his way back through the field, but locked up both front wheels during an over-take attempt on Lando Norris at Turn Seven later in the race. Both front tyres were flat-spotted and Verstappen was forced to pit. The Dutchman was was able to recover to seventh place, making his way past Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel in the final laps.

The rest of the podium

Leclerc was able to reduce the points gap to Verstappen in the championship with his second-place finish, while Carlos Sainz scored a good result in third place. Despite Leclerc being unable to challenge the Red Bull in the early stages of the race, the Scuderia Ferrari driver was able to unlock more speed when switching to the Medium tyre.

Meanwhile, Sainz dropped back from his team-mate and Pérez quite quickly, and spent a lot of the race under pressure from Hamilton. When the Briton dropped out of contention due to a mistake, Norris also tried to challenge the number fifty-five driver, without success. Hamilton had been stuck behind Sainz, who really didn’t have the pace to challenge for the victory at Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Image: Octane Photographic Ltd.

What happened behind?

Singapore would yield a great race for McLaren F1 Team, with a four-five finish putting the papaya-coloured outfit ahead of BWT Alpine F1 Team in the championship again (after the latter failed to score points due to both cars retiring). Norris would cross the line in fourth place, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, who had a superb drive to recover from sixteenth to fifth. The Australian crucially scored his best result of the year, in what is his final season with the McLaren team.

Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team would also enjoy a strong points finish, with Lance Stroll taking the chequered flag in sixth place. Vettel would miss out on seventh place in the dying minutes of the race after being passed by Verstappen, but still took a strong eighth place finish at the circuit he took his final victory at in 2019. The double-points finish has promoted the British Racing Green-coloured team to seventh in the Constructors’ Championship, putting them ahead of Haas F1 Team.

For Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team, the Singapore Grand Prix was certainly an event to forget. With a promising qualifying for Hamilton (who started from third place), many expected the seven-time World Champion to compete for the victory. However, after spending a lot of the first stint stuck behind Sainz, Hamilton made a mistake on lap thirty-three and gently hit the wall. With front wing damage, Hamilton pitted at the end of lap thirty four and would be stuck behind Vettel for the rest of the race, struggling with the Medium tyre compound he had fitted. The Briton attempted a move in the dying laps, but made a mistake to let a charging Verstappen through, in what was an off-day for Hamilton.

Meanwhile, George Russell opted to take an engine penalty at the start of the race after qualifying eleventh on Saturday afternoon. The Briton had a slow start and took a small trip into the run-off in the opening half of the race, before being the first driver to switch to the slick tyres. Russell struggled at first in the damp conditions, but soon started setting purple sectors, prompting the rest of the field to pit. A collision with Bottas towards the end of the race forced Russell to pit due to a puncture, dropping him far away from the points.

While Russell did lose his streak of scoring a top five finish in every race he finished, he was able to steal the fastest lap point away from his competitors after pitting for Softs at the end of the race and setting the fastest lap, while finishing fourteenth.

Pierre Gasly would cross the line in tenth place to take home the final point of the race. Team-mate, Yuki Tsunoda, failed to finish the race after putting his car into the Turn Ten barriers on lap thirty-seven. The Japanese driver braked too late for the corner, locking his inside-left wheel and carrying two much speed into the corner. The impact destroyed the suspension on the front wheels, bringing the Safety car out to recover the accident.

Valtteri Bottas failed to score points with an eleventh-place finish for Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN, while team-mate, Guanyu Zhou, failed to finish the race due to contact with Nicholas Latifi in the early stages of the race. The Chinese driver attempted a move around the outside of Latifi on the run up to the Turn Five left-hander, but would be hit when the Canadian moved across on him. Both drivers were forced to retire as a result of the damage.

The Alfa Romeo team have certainly had a miserable second-half of 2022, after a promising start to the season, scoring just one point in the last eight races.

Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher came close to the points with twelfth and thirteenth place finishes respectively, assisted by the large number of retirements the Singapore Grand Prix seemed to produce this year. The American team didn’t have the pace around the street circuit to compete for points, but were able to stay out of trouble during the most demanding event of the year for the drivers.

Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso both retired from Sunday afternoon’s Grand Prix as a result of power unit failures, costing the team a huge amount of points in their battle with McLaren. Alonso, who was the first of the two to retire, had to pull over on lap twenty-two, sadly bringing his three-hundred-and-fiftieth race to an end. Ocon would pull over due to a huge release of smoke from his engine just six laps later. With five races left to go in 2022, this is a huge disappointment for Alpine.

Williams F1 Team would be another team that failed to finish the race, both due to on-track incidents. Following Latifi’s incident with Zhou, Alexander Albon was the team’s final hope at scoring points. However, the Thai/British driver struggled with the conditions, spinning on the first lap and also hitting the barrier on lap twenty-six. The number twenty-three driver was able to recover to the pits without his front wing, but was forced to retire due to the damage.

You can find the results of the action-packed Singapore Grand Prix below, data courtesy of Formula 1:

POSNODRIVERTEAMNATTIME/GAP
111Sergio
Pérez
Oracle
Red Bull
Racing
MEX2:02:20.238
216Charles
Leclerc
Scuderia
Ferrari
MON+7.595s
355Carlos
Sainz
Scuderia
Ferrari
ESP+15.305s
44Lando
Norris
McLaren
F1 Team
GBR+26.133s
53Daniel
Ricciardo
McLaren
F1 Team
AUS+58.282s
618Lance
Stroll
Aston Martin
Armaco
Cognizant
Formula One
Team
CAN+61.330s
71Max
Verstappen
Oracle
Red Bull
Racing
NED+63.825s
85Sebastian
Vettel
Aston Martin
Armaco
Cognizant
Formula One
Team
GER+65.032s
944Lewis
Hamilton
Mercedes-AMG
Petronas
Formula 1 Team
GBR+66.515s
1010Pierre
Gasly
Scuderia
AlphaTauri
FRA+74.576s
1177Valtteri
Bottas
Alfa Romeo
F1 Team ORLEN
FIN+93.844s
1220Kevin
Magnussen
Haas
F1 Team
DEN+97.610s
1347Mick
Schumacher
Haas
F1 Team
GER+1 lap
1463George
Russell
Mercedes-AMG
Petronas
Formula 1 Team
GBR+2 laps
1522Yuki
Tsunoda
Scuderia
AlphaTauri
JAPDNF
1631Esteban
Ocon
BWT Alpine
F1 Team
FRADNF
1723Alexander
Albon
Williams F1
Team
THADNF
1814Fernando
Alonso
BWT Alpine
F1 Team
ESPDNF
196Nicholas
Latifi
Williams F1
Team
CANDNF
2024Guanyu
Zhou
Alfa Romeo
F1 Team ORLEN
CHNDNF
Data courtesy of Formula 1.
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Joe McCormick is a 20-year old Formula 1 journalist and writer from Devon, who loves everything F1!
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