• Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

Sergio Perez wins delayed and timed Singapore GP

BySean Clark

Oct 2, 2022
Sergio Perez drives at Singapore

Photo courtesy of Liberty Media

The 2022 Singapore Grand Prix was delayed by over an hour due to a torrential downpour in Marina Bay. After a race filled with incidents and a wet track slowing the pace of the cars at the beginning (no DRS for the entire race), the stewards implemented a timed ending to the race right at the two-hour mark.

Ultimately, Sergio Perez (barring a 10-second penalty for a safety car infringement that the stewards are still investigating) took the lead on Lap 1 and held off Charles Leclerc for the victory, eventually pulling away by over seven seconds.

“That was my best performance [in F1],” Perez said. “The last three laps were so intense. I gave everything for the win today.”

Perez started on the front row and with a better start than Leclerc, he cruised past the Ferrari driver for the lead, which he never relinquished throughout the race.

Max Verstappen came into the race with various clinching scenarios for his second-consecutive World Driver’s Championship. He started in eighth place due to fuel issues during qualifying.

The Dutchman had a poor start to the race, dropping all the way to 13th place midway through the first lap with poor positioning in the breaking zones.

He slowly worked his way back up into the point positions. What followed was pure chaos for the WDC leader. On Lap 30, Verstappen tried to anticipate the restart of the Virtual Safety Car by passing Lando Norris, but locked up when doing so.

He gained more positioning when Lewis Hamilton crashed one lap later, forcing him to pit and replace his wing and tires.

Nine laps after that incident, Verstappen once again tried to make the move on Norris, but locked up and went wide off the track. He lost three positions and had to pit for new slick tires (everyone started the race on intermediate tires).

Once again, Verstappen went into recovery mode and was able to work his way up from 12th-place to the top 10. Over the final 90 seconds of the race, Verstappen passed Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel to finish seventh.

Vettel and Hamilton, who have combined to win nine races at Singapore (five for Vettel and four for Hamilton), came home to finish eighth and ninth respectively.

Back up front, Perez had Leclerc closing in on him with 22 minutes to go. But the Ferrari driver made several mistakes that caused him to lock up and lose any momentum he had on passing the Mexican driver.

Perez pulled away for the victory and had to pull away considering that on the final safety car (40 laps in), he was noted by the stewards for a safety car infringement (no decision has yet been made). The Mexican driver put in impressive lap times to blaze away from Leclerc and give him the necessary cushion to withstand a five-second time penalty.

He lost the fastest lap of the race as George Russell, who had to start at the rear with a new power unit, pitted from 14th place and took away the point from Red Bull Racing in the final minutes.

Perez’s win gives him two wins in 2022, which were both on street courses that were delayed due to rain and Leclerc was on pole both times.

For now, Ferrari have gained a double podium finish from Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finishing second and third respectively. It is the first double podium for Ferrari since the Miami Grand Prix back in May.

Singapore ended in perfect fashion for McLaren, who saw their drivers come home to notch fourth and fifth respectively. Norris held serve for fourth place despite relentless pressure from Verstappen and other drivers throughout the race and Daniel Ricciardo worked his way up from 16th to fifth place for his best finish of the 2022 season.

Because of the double retirement for Alpine, McLaren have now taken fourth place in the World Constructors’ Championship standings by four points.

Lance Stroll finished sixth, the best result of the season for him by four places. Pierre Gasly rounded out the top 10 with a point.

The 2022 Formula 1 season will remain in Asia for the return of the Japanese Grand Prix at the Suzuka Circuit on Sunday Sept. 9 at 1:00 a.m. EST.

Race results: