Formula 1

Perez holds off Leclerc to win rollercoaster 2022 Singapore Grand Prix as Verstappen settles for 7th

Sergio Perez held off Charles Leclerc for his first-ever win on the streets of Singapore, while Carlos Sainz completed the podium and Max Verstappen finished seventh in an action-packed Singapore Grand Prix. Perez retained his victory despite receiving a five-second post-race penalty for a Safety Car infringement.

Heavy rain forced a delay of over an hour, with the formation lap beginning at 2105 local time, and although the rain had ceased, the surface was still slippery for the start of the race, when pole-sitter Leclerc lost the lead to Perez into Turn 1 and Sainz easily pried P3 off Hamilton, who went wide into Turn 1.

Verstappen lost five places to fall to P12 at the start but he made three up by Lap 9 when the first Safety Car was deployed for Nicholas Latifi and Zhou Guanyu’s collision. Fernando Alonso’s stoppage brought out a Virtual Safety Car on Lap 20, with George Russell then becoming the first driver to switch from intermediates to mediums.

Russell’s improving pace triggered drivers to begin swapping for slick tyres on Lap 35, but on the following tour Yuki Tsunoda went straight on into the barriers at Turn 10 to bring out the second Safety Car, before which most of the drivers had stopped for slicks. Crucially, the McLaren drivers hadn’t; Lando Norris came in for a new set of mediums and Daniel Ricciardo opted for slicks as they emerged fourth and sixth for the restart.

With the two-hour mark approaching, this race would be finished by the timer and Perez had 26 minutes to hold off a fast-charging Leclerc, when DRS was enabled on the 43rd lap. What followed was a stunning chase for victory, Perez unerring in defence as he held off the Monegasque driver by over seven seconds at the chequered flag.


Race results

1  Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing 2:02:20.238 25
2  Charles LECLERC Ferrari +2.595s 18
3  Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +10.305s 15
4  Lando NORRIS McLaren +21.133s 12
5  Daniel RICCIARDO McLaren +53.282s 10

Perez would receive a five-second post-race penalty for straying too far behind the Safety Car, but the Mexican retained his win.

Sainz completed the podium for Ferrari having passed Hamilton at the start, while Norris and Ricciardo beneffited from their late Safety Car stops and finished a respective P4 and P5.

Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel capitalised on errors from Hamilton and Verstappen to finish sixth and eighth, respectively, in a massive result for Aston Martin.

Hamilton, who had previously gone straight on into the barriers on Lap 33, locked up in an attempt to pass Vettel in the final two minutes of the race and dropped to ninth. That gave Verstappen P8, despite the Dutchman having locked up heavily in the final Safety Car restart. The Red Bull driver then pried P7 off Vettel with a pass on the very last lap of the race.

Behind Hamilton, Pierre Gasly rounded out the top 10 for AlphaTauri with Valtteri Bottas (11th) unable to take the final point despite taking softs for the final Safety Car restart.

Categories: Formula 1, Race Recap

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