Sergio Pérez takes home stunning Singapore Grand Prix win

Sergio Pérez takes home stunning Singapore Grand Prix win

October 2, 2022

Ferrari score first double podium since Miami Grand Prix last year.

Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez scored his fourth win of his career as the Mexican won a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix that saw a total of six retirements. Sergio Pérez held off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who finished second ahead of his teammate Carlos Sainz. The McLaren duo of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo were fourth and fifth ahead of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll while championship leader Max Verstappen had a rollercoaster of a race to finish seventh in front of the most successful Singapore Grand Prix racer Sebastian Vettel. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton was ninth following an error-filled race for the seven-time World Champion while AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly rounded up the points scoring places. 

With Pérez taking the win, Leclerc finishing second and Verstappen seventh, the championship battle will continue on to Japan as the Dutchman didn’t get the exact needed points to secure his second World Title in Singapore. Verstappen’s championship lead is now at 104 points from Leclerc who is a further two points ahead of Verstappen’s teammate Pérez. Red Bull meanwhile continued to build the Constructors’ championship lead up front with a 137 point advantage over the Scuderia while Ferrari built some much needed gap from Mercedes, taking a 66 point lead. McLaren’s double points finish compared with Alpine’s double DNF means McLaren take a crucial lead in the P4 battle in the Constructors’ championship as the British team go four points ahead of the French outfit. 

After torrential rainfall in Singapore, the race got underway after an hour’s delay and Pérez took the lead from Leclerc even before the drivers reached turn one. Further behind Hamilton came together with Sainz and went wide while Verstappen, starting eight had a horror start and dropped to 13th place. Further down the field Williams’ Alex Albon went off the track, as did Haas’ Kevin Magnussen with the Dane suffering front wing damage. By lap 5, Pérez led from Leclerc by more than two seconds while Verstappen was trying to make up for his poor start and was back in the points positions. The race had its first retirements on lap 10 as Nicholas Latifi drove into the Alfa Romeo of Zhou Guyanu and the damage ended both driver’s races with Latifi being penalised with a grid drop for the next race in Japan. Once racing resumed on lap 11, after a short Safety Car, Pérez sped away again with the top two beginning to get away from the rest of the grid. Verstappen had climbed up to P7, and was finding it hard to pass the veteran Spaniard for the sixth position. The Red Bull driver got lucky on lap 20 when Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, who was starting his record 350th race, retired as a result of an engine issue. Alonso’s retirement brought out the Virtual Safety Car and almost as soon as the VSC ended, the Williams of Albon retired as well after he made a driver-error and drove into the wall, which ended his race. Alonso’s retirement opened a floodgate of retirements as after Albon, the other Alpine of Esteban Ocon suffered another engine issue while the AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda retired on lap 36 due to car damage after going into the wall. 

Once the Safety Car came in on lap 39, Pérez got away well but Lewis Hamilton made an unusual driver error, driving straight into the barriers and falling down to P9. Verstappen meanwhile was trying to get past Lando Norris and the Dutchman got a bit too eager and locked up at turn seven, and wore his tyres out. Verstappen pitted while Pérez was being chased by Leclerc up front with the Ferrari driver getting close to the Red Bull. Once Hamilton rejoined after a change of his front-wing, he came out right behind his old rival Sebastian Vettel in P8 and ahead of his last title rival Verstappen. The next few laps saw both title protagonists of the 2021 try almost every move possible to get past each other and Vettel, but the four-time World Champion put his car just in the right spot every lap to make sure neither of them got by. Verstappen eventually got past Hamilton, when the Brit caused yet another driver error, locking up. Verstappen finally managed to get Vettel right on the final lap while up ahead Pérez built a lead of more than seven seconds to take the chequered flag.  

Pérez though will have to wait a bit till he can celebrate his fourth win given that the Mexican is under investigation for a Safety Car infringement where he got too close to the Safety Car. With the FIA yet to announce their decision on the investigation, the wait continues. Racing wise, Singapore delivered, providing us with one of the most eventful races of the season and racing is back next week as we head to the iconic Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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