Sergio Perez won the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix in a chaotic race that had six retirements during the race. The Mexican managed to fend off the advances of Charles Leclerc for the race win. Carlos Sainz took the final step on the podium.
The race start was delayed for some time due to heavy rainfall, which saw puddles of water forming all over the track. After the rain halted, the track was allowed to drain from as much water as possible. Finally, the race was started on intermediate tires.
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How the race Unfolded
At the start of the race, Perez had a better start compared to Leclerc and took the lead of the race at the first corner. From there, he managed to hold onto the lead for the rest of the evening, despite the best efforts of Leclerc to overtake him.
When the track was finally suitable for slick tires, Leclerc managed to find more pace than intermediates and launched another effort to overtake Perez. However, Perez’s pace was strong enough to allow the Ferrari driver any chance to achieve his goal.
Carlos Sainz couldn’t manage to hold onto the top 2 cars ahead of him. Instead, he spent half of the race trying to keep Lewis Hamilton at bay, who crashed into the barriers at Turn 7 when he was attempting to overtake Sainz. Hamilton had to visit the pitlane for a new wing and eventually finished the race at P9. The race had several safety cars and virtual safety car events.
Latifi and Zhou crashed brought out the first safety car
The first Safety Car was brought out on Lap 8 after Nicolas Latifi crashed onto the side of Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo, breaking his front right suspension. The Chinese driver had to park on the side of the road close to the racing line, which caused the stewards to deploy the safety car. Latifi pitted for a new front wing and tires, but his car was also heavily damaged, forcing him to retire from the race.
Alonso retired on Lap 22
Fernando Alonso was the next driver to retire from the race at Lap 22 when he stopped his car on the escape road due to engine trouble. This time the FIA decided to issue a virtual safety car. George Russell, who started his race from the pitlane after taking new engine components, decided to pit for slick tires in an ambitious move to try and undercut the drivers in front as he was running way down the order at the time.
The move, however, instantly backfired as the conditions weren’t suitable at the time for dry compound running, and Russell could only go backward from there. The pit wall asked Russell to change again to intermediates, but he refused.
Alex Albon crashed at Turn 8
Lap 27, Alex Albon crashed into the barriers at Turn 8 after losing control of his Williams. He managed to keep the car running but left his front wing behind, which caused another Virtual Safety Car which allowed track marshals to remove the debris. Albon carefully navigated his way into the pits and retired the car.
Estaban Ocon’s engine went up in smoke
On the next lap, Estaban Ocon’s engine gave up a vicious puff of smoke, and he parked his car at the side of the escape road resulting in another Virtual Safety Car period. A few laps later, Hamilton, in his attempt to overtake Sainz, pinned his car into the barriers, damaging his front wing. With that accident, Hamilton’s chances of finishing the race on the podium vanished.
Leclerc was the first of the top runners to pit for medium tires. The Ferrari driver had a slow stop of 5.3 seconds as he overshot his pit marker. Perez followed in at the next lap and came out comfortably ahead of Leclerc. At that time, most of the grid had shifted to slick tires while the remaining drivers were poised to follow them when Yuki Tsunoda crashed his car into the barriers on Lap 36. This brought out the safety car.
McLaren benefited greatly from Alpine’s misery
McLaren’s Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, who were yet to pit, took the opportunity with both hands as pitting under a safety car meant they would lose less time pitting under the safety car than in normal conditions. Indeed this allowed them to jump other cars, and they finished the race at P4 and P5, respectively.
Daniel Ricciardo’s P5 finish is his best result for the 2022 season after a very ordinary qualifying performance on Saturday. The 22 points the Mclaren drivers gained meant that the Woking team, trailing Alpine with 18 points before the race, now leads them with 4 points in a battle for the 4th spot on the constructor’s table.
Lance Stroll also had his best finish of the season at P6, finishing ahead of Max Verstappen, who flat-spotted his tires while attempting to overtake Lando Norris after Safety Car restart and had to pit for a new set of soft tires. Sebastian Vettel finished P8, and Pierre Gasly got the final point scoring position at P10. The drivers finishing outside the points were Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas and Haas driver Kevin Magnussen. After a clash with Verstappen in the early stages, Magnussen had to make an early pit stop for a front wing change.
Mick Schumacher finished a lap behind after coming together with George Russell during the race and then going into the pits for repairs. Russell was the last classified finisher, 2 Laps behind the race leaders.
Sergio Perez called into the stewards office after the race
Sergio Perez came under investigation for Safety Car infringements. There was an investigation for the incident where he breached the rule of leaving more than ten car spaces between him and the safety car on two occasions. After two and half hours of wait post-race, the FIA stewards deemed him in breach of the regulations and handed him a 5-second time penalty. However, since he finished the race 7.595s ahead of Leclerc when the chequered flag was waived, his final race standing wasn’t affected.
The results also meant that Max Verstappen would have to try again in Japan in a week to wrap up the fight for the driver’s title.
|1. Sergio Perez|
|2. Charles Leclerc|
|3. Carlos Sainz|
|4. Lando Norris|
|5. Daniel Ricciardo|
|6. Lance Stroll|
|7. Max Verstappen|
|8. Sebastian Vettel|
|9. Lewis Hamilton|
|10. Pierre Gasly|
|11. Valtteri Bottas|
|12. Kevin Magnussen|
|13. Mick Schumacher|
|14. George Russell|
|15. Yuki Tsunoda|
|16. Estaban Ocon|
|17. Alex Albon|
|18. Fernando Alonso|
|19. Nicolas Latifi|
|20. Zhou Guanyu|