Sergio Perez wins the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix
Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore - Sergio Perez, behind the wheel of the Red Bull RB18 has won the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix. This win makes it the 4th victory in the Mexican’s career, and the second victory of the season after his win around the streets of Monaco.
Despite the torrential rain that soaked the track and delayed the race start by over an hour, the 17th round of the 2022 Formula 1 series saw the largest attendance in the sport’s 13-year history in Singapore. A new record of 302,000 spectators visited the circuit over the three-day race weekend, comprised of both local and foreign fans who had flown in for the Singapore Night race.
One can draw many parallels between Perez’s performance at the Marina Bay Street Circuit and the Monaco Grand Prix earlier this year. What with race delays owing to inclement weather, wet track surfaces and a starting grid position at the head of the pack.
As the lights went out at 9:09 pm (GMT+ 8), Perez surged ahead to claim the lead held by pole sitter Charles Leclerc before turn 1. The Mexican driver, who claimed 2nd on the starting grid after his performance during Saturday’s qualifying session, clung on to 1st place until the very end of the race over 2 hours later after 59 laps (instead of the scheduled 61).
Within the first lap, Lewis Hamilton lost his 3rd place start to Carlos Sainz, which left the Red Bull of Perez and the two Ferraris in podium positions. As the front of the field continued their charge, the back of the grid saw a number of skirmishes as championship leader Max Verstappen fell toward the back half of the grid, whilst Sebastian Vettel surged ahead from 14th to 8th in his Aston Martin.
As the race wore on, a total of six cars were eliminated from the race. In Lap 7, Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was knocked out of the race as Nicholas Latifi turned into the Chinese driver. Latifi’s Williams was retired a lap later due to the damage sustained. Lap 21 saw Fernando Alonso’s Alpine retired as the Spaniard reported engine failure. Alex Albon’s Williams was retired in lap 25 as the Briton collided head-on with the barrier.
Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes also collided with the barriers on lap 33, but the 7-time world champion managed to nurse his car back onto the track behind Lando Norris’s McLaren, but ahead of Max’s Red Bull. Later on in the race, Yuki Tsunoda’s collision caused his AlphaTauri to fall out of the race and Esteban Ocon’s Alpine was also retired due to engine failure.
At the very end, Perez emerged as the victor of the evening, with Leclerc and Sainz claiming the next two podium positions. Lando Norris claimed 4th while his McLaren teammate Daniel Ricciardo settled comfortably in 5th place, his best finish of the season having made his way up after being knocked out of Q3 in qualifying.
Lance Stroll finished 6th, his best finish in the Aston Martin this season while Max Verstappen, who qualified 8th the previous evening added six points to his championship run with 7th. 8th place was taken by Sebastian Vettel, who drove remarkably well making his way up from P14 to finish in the points. The last two positions in the points were taken by Lewis Hamilton and Pierre Gasly in the AlphaTauri.
All in all, it was a rather hair-raising race in Singapore last night. But a great result for Sergio Perez who edges closer to Charles Leclerc with 235 points under his belt, just two points shy of the young Ferrari driver. After the Singapore GP, Max still leads the in the driver’s championship standings with 341 points. Last evening’s race would’ve been the Dutchman’s earliest opportunity to secure the championship, but that early win would have been contingent on him getting 1st. However, the reigning champion still has a 104-point lead over Leclerc.
Still, if the Singapore GP is anything to go on, perhaps the rest of the season would be just as nail-biting.
We’ll see when the race opens in Suzuka, Japan next week.
PHOTOS Singapore GP Pte. Ltd.