2022 Formula 1: Sergio Perez finishes first, awaits stewards decision at Singapore Grand Prix – CBS Sports

  • October 3, 2022

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Is it better to be lucky or good. Or both? After a good race at the Singapore Grand Prix, Ferrari were hoping things would turn out lucky for them — a safety car issue late in the race put Sergio Perez’s win in some doubt, and Charles Leclerc of Ferrari would be the benefactor should the issue be enforced.
Like many things under the lights at the Marina Bay Circuit, it didn’t go Ferrari’s way. Red Bull Racing’s Perez was indeed penalized, but the penalty handed out added only five seconds to his time. Perez won by 7.5 seconds over Leclerc, who after chasing down the Mexican driver and trying to pass him several times in the final stages of the race, backed off as told by his team that Perez was facing a timing penalty for the safety car infraction.
Early on, the Singapore Grand Prix looked to be swinging in their direction on Saturday when Leclerc took the pole. Combined with the poor qualifying of championship leader Max Verstappen of Red Bull, that gave them some hope. That was dashed right at the start as Verstappen’s teammate, Perez, made a bold move a soon as the track went green and snatched the lead from Leclerc on a circuit that was damp from rain that delayed the start.
Leclerc never seemed to find the grip levels on his intermediate wet tires, at least not to the same level that Perez had, who started gapping the lead by dropping fastest lap after fastest lap. 
As the laps counted down, along with the time, the event switched to being a timed one as it approached the two-hour limit for events. By now the track had dried enough for drivers to slip on the slicks, and Leclerc’s car seemed to come alive. He drew Perez in closer until race control decided that the track had sufficient amounts of grip to allow DRS to be activated. Hopes dashed again as it was advantage Red Bull with Perez rolling off fastest laps once more.
But Leclerc wasn’t finished just yet. He managed to get the gap down to less than half-a-second on Perez, and kept pressing Perez into making a mistake. Time and again he drew closer but, even with DRS of their own, Ferrari just didn’t seem to be able to get quite close enough to make the pass. As both teams and drivers were informed of the safety car investigation, Leclerc backed off a bit, perhaps thinking there was no need to push. As it turns out he backed off too much, as Perez built up a lead of seven-plus seconds, meaning a five-second penalty would not change the outcome.
Another example of Ferrari making a poor strategy call, telling Leclerc to back off but not informing him to stay within five seconds of Perez?
“We believe there will be two, 10-second penalties,” Ferrari radioed Leclerc at the finish.
There wasn’t. 
Asked about the possible penalty, Perez said he had “no idea. They told me there was an investigation.”
At the back of the field, Verstappen will say he left points on the table at Singapore. After a bad start that dropped him to 12th, the Dutchman winded his way through the field and was up to sixth before he got a little too anxious on cold tires in an attempt to pass Lando Norris for fifth. Verstappen had to lock up the brakes and dive down an over-run zone. He avoided contact but a sure points finish was pretty much over as he needed to pit to take on new tires after flat-spotting the other set. He would fight back to finish eighth, but could it have been more?
Lewis Hamilton (crash) and Fernando Alonso (DNF) were two other drivers who will be wondering what could have been, while Leclerc’s teammate, Carlos Sainz Jr., will be wondering exactly what was wrong from start to finish with his car as he never seemed to be in the mix at the front despite finishing third. 
More shoulda-coulda-woulda.
In the end, the championship battle is extended to Japan on Oct. 9 at the Suzuka track. It is anyone’s guess what the weather may deliver at Suzuka. The race has seen torrential monsoon conditions and beautiful sunny days, but Ferrari will likely need something to help their cause at this point.
🔟 mins to go: It remains Kev in 12th and Mick in 14th. #HaasF1 #SingaporeGP pic.twitter.com/WYvgdgVceD
12 minutes + one lap to go

Verstappen has got past Bottas and into the points (P10). He now has Gasly in his sights 🔭#SingaporeGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/4RWlvlQ6lU
📻 “Let’s disappear.” 🔟 minutes to go and Checo sets the Fastest Lap of the race 💜 #SingaporeGP 🇸🇬 pic.twitter.com/dYk69YlVHN
Leclerc told to stay within 5-secs of Pérez for potential post-race safety car infringement. #Formula1 #F1 #SingaporeGP
12 minutes + one lap to go

Verstappen has got past Bottas and into the points (P10). He now has Gasly in his sights 🔭#SingaporeGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/4RWlvlQ6lU
Verstappen on fresh tyres is too much for Valtteri to hold – he’s down to P11.

The chase for Gasly continues!#SingaporeGP
And now P9 for Max. Charging by GAS down Raffles Boulevard 🚀 #SingaporeGP 🇸🇬
Stewards will investigate Pérez after after the race for safety car infringement. #Formula1 #F1 #SingaporeGP
George goes round Mick and is ⬆️ to P13. pic.twitter.com/Kzm6fuKEVT
Into the points 👏 Max gets past BOT for P10.
10 laps to go. #SingaporeGP
17 mins left on the clock:
Pérez v Leclerc, 1.3sec the gap.#Formula1 #F1 #SingaporeGP
This is tense 😬 Checo and LEC are pushing hard. Max is up to P11 on his new softs #SingaporeGP 🇸🇬 pic.twitter.com/GA0nrcYeVb
22 mins to go…

Perez under pressure 😮

Can the Mexican hold off Leclerc? #SingaporeGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/OQZhXN8THo
22 mins to go…

Perez under pressure 😮

Can the Mexican hold off Leclerc? #SingaporeGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/OQZhXN8THo
19 mins left on the clock:
Pérez locking up all over the place, will he crack under pressure?#Formula1 #F1 #SingaporeGP
Seb vs Lewis 😁
It’s for P7 😐 pic.twitter.com/Qgl16UIJJ0
We’re now watching the clock as the two-hour race limit approaches…

There are just under 25 minutes + one lap remaining 👀#SingaporeGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/jbHhR5lmD6
We’re now watching the clock as the two-hour race limit approaches…

There are just under 25 minutes + one lap remaining 👀#SingaporeGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/jbHhR5lmD6
22 mins left on the clock:
Leclerc has a look at Leclerc at the end of the back straight, no move.#Formula1 #F1 #SingaporeGP
25 mins to go: Kev is 11th but eight seconds back from Bottas.

Mick is 13th but a long way behind Verstappen ahead. #HaasF1 #SingaporeGP pic.twitter.com/2TRbqe2UJl
The battle for the lead is hotting up 🔥

Leclerc is less than half-a-second behind Perez#SingaporeGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/utUK5L8HVt
Vai Chaaaaarles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DRS enabled. #SingaporeGP
Fastest Lap for Checo 💜 He’s giving it everything out there! 👊 pic.twitter.com/JIVYkvRYcz
The battle for the lead is hotting up 🔥

Leclerc is less than half-a-second behind Perez#SingaporeGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/utUK5L8HVt
Vai Chaaaaarles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DRS enabled. #SingaporeGP
27 mins left on the clock:
Leader Perez struggling with engine issues, Leclerc has closed right up.#Formula1 #F1 #SingaporeGP
Less than 30 minutes to go 😰 It’s Checo and Charles for the lead. Come on Checo!! 💪
Puncture for George after he touches tyres with the Haas.

Boxing for softs. 🔴 pic.twitter.com/Ui8lDidbFJ
It’s time to vote for your Driver Of The Day from an action-packed night race in Singapore!

Who are you choosing? 📮#SingaporeGP #F1 https://t.co/4iUpECyzVb

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