Swashbuckling Pérez stays cool through chaos for his maiden Singapore win

2 October 2022, Singapore – Red Bull Racing's Sergio Pérez has mastered the streets of Marina Bay, with the Mexican winning a thrilling-but-chaotic Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix 2022 under maximum pressure from Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

Pérez, the first driver to win both the Monaco and Singapore Grands Prix in the same season since Sebastian Vettel in 2011, and a new winner in the city-state, took the lead into turn one and stayed there through the time-limited, safety car-affected race for his second win for 2022, and fourth overall.

The Mexican got a great start on the initially wet track, with the entire field on intermediate tyres, following a torrential downpour that delayed proceedings. Pérez led every lap, and retained the win despite a 5-second time penalty and two penalty points on his licence from the stewards post-race for falling more than 10 car lengths of the Safety Car on lap 36.

“That was my best performance [in F1],” said Pérez. “The last three laps were so intense. I gave everything for the win today

“To keep Charles [Leclerc] behind, especially after the restart, when the [tyre] warm-up was super hard with half the track on the dry side, and the other half was good enough for inters.”

Leclerc was frustrated to finish second from pole position in Singapore for the second-straight time, but said he did not feel worse than he did in 2019.

“Every race has a different feeling, but the frustration is there obviously” he said. “The pace was really good today. Unfortunately, we had a bad start and from that moment on, we were a little bit on the back foot.

“I tried to put quite a lot of pressure on Checo, but [doing that] you overheat the tyres pretty quickly and then you drop a little bit.”

Sainz finished third, which put both Ferraris on the podium for the first time since Miami, and was one place up from where he started in fourth. However, the Spaniard just could not get to grips with the intermediate tyres.

“Unfortunately, it was quite lonely for me because I didn’t have the pace on the intermediate tyre” he said. “I lost a lot on the road to Charles and Checo, and I couldn’t keep up with them. I was struggling quite a lot.”

Singapore was an astonishing double point score for McLaren, its first since the French Grand Prix, given where its drivers originally started on the grid. Lando Norris started sixth and finished fourth, while Daniel Ricciardo climbed up from 16th to fifth for a result that’s catapulted the squad four points ahead of its rival Alpine in the battle for fourth in the constructors’ championship.

There was more leapfrogging happening down at Aston Martin, with the green team jumping ahead of American squad Haas for seventh in the standings after Lance Stroll finished sixth, and four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel came home in eighth for a 12-point haul.

Red Bull may have won the race, but reigning champion Max Verstappen will want to put a nightmare Marina Bay weekend behind him. The Dutchman was forced to abort his potentially pole-setting final Q3 lap to avoid running out of fuel in qualifying, then ran a scrappy race to ultimately move up one place from his grid slot and finish seventh.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton may have won the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix four times, but 2022’s edition was one to forget with multiple incidents for the Brit – including contact with Sainz at the start, and later on, the turn seven barrier – to finish ninth. AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly completed the top-10, in a race of attrition that saw just 14 finishers.