Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Singapore, 2022

Perez wins Singapore GP but faces investigation for Safety Car infringement

2022 Singapore Grand Prix summary

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Sergio Perez led the majority of the Singapore Grand Prix to take the chequered flag first, but is under investigation for a Safety Car infringement.

In a race disrupted with multiple Safety Car and Virtual Safety Car appearances, Perez held off Charles Leclerc throughout the race to take the chequered flag first. However, his win remains unofficial as he will be investigated for breaching Safety Car procedure by dropping too far back prior to a restart.

Leclerc finished 7.5 seconds behind Perez, with Carlos Sainz Jnr fourth. Championship leader Max Verstappen finished seventh after starting eighth.

The start of the race was delayed by over an hour due to a torrential downpour that soaked the Singapore circuit prior to the original 8pm start time. After the delay the formation lap began an hour later than scheduled with no more rain falling onto the circuit and all 20 cars on intermediate tyres.

When the lights went out, Perez jumped Leclerc to take the lead of the race, while Sainz moved ahead of Lewis Hamilton to take third position. Having started eighth, Verstappen dropped down to 12th position by the end of the first lap as his team mate pulled out a lead of a second over Leclerc.

Leclerc kept the gap to the leader under two seconds through the early laps as the pair pulled slowly away from Sainz in third. Zhou Guanyu became the first retirement of the race on lap seven when he was hit by Nicholas Latifi while trying to pass the Williams around the outside of turn five, breaking his suspension and forcing him to pull off the circuit. The Williams driver was later penalised for the collision.

The Safety Car was deployed for a handful of laps to allow for Zhou’s Alfa Romeo to be cleared. None of the drivers chose to pit under the Safety Car and the race restarted at the beginning of lap 11 with Perez still leading ahead of Leclerc and Sainz. Verstappen, who had made his way up to eighth before the Safety Car, quickly relieved Pierre Gasly of seventh at turn 13.

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Again, Perez and Leclerc pulled away from Sainz. The track dried out very slowly, with drivers nursing their increasingly worn intermediate tyres to try and run as far into the race as possible before switching to dry tyres.

Gallery: 2022 Singapore Grand Prix in pictures
On lap 21, Fernando Alonso suddenly pulled off the track into turn ten, his Alpine slowing on the short straight. As Alonso retired, the Virtual Safety Car was deployed.

Under the VSC, Mercedes called George Russell to switch to medium slick tyres from 15th place, dropping him to the back of the field. When the race resumed, Russell struggled to find any grip on his new slicks, losing nearly 10 seconds a lap to the field ahead of him.

Alexander Albon hit the wall at turn eight, losing his front wing, but he managed to reverse back onto the track and continue back to the pits. The Virtual Safety Car was deployed, but the race resumed shortly after with no one taking the opportunity to pit.

Shortly after, another Virtual Safety Car was deployed when Esteban Ocon pulled off track with a smoking car at turn 13. By this stage, the race had reached half distance but still only Russell had braved a move to medium tyres and was far off the rest of the pack in last position.

Hamilton pressured Sainz for third, but locked up into turn seven and stuck the barrier head on, losing multiple positions and damaging his front wing, but was able to rejoin just ahead of Verstappen. At this stage, teams began to call their drivers in to pit for slick tyres. Leclerc pitted for mediums from second, with leader Perez following a lap later, retaining the lead.

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After switching onto medium tyres, Yuki Tsunoda out-braked himself into turn ten and speared into the barrier, bringing out another full Safety Car. The field bunched up once again, with the race restarting on lap 40 with Perez again leading from Leclerc and Sainz with many drivers taking their first laps at racing speed on slick tyres.

Verstappen attempted to pass Norris for fourth into turn seven, but locked up heavily and had to take to the escape road and spin his Red Bull around. With his tyres heavily flat-spotted, Verstappen pitted and moved onto a fresh set of soft tyres, dropping him to 12th.

With so many Safety Cars, the race was now time limited. Perez was still leading, but Leclerc was now less than a second behind. As the track was now considered dry enough, race director Eduardo Freitas activated DRS with just under 30 minutes of race time remaining.

Leclerc placed the leader under intense pressure, but Perez absorbed the Ferrari’s advances until a mistake from Leclerc moved him beyond a second away from the Red Bull. However, the stewards announced that Perez would be investigated after the race for allegedly breaching Safety Car procedure before the second restart. Red Bull instructed their driver to pull out as big a gap as he could to cover a potential penalty, with Perez responding with a new fastest lap.

As time ticked down, Perez pulled away out front. When time expired, Perez crossed the line to take the chequered flag, 7.5 seconds ahead of Leclerc at the line. Sainz finished third to complete the podium, a further seven seconds adrift of his team mate.

The two McLarens of Norris and Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth and fifth, with Lance Stroll securing Aston Martin’s best result of the season in sixth. Verstappen finished seventh ahead of Sebastian Vettel in eighth, Hamilton ninth and Pierre Gasly taking the final point in tenth.

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2022 Singapore Grand Prix reaction

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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55 comments on “Perez wins Singapore GP but faces investigation for Safety Car infringement”

  1. Just how much pace do Reb Bull have in hand when their #2 driver can just drive away from the quicker Ferrari, increasing the gap from 2 to almost 8 seconds in just a few laps?

    1. Indeed. It was like that race where Hamilton feared a tyre pressure penalty (in Monza, forget which year). He just pulled a huge lead out of nowhere.

    2. @proesterchen Leclerc dropped a lot of pace at the end, his gap over Sainz (eho was driving like a grandma all day) dropped from 11 seconds to 8 seconds at the end.

    3. I have a totally different reading, Checo returned to give a lecture on how to manage his tires, Charles burned his tires in very few laps, Perez endured to the maximum taking care of his tires to tighten in the last laps, Checo put each wheel in its place without errors driving perfectly, …I don’t know what race you saw.

      1. Charles was on his limit trying to pass but he couldn’t keep pace when perez went all in. Charles was spend trying to prevent the Ferrari crashing each corner…

  2. Decent race overall,but i expected more during the wet part .

    A really solid drive by Perez, who managed to keep it clean and take the win(we’ll see about that ..)

    Ferrari took a decent result,but Sainz lack of pace at every racing situation (wet/dry) was pretty concerning…

    Hamilton and Verstappen had some extremely poor drives, but nothing can be compared with Russell’s appalling race. He really stood out,but for the wrong reasons…. His clash with Schumacher was also a reminiscent of Imola 21 & Silverstone 22…. But bar that,he drove a terrible race.

    Bar that,a lot of changes happened with McLaren and Aston Martin gaining a lot of ground over their competitors.

    Last but not least,its Magnussen’s 5th time (!) getting the black and orange flag, which is a really a unfortunate achievement for him.

    1. Let’s not mince words, George Russell looks like a bit of a one-trick pony in changing conditions, still stuck in that Williams mindset of not having any pace and not having anything to lose, either.

      Seems like Mercedes need to reign him in and counter his bad instincts.

      1. I guess he’ll become better with experience in a top team,but yeah he still needs time…. And his drive today was really bad.Although I can’t understand how he got away with a penalty once again…

        1. And his drive today was really bad. Although I can’t understand how he got away with a penalty once again…

          Possibly, the commentary team suggesting that it was a “slam dunk penalty for Schumacher” might give a clue?
          Car problems in qualification, bumps and shunts in the race, in karma terms I can only conclude George has kicked a lot of cats recently.

          1. Brundle put the blame solely on Russell during the commentary


          2. Obviously different commentators say different stuff, especially since I don’t think we all watch races in the same language.

  3. RandomMallard
    2nd October 2022, 16:29

    Excellent drive from Perez, would be very disappointing for him to lose it now. Don’t get me wrong, the rules are there to be followed, but this kinda thing (10 cars lengths at both safety cars but also formation laps) seems to have gone under the radar for quite a while now, so to suddenly bring it up again with no prior warning is perhaps a bit harsh. But the bottom line is, the rules should be enforced.

    And can we please decide these things during the race. As Croft and Davidson mentioned afterwards, there were 15 minutes at the end of the race where nothing came from the stewards at all. Could they not have just investigated it there and then so we might actually know the winner at the end of the race?

    1. The cars’ length gap rules aren’t just under the radar, they’re outlandishly ignored pretty much every time. If that’s the part Pérez is under investigation for, it’d be a hugely unfair situation to single him out.

      1. Yeah Lewis has done that his entire career.

    2. can we please decide these things during the race.

      Perez drove well. He had a confusing instruction from his engineer.
      If he was more than 10 car lengths back, it’s a penalty, end of.
      Five seconds penalty IIRC, add that before the end of the race (or on the finish time) he still won. Discussion over. Oh, maybe not because the stewards need their moments of fame.

  4. Great drive by Checo, while Max had an unusually error-full race.
    If only QLF ended differently for him, he could have an even bigger points-lead than pre-race.

    1. Aside from the bad start and then going into the run off after the final SC, he didn’t make any other mistakes, beyond that of the rest of the field.

      That being said, I think when he went up the run off, that cost him the podium.

      Checo drove a superb race and held LeClerc off very nicely to secure his win.

  5. What a dull race.

    For whatever reason they decided to postpone for 1 hour just to change the condition of the track from “wet” to “drying”. And that’s what you get on a drying track with only a dry line : no racing.

    Verstappen, by far the fastest, strugglinng to overtake a Aston Martin and only managing to do so by the very end.

    That’s the conditions they chose to race in.

      1. You think it was good because it had Safety Cars am i right?

        1. I think it was exciting because it was so hard to overtake. Everybody has to push and no room for mistakes. Much better than waiting for the dull DRS moves.

          1. “it was so hard to overtake” …

            … apart from when it took Max just one corner to sail past Gasly. It did rather look like Gasly was under orders not to hold up the Red Bull. If Red Bull has two teams in the contest, they really do need to be run as two independent teams in competition with each other.

          2. AlanD, I agree they do that with toro rosso-red bull, but it’s not new at all, I don’t understand why some posters here say they race independently when it’s clear to see, he even let him past in monaco years back, where it’s very clear that you don’t pass there unless you agree with the one ahead. It’s indeed an unfair advantage, I think teams like ferrari and merc should be capable of entering a B team to do that for them too, and money is the least of their problems.

        2. It was a very good race as it pushed many drivers to the limit, and because many so called fans didn’t even recognise it (but you probably missed the DRS overtakes).

          1. i missed any kind of overtakes man lol.
            Definitely not excited to watch 2 hours of driving around with the ocasional interruption.

            And yes, evenn DRS overtakes are better than this, hands down.

    1. Yes that was a terrible decision. If the race is safe to start, start it. We’ve all had enough with race manipulation from the FIA. I’d rather have seen a we race that finished after the allotted laps.

      Considering the time slot this airs I’ll probably never watch Singapore live again, and I haven’t missed a race since 2018 aside from the Saudi Arabian propaganda show.

    2. They delayed the starting procedure for an hour because there was exceptionally heavy monsoon levels of rain and parts of the track were completely flooded.

      The intensity of the rainfall also had visibility down to barely anything. You couldn’t even see a quarter of the way down the main straight from the camera at turn 1 for example purely because of how heavy the rain was.

      There was no way that any racecar could have gone out in those conditions even on the best rain tires ever made as the rain was simply too heavy and the track under too much water in multiple places.

      Delaying the start procedure was 100% the right call and i can only assume those arguing against it simply never saw just how bad conditions were or how flooded parts of the track were.

      1. Coventry Climax
        3rd October 2022, 0:48

        And who was it again, that came up with the calendar, and decided to go race there this time of year?
        Something with an F and International Amateurs, isn’t it?
        Singapore is soaking wet from november to februari, with a more than decent chance of rain in the month before and after that. So the timing is not very smart, similar to going to Spa in the month it’s on the calendar. Why not exchange these races with something in those sandpits where they have dry months to spare?
        And then, I wouldn’t actually mind seeing a race in the rain, but it’s the chicken FIA themselves that postpone everything when it’s wet, and wait until it’s dry again, or award half points for qualifying.

  6. One again the decisions (or not decisions at all) from the commisioners will overshade yet another GP. Some more decisions can and should be defined while in the race and give the winner the spotlight he deserves. If can anyone help me shouldn’t Max be investigated regarding the situation with Norris, and did he not overtake Norris on the VSC ending? I’m not trying to start any war here, i trully don’t know, and for that excuse me and thank you in advance, cheers

    1. I don’t think he overtook Norris but the incident was surely a saftey issue. They investigate IMHO non issue from Perez but nothing on this incident that is surely saftey related from both drivers

      1. When they said Perez was under investigation for SC procedures, I thought they’d got the wrong Red Bull and meant Max and his move on Norris. The TV coverage didn’t show exactly when that happened but I thought there had been a rule clarification that you couldn’t pull alongside the car ahead like that (depending on where they were on the restart). Did anyone get a clear view?

        1. I believe that this does not apply to vsc restarts

        2. @AlanD Thanks a lot for you’re reply and angle on that. The only replay i saw it gave me the impression that his half a car in front under braking but it was a really messy situation that i thought no one talked about.

        3. Everyone saw it but if it was under investigation Norris would get the penaulty as he breaked after going full ahead when the VSC was ending. This was very dangerous and should be added in the rules when VSC is ending no more braking after you go for it.
          It was that Max had lighting fast reaction otherwise Norris would got a Red Bull over his car.
          Clearly a mistake of Lando of not keeping his Delta so he could overgap the VSC ending periode why he went for it is strange if your Delta is not good enough.

      2. Thank’s a lot for you’re reply, :)

      3. Thanks a lot for you’re reply @Grapmg i sure thought that was a safety issue they didn’t collide by inches, and maybe for that(it’s me expeculating) taking in consideration Max to avoid the collision they “close” their eyes to it?

    2. The biggest question is why both cars (VER and NOR) were running at race speed during a SC ? The speed they picked up was not SC speed, so maybe you are limited by car lengths and not speed during SC ? during VSC the cars are speed limited and they need to keep a delta, I think the NOR-VER incident happened during a SC not a VSC.

      For Norris to be able to speed like that there must’ve been more than 10 cars length between the car in front and NOR, so maybe the car length only applies to the first car following the SC and not all others behind (that would be silly)?

  7. Was the Perez thing for not staying within 10 car lengths or because he pulled out of line and got alongside the safety car as christian horner seemed to say on sky.

    That rule about not pulling out of line and getting alongside others cars is a new rule for this year that was ironically for red bull introduced because max verstappen kept pulling alongside other drivers on restarts and more than once basically briefly passed the lead car.

    1. I believe Perez might have overtook SC, before it crossed the SC lane during the restart. But I would like to see the replay of that moment again.

  8. Very good from Perez, he suddenly comes alive in these tracks with lots of slow corners. Doubt he’ll lose the win, he might get 5 secs added on to his final time which will still keep him in 1st.

  9. Some questions about the ten car lenghts rule:
    Was ist ever applied?
    If so, what is the penalty?
    And why does it take ages to annonce it ?
    I mean, it’s a black and white situation. It should be way easier to juge than most collisions…

    1. RandomMallard
      2nd October 2022, 17:27

      1. It has been applied before, but very inconsistently. I believe Vettel got penalised for it in Hungary in 2010 with a drive through penalty, although at the time that was the most lenient sporting penalty.
      2. As I can’t remember it ever being investigated since that Vettel penalty, and with penalties in general now being less significant (usually 5 and 10 seconds as opposed to drive throughs and stop-gos), I can’t really tell. There isn’t a specified penalty for it.
      3. Probably because the stewards wanted tea or something.

  10. William kennedy
    2nd October 2022, 17:16

    Stewards and fia have been running races since I can remember this is not new, what is new is it depends who has infringed and who has lost out.

  11. Once again, F1’s bureaucracy potentially spoils the outcome.

    Even if Perez doesn’t receive a penalty, the uncertainty takes the shine off a fantastic race by Checo.

  12. Jonathan Parkin
    2nd October 2022, 17:52

    Why the hell are we still doing 2 hours + 1 lap. The procedure for years was if a race is time limited, the race leader receives the chequered flag on the lap the clock runs out. Why did we have to change it. I need a reason that is logical and makes sense. If there isn’t one then change it back

    1. Whats the problem? Couldn’t watch one more lap?

      1. Jonathan Parkin
        2nd October 2022, 18:17

        The problem is they had a procedure for it which remained in place for literally decades, that worked and was simple to understand and then it got changed for seemingly no reason at all

        If it ain’t broken don’t fix it

        1. Oke agree with your last statement.
          But still no news on this SC this is ridiculous. How long does it take to make a simpel call

  13. Good race. Thankfully the drs wasn’t too effective, so it didn’ diminish the close racing and intense fighting. That’s as it should be, great drivers trying hard to overtake or defend, trying to force a mistake, and not make one themselves. Sometimes succeding, sometimes not.
    Good job from Mclaren and Aston.
    Good race from Perez, kept his cool under pressure.

  14. Is there some kind of black-ban on McLaren reporting, Norris more or less finished where he started but Ricciardo somehow magiced himself from 17th. to 5th. (was he told not to race Norris ?) but neither driver’s race was mentioned in this article. Norris used to be featured in nearly every article, has he been rude to the press? Not reporting on Ricciardo recently may be seen as a kindness but not explaining how he made up so many places seems peculiar at best.

    1. +1 – 5 articles about how Ric is washed up every time he finishes out of the points, whether its due to his driving or the teams strategy. Manages to drag himself from p16 to 5th and its barely mentioned.

      1. Recovering was good, however is it just me that saw that after the SC despite the soft tyres with the others on medium he didn’t make any headway and while norris was pressuring sainz towards the end, ricciardo ended up slowing down other cars behind?

        1. does that change the fact he went from p16 – p5? why try and race a team mate that the team would’ve never let him race?

  15. it was a great drive by Checo.
    Every gap he pulled from Le Clerk was diminished by safety car.
    The way he pulled almost 8 sec gap after he was cautioned by his team about possible penalty was impressive.

  16. Great drive by Checo, while Max had an unusually error-full race.
    If only QLF ended differently for him, he could have an even bigger points-lead than pre-race.

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