Red Bull’s Sergio Perez won the Singapore Grand Prix amid treacherous conditions, but he remains under investigation for a potential safety car violation with race stewards due to rule on any penalty.
Torrential rain delayed the start of the race by an hour and, on the slippery track, the safety car was deployed twice – firstly following a collision between Nicholas Latifi and Zhou Guanyu and secondly after Yuki Tsunoda hit the barriers.
Perez emerged from the chaos unscathed and eventually passed the chequered flag seven seconds ahead of runner-up Charles Leclerc to move within just two points of the Ferrari driver’s second place in the drivers’ championship.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz completed the podium while Perez’s teammate and runaway leader atop the overall standings, Max Verstappen, was forced to wait for his second title after finishing seventh – one of the worst results of his season.
“It was certainly my best performance,” Perez said, according to F1. “I controlled the race, although the [tire] warm-up was pretty difficult. The last few laps were so intense. I really didn’t feel it so much in the car, but when I got out of it, I felt it. I pushed [and] I gave everything for the win today.”
Perez had navigated the frantic start best, overtaking pole-sitter Leclerc on Turn 1 while his teammate Verstappen lost and then regained four positions in the middle of the pack.
On the tenth lap, the first safety car was deployed and Verstappen took advantage of the compressed field to make up another two places for P7 while Latifi and Zhou both retired.
Marking his 350th race start, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso suffered an engine failure 10 laps later prompting a virtual safety car which had barely finished before it reemerged again following Williams’ Alex Albon crash into a wall and Alpine’s second engine failure of the day with Esteban Ocon.
It was not until halfway through the race that the track was dry enough for slick tires, and all the drivers pitted to change while yet another safety car was out on the course.
Accelerating out of the restart, Verstappen locked up trying to overtake Norris and was forced to pit again to change tires once more while Hamilton also made an uncharacteristic error to tumble out of the podium race.
In the end, it was Perez who held off the challenges of Leclerc to take his second victory of this season and fourth of his career.