Victory For Sergio Perez At Chaotic Singapore Grand Prix

Formula One / 7 Comments

The battle for second place is in full swing.

The F1 circus returned to Singapore for the first time since 2019. This particular Grand Prix is one of the most physically taxing races on the calendar due to the suffocating climate and the high probability of rain.

If you watched it, you'd know it was a mess. The track was soaking, and the Grand Prix eventually finished when the clock ran out. Thankfully, enough laps had been completed for the full points to count, so the battle for second place in the championship remains as tight as ever.

Unfortunately, the race had to take a back seat to unsubstantiated rumors regarding Red Bull's finances. To be clear, if Red Bull is found guilty of wrongdoing, it should face a harsh penalty. But we prefer waiting for factual statements rather than rumors.

The finance issue dominated the discussion and took some shine away from one of only three drivers to achieve anything worth writing about this weekend.

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Hamilton And Verstappen Disappoint

It was amateur hour for two of the four world champions on the grid. Lewis Hamilton qualified third and finished in ninth place, more than a minute behind the race winner.

Verstappen was all over the place. He was like a chaotic ferret, fighting his way through the pack, only to mess up and get shoved all the way to the back again. So many mistakes were made. He botched the start, nearly took Norris out, and locked up at high speed, to name just a few. All that to gain just one place. Hamilton moaned about his tires, ran straight into a wall, and generally ran a poor race.

All things considered, a poor effort from the two most recent world champions.

Mercedes-Benz AG
Mercedes-Benz AG
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Sergio Perez The Street Fighter

Checo had a few rough Gran Prix this season, but he once again proved himself king of the streets. It's only his second win of the season, but like the Monaco Grand Prix back in May, Perez won it in style.

Perez, who qualified in second place, pulled a fast one on Charles Leclerc at the start, and that's pretty much where he remained for the entire race. The FIA chose to reprimand Perez for not keeping within the required distance of the safety car, and the second time he received a five-second penalty. Even though the penalty was only announced two hours after the race had finished, Red Bull must have known it was coming.

Perez managed to keep seven seconds ahead of Leclerc, mitigating the penalty. Checo's drive was a masterclass in pace and tire management, and he deserved to be named the driver of the day.

Red Bull Content Pool
Red Bull Content Pool
Red Bull Content Pool

Norris And Ricciardo Impress

We all know Daniel Ricciardo is a talented driver, but it seems like his time in F1 is coming to an end. With every new driver announcement, the opportunities for Danny Ric are fading away. We don't think he'll get a seat for 2023, but at least he can go out with his head held high.

Ricciardo's performance got lost in all the action, rumors, and controversies, but he battled from 17th to fifth place. Take a bow, Daniel. We knew you still had it. Thanks to Ricciardo's performance, McLaren managed to claim back fourth place in the constructor standings, a mere four points ahead of Alpine.

Lando Norris was better, however. The young British driver will likely be the best of the rest at the end of the season, as he currently leads the midfield. Norris is the only driver in the midfield sitting on triple digits, and he has future champion written all over him.

Scuderia Ferrari Solidify Second

Ferrari had a sublime day at the office, with Charles Leclerc finishing in second and Carlos Sainz in third. It was just what the team needed to put some points between them and Mercedes. The German brand was getting uncomfortably close to snatching second place in the constructor standings.

Ferrari has been faster, but Mercedes has been more consistent. Thanks to Hamilton and Russell's poor performance at the Singapore Grand Prix, Ferrari stands on 439 points, while Mercedes is on 373 points. Neither team is close to taking the fight to the dominant force the year. Red Bull is too far ahead, sitting on 576 points.

Something must have happened during the long break since the last Grand Prix. Perhaps Ferrari promised everyone a brand-new Roma if the team manages to finish second?

Scuderia Ferrari Press Office
Scuderia Ferrari Press Office
Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

What Next?

The entire circus now moves to Japan for the first time since 2019. Suzuka is a dangerous track, but it usually provides good racing. The bad news is that it looks to be another wet weekend, with a 60% forecast of rain for Sunday.

Hopefully, the mess with Red Bull's finances will be cleared up by the time free practice starts on Friday. It's believed the FIA will make a statement on Wednesday, either clearing Red Bull and Aston Martin or opening a hornet's nest of consequences.

Max Verstappen is more than 100 points ahead of everyone, with only five races to go. He pretty much has it wrapped up, but the battle for second is quite interesting. Charles Leclerc is in the lead with 237 points, followed by Checo on 235. Don't rule out George Russell, currently on 203 points.

The three teams backing these drivers will do everything they can to help score second place. The focus now moves from Verstappen to the battle for second. Following Checo's performance this weekend, the smart money will be on him.

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