► Perez wins
► Ferraris second and third
► The championship continues to Japan
F1’s timing records say the Singapore race took 2:02:20.238, but after watching it you’d expect that stream of figures to represent two months and two days – not two hours and two minutes. F1’s latest trip to Marina Bay was a drawn out affair, first delayed by torrential rain, and then by countless VSCs and safety cars. And in the end, the race was straightforward at the front.
After jumping everyone at the start, Perez dealt with stoppages, tricky conditions, and the occasional bit of pressure from Ferrari – though it must be said, largely without the threat of DRS. After two hours we’d learnt a little bit more about the 2022 season, and after a few more hours we’d confirmed who won the race. Keep reading for 5 things we learnt from the GP of Marina Bay.
1. Perez’s most impressive victory
Sergio Perez almost always plays the back-up role at Red Bull – even on the few occasions where he’s faster – but this time he led from the front. A poor start meant Verstappen was not in contention, and it fell to Perez to take the fight to the Ferraris. Pressure from the Scuderia never really came on the awkward streets of Singapore, but Perez still had to avoid the mistakes made up and down the grid by several more experience drivers – including Lewis Hamilton.
2. Bad times for Mercedes
The medium speed corners of Singapore were always going to suit the temperamental Mercedes, even if the bumps didn’t. Come qualifying, though, it looked as though in Hamilton’s hands (Russell had an issue) the W13 was a race win contender. After all, he qualified third.
In the end it wasn’t to be: the W13’s tyre warm-up issues were particularly obvious in the temperamental conditions on Sunday, and no DRS meant when Hamilton did speed up, there wasn’t really a way around the slow Ferrari of Sainz.
Throw in an unusual mistake from Hamilton, made when he tried to overtake offline on a drying track – and it was a day to forget from Mercedes.
3. McLaren maximises points
Despite having a tough time on Saturday (6th and 17th) both McLaren drivers kept it out of the wall and also took advantage of a safety car to jump most of the field on Sunday. It was the latest in a string of stronger results from Lando Norris, but it was 5th was also a huge boost for Daniel Ricciardo, who has been out of sorts ever since he lost his McLaren seat to Oscar Piastri.
4. Two identical incidents, two different penalties
F1 continues to make headlines on and off the track, and this time it was down to both. After Perez dropped more than ten car lengths back twice, behind the safety car (an infringement) he was given two different penalties. One was a five-second penalty, but the other – for an identical infringement – was a reprimand and two penalty points. As you’d expect, if a further five seconds would’ve been applied, as they had with the first infringement, Perez would not have won the race.
“We imposed a reprimand on PER for a breach of the same regulation during the first Safety Car deployment during the race, said the stewards. As this was the ‘second breach of Article 55.10 by PER during the race and followed an express warning from the Race Director, we determined to impose a five-second time penalty on PER.’ It’s worth ointing out that this was invesgated after the race, though…
5. Cost caps!
Cost-caps were supposed to be straightforward – you either spend too much or you don’t – but F1 seems to have made a hash of them, too. Just before the GP weekend, rumours swirled that two teams had managed to break the 2021 cap rules; one with a procedural error, and the other by simply spending too much. Which teams these were remains unknown, and what could be done to them remains equally unknown too; the repercussions vary from a point deduction to overall disqualification form the championship.