F1 2022: Singapore Gp Review – Top Notch Checo Wins

For the first time since 2019 Formula 1 has returned to the city streets of Singapore. As the most physically and mentally challenging track on the calendar the Marina Bay circuit also ensures itself as the longest race of the season just about every year. In 2022 the race again ran to its two-hour time limit thanks to three full safety car appearances and two deployments of the Virtual Safety Car (VSC). Saturday qualifying delivered a scintillating battle which saw the top three of Charles Leclerc, Checo Perez, and Lewis Hamilton separated by a scant 0.054 of a second. Max Verstappen too would’ve been in that mix but for a rare miscalculation from his Red Bull team. As it were the Dutchman had to abort his final flying lap in quali to ensure that enough of a fuel sample was available for FIA scrutineering. If not, he would’ve been excluded from qualifying and sent to the very back of the grid. While Leclerc has proven himself as a masterful qualifier the Ferrari driver just isn’t able to consistently translate pole into wins. after an hourlong delay, thanks to a torrential downpour, the race got underway. Perez took full toll of this and snatched the lead of the race at lights out. For much of the opening stint Leclerc seemed able to match Perez’s pace and the pair quickly dropped Carlos Sainz and Hamilton in third and fourth. It wasn’t as clean a start for Verstappen who dropped outside the top ten with a poor getaway. Nevertheless, the reigning champion found his groove and began to climb back up through the field. That was at least until the switch to dry tyres. He misjudged an overtake on Lando Norris, locked his wheels, and went straight on at turn 7. It dropped him down the field and required a pitstop to replace badly flat-spotted tyres. Although the rain had abated for some time the Marina Bay circuit was incredibly slow to for a dry line. Still, it prompted George Russell onto the dry tyres. The Merc driver, way down the field after starting from the pitlane had little to lose. It took some time for Russell to start turning quicker laps than those on intermediate tyres but it provided valuable feedback as to exactly when the switchover should happen. While Perez and Sainz turned an unmatchable pace at the front Hamilton was bringing himself into contention for the third step on the podium. But the 7-time champion went straight into the barriers of turn 7 and took himself out of podium contention. The damage wasn’t too bad though but he had to pit for a new front-wing. By lap 39 it was clear that the race would run to time instead of its allotted 61 lap distance. The lap counter changed to a timer with roughly 35 minutes to go on the clock. By this stage only fourteen cars remained in the race. Up ahead Leclerc was doing his utmost to take the lead off Perez but the Mexican kept his cool and the coveted P1 position. Towards end of the race a notice flashed up that Perez would be investigated after the race for a safety car infringement. As it turns out the Red Bull driver was pinged for not staying within ten car lengths of the safety car. Although he had pulled a more than 5 second gap to Leclerc it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth to think that the official result was delayed until well after the completion of the race. It’s clear that the new race director hasn’t quite yet found his feet. No less than five safety car periods, two of them virtual, interrupted the action of the Singapore Grand Prix. This and treacherously slippery conditions on the hardest tracks on the calendar was beautifully handled by the race winner. Checo Perez delivered a stunning drive than easily ranks as the best of this career, to date. Leclerc had to settle for second eventually as Sainz completed the podium for Ferrari. McLaren too made the most of the safety cars and finished fourth and fifth with Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Lance Stroll scored some welcome points in sixth ahead of Verstappen in seventh. Seb Vettel made it a double points scoring day for Aston Martin in eighth ahead of Hamilton in ninth. Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly took the point in tenth. It’s on to Japan this weekend where race win for Verstappen will assure him as the 2022 driver’s champion. The post F1 2022: Singapore Gp Review – Top Notch Checo Wins appeared first on F1 Madness.