F1: 5 Takeaways from the Singapore Grand Prix

F1 Grand Prix of Singapore

Extreme weather at the Singapore Grand Prix brought spins, shocking team results, and a dominant Sergio Perez victory.

Following a three-year absence, the Singapore Grand Prix returned to the Marina Bay Street Circuit. Due to heavy rain before the start, the race faced an hour delay with a flooded track deemed unsafe for drivers. A wet track played a major factor in countless lockups, spins, and even drifting. Certain teams struggled while others prospered, but in the end, the most decorated Mexican driver added to his resume with a sensational victory.

1) Wet Races Create Madness

The return of the Singapore Grand Prix was without a doubt a rollercoaster with a plethora of twists and turns. An hour-long delay due to monsoon-like rainfall. Teams’ strategies were off the rails, as they focused on damage limitation versus when to roll the dice to transition onto the dry tire. The track proved it was a difficult night for drivers with many lockups, ramming into the barriers, and showing off their drifting skills. Safety cars, virtual and full, made many appearances during the race that included six retirements.

A lot of the top teams had rough weekends, Mercedes, Alpine & Verstappen, but lower-end teams took advantage to secure an unusual amount of points. Aston Martin secured their first double points finish of the year to move their way up the constructors’ standings. These races are a true test for drivers to push themselves in such treacherous conditions. To simply put it, races in the rain can create moments that are talked about for years.

2) Checo’s Immaculate Drive

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was the man of the hour Sunday night as he dominated the Singapore Grand Prix to secure his second win of 2022. Starting second on the grid, he overtook Leclerc at the start and did not give up the lead. Perez is a master of preserving his tires and limiting careless errors. He nearly had his win removed due to a safety car infringement during a late safety car and was penalized with a five-second penalty, but he was later confirmed as the official race winner. Perez managed to completely outpace Leclerc by seven seconds in the final few laps. This win for Perez marks the best drive of his career by many. He looked like a man that was possessed and unbeatable. It’s a message to Team Principal Christian Horner that he should be viewed as a driver who can battle alongside Verstappen.

3) Clean Race from Ferrari

Over the course of the year, Ferrari has been the center of attention for all the wrong reasons. It had become a part of Ferrari’s routine that a costly error would sabotage their race. Ferrari fans have expressed their frustration about these costly mistakes that ruined their chances of winning potentially the drivers and constructors title. Sunday’s race was a change of scenery for Ferrari as they had a clean race for both drivers. Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc achieved a double podium finish. Their first one since the Miami GP. Leclerc had himself a strong race battling for the win against Perez, as he attempts to ever so slowly reduce the gap down to Verstappen with five races left. Carlos Sainz was able to hold off Lewis Hamilton and managed to secure his eighth podium finish this season. If only this was the Ferrari team that performed during the middle of the year, 2022 might have been a different story.

4) McLaren’s Big Day

The McLaren pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris has not lived up to expectations. Both drivers have been on different paths with Ricciardo parting ways with McLaren at the end of the year, and Norris on a long-term contract. Leaving Singapore, McLaren has to be ecstatic for with a double points finish, their first since Paul Ricard. Norris came in fourth and Ricciardo had a season-best fifth place. In fact this is the first time McLaren have managed to get both cars into the top five.

Ricciardo, who started seventeenth, used the retirements and the weather to his advantage. This is a huge result for both their drivers. As a team, they have overtaken Alpine for fourth in the constructors following a double DNF for Ocon and Alonso. Norris looks like a lock for 6th in the Championship now while this helps boosts Ricciardo’s pursuit of a seat for next season. Duplicating more double points finishes as the season concludes will definitely help McLaren retain a fourth-place finish in the constructors.

5) A Race to Forget for Alpine

Alpine had a tough outing this weekend as both teams suffered a double DNF. Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon both had their races end due to engine failures, which could lead to grid penalties needed in the future. This was also the 350th career start for Alonso, so it was not in ‘El Plan’ to end this momentous occasion abruptly. For the French team, this result now drops them down to fifth in the constructors below McLaren. Back-to-back weekends with no points. Now is not the time to slip form with only five races left in the season.

Championship Standings

After recording his second win of the season, Sergio Perez moves with just two points from Charles Leclerc. Both of them gained on Max Verstappen and push the title pursuit onto Japan. Carlos Sainz has closed within two points of George Russell as well.

  1. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing – 341 points
  2. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari – 237 points
  3. Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing – 235 points
  4. George Russell, Mercedes – 203 points
  5. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari – 202 points

Next Race

  • Japanese Grand Prix
  • Sunday, October 9th – 1:00 A.M. EST on ESPN
  • Suzuka Circuit
  • Previous Winner: Valtteri Bottas (2019)
Featured Image Credit: Peter Fox/Getty Images