The Mexican driver Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) achieved victory this Sunday in the Singapore Grand Prix race, the seventeenth round of the Formula 1 World Championship, after resisting the threat of the Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), while the Spanish Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) completed the podium with his third place and Fernando Alonso (Alpine) could not finish due to an engine failure.
‘Checo’ took the lead as soon as the traffic lights went out, after a bad start by his teammate and leader of the World Cup, the Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull) and winning the game against Leclerc, and remained leader of start to finish ahead of the two cars of the ‘Cavallino Prancing’.
Verstappen, who finished seventh after gaining two positions with a minute to go due to an error from the British Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and after overtaking the German Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), he saved four points in an appointment in which he made more mistakes than expected.
Things turned out much worse for Fernando Alonso. The Asturian, in his 350th Formula 1 Grand Prix, had to retire after his engine broke on lap 22 when he was running sixth, after ten laps, masterfully holding off Verstappen’s attempts to overtake him. He was one of the six retirements that the test left in Marina Bay.
After an hour’s delay due to rain, Leclerc was unable to defend his privileged position and saw Mexican Sergio Pérez take the lead. An incident with Dane Kevin Magnussen (Haas) weighed down Verstappen, who fell to ninth place and was stuck behind the single-seaters of German Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) and Frenchman Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri).
Meanwhile, Alonso lost one position, to sixth, and Sainz managed to improve a place at the start in Marina Bay at the expense of Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) in an action that, despite the fact that it ended with the Briton off the track, did not underwent investigation. Ahead, ‘Checo’ and Leclerc opened a gap.
The retirement of the Chinese Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo) after a crash on lap 8 with the Canadian Nicholas Latifi (Williams) did not enter the safety car, which did have to act a turn later when the American left. The cars regrouped and gave ‘Mad Max’ another chance.
As soon as the ‘safety car’ disappeared, the Dutchman overtook Vettel and Gasly to launch himself at Alonso, who held on for 12 laps until the engine breakage condemned him to withdraw from the event. The ‘virtual’ made his appearance and was back in action just a couple of laps later after Thailand’s Alexander Albon (Williams) went into the wall.
It was not the last performance of the ‘VSC’, which came back into play just at the halfway point of the race after the brake problem of the other Alpine, that of Frenchman Esteban Ocon. Hamilton, who brushed the barriers, joined the track just ahead of Verstappen, who radioed He complained about how “dangerous” it was to shoot alongside the seven-time champion.
Only one lap later, at 35 of 61, Leclerc entered the pits to fit medium tires, and on the following lap both Pérez, who returned to the track first, and Sainz did so. But once again, the fourth ‘safety car’ of the day -this time due to the accident of the Japanese Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)- revolutionized everything.
The race was relaunched with Verstappen going wide as he tried to overtake Britain’s Lando Norris. (McLaren) and coming back eighth, and Leclerc threw himself on top of a Pérez who was finding it increasingly difficult to keep the Monegasque at bay. The race time began to discount.
Leclerc’s tires began to wear off just over a quarter of an hour from the endand by radio the ‘Scuderia’ warned him to stay within five seconds of Pérez in case he, under investigation, received a sanction for breaching the rules under the safety car regime.
However, the higher pace of his car saved the Mexican’s victory, second of the season and fourth of his career, in the ‘Great Circus’. Leclerc and Sainz completed the podium and the McLarens of Norris and the Australian Daniel Ricciardo closed the ‘Top 5’.
With information from Europe Press.