Sergio Perez held off Charles Leclerc to win a delayed F1 Singapore GP in mixed conditions, with Carlos Sainz in third.

The start of F1 Singapore GP was delayed due to heavy rain at Marina Bay circuit just before the original start. It got going under dry weather but damp conditions with everyone on the intermediate compound to start the grand prix.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez took the F1 Singapore GP at the start jumping on pole-sitter Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Carlos Sainz keeping third despite banging wheels with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. There was an investigation into it by the stewards.

McLaren’s Lando Norris was fifth from Alpine’s Fernando Alonso with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly in seventh, Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel eighth, AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda ninth and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll rounding off the Top 10.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen lost chunk of places due to a bad start to be 12th, as Mercedes’ George Russell started from the pitlane due to a power unit change for the grand prix. It was steady at the front but the Dutchman was the driver on the charge.

He was up inside the Top 10 when Haas’ Kevin Magnussen was shown the black and orange flag for front wing damage. In that moment, there was a collision between Williams’ Nicholas Latifi and Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu.

The Canadian closed the door on the Chinese as the Alfa Romeo driver touched the wall. He stopped immediately with a broken suspension, while a puncture for the Williams driver ended his race with the FIA deploying the safety car to clear the cars.

Replays showed a moment where Russell went straight on after clipping the endplate of Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas. With the conditions similar, no one pitted under the safety car as the re-start saw Perez continue to lead from Leclerc, Sainz and Hamilton.

Behind them, Norris held off Alonso for fifth as Verstappen cleared both Gasly and Vettel to be up to seventh. Tsunoda rounded out the Top 10 from Stroll. It started to get to the stage where teams were in deliberation mode about switching to slick compound.

While the wait was on for the slick situation, there was a Virtual Safety Car period for Alonso who stopped due to an engine issue. Replays showed Tsunoda having a moment too to lose places, as Russell pitted from 16th to change to slick tyres.

Mercedes went with nothing to lose attitude as Russell had to make a good save at the pit exit due to greasy conditions. There was another VSC period after Albon went straight into the barrier at Turn 8 and lost his front wing which got stuck.

He limped back to the pits but was forced to retire. Only moments after it got green, there was another VSC period with a retirement for Alpine’s Esteban Ocon due to engine issue. It made it both the Williams and Alpine cars out of the F1 Singapore GP.

The re-start was spicy between Norris and Verstappen where the two went wheel-to-wheel before the Dutchman braked and backed off in his chase for sixth. Hamilton got in the mix of this fight when the Brit went straight on at Turn 7 in the barrier.

There was some damage and he eventually pitted after couple of laps for a tyre and front wing change. The pit stop game kicked-off once Russell started to set good lap times. Leclerc was the first among the leaders with Perez, Sainz and Verstappen.

A safety car was deployed soon after Tsunoda went straight into the barrier at Turn 10 to retire. The safety car allowed McLaren pair to pit and gain as the re-start saw Verstappen go off at Turn 6 while trying to pass Norris for fourth.

He re-joined but was forced to pit which dropped to last. Russell had slow puncture after colliding with Haas’ Mick Schumacher at Turn 1 while trying to pass him. The Brit moved a bit right towards the German, where the stewards put them under investigation.

Both Russell and Schumacher were forced to pit, as the FIA also noted a safety car infringement for Perez who complained about an engine issue on the radio while being chased by Leclerc for the lead of the F1 Singapore GP.

The fight between the two continued on for the lead as Sainz was third from Norris, Ricciardo, Stroll, Vettel, Hamilton, Gasly and Bottas in the Top 10. Just outside it, Verstappen was on the tail to score some points but Russell was far off.

He didn’t take time to catch them and pass both Bottas and Gasly to be ninth just behind Hamilton. At the front, Perez had it under control and the FIA stated that his safety car infringement is to be investigated after the grand prix.

Perez eventually brought it home with a F1 Singapore GP win over Ferrari pair of Leclerc and Sainz, while McLaren had a jolly time with a fourth and fifth place finish where Norris was ahead of Ricciardo, while Stroll did a good job in sixth.

Verstappen ended up seventh after passing Vettel on the final lap of the race. The Dutchman passed Hamilton a lap ago after the Brit tried a move on the German and went straight on at Turn 8. He was ninth eventually as Gasly was 10th.

Bottas was outside points in 11th from Magnussen, Schumacher and Russell where the German was a lap down and the Brit ending up two laps down.

DNF: Tsunoda, Ocon, Albon, Alonso, Latifi, Guanyu

UPDATE: Perez has kept his F1 Singapore GP after investigation done by the FIA stewards into the safety car infringement case. There were two offences where the Mexican got a reprimand for one and a 5s penalty for the second and since he had a gap of about 7s over Leclerc, he has kept the victory.

The first investigation was for Lap 11 where Perez failed to keep a 10-car lengths at the exit of Turn 13-14 where the Mexican explained about having brake troubles being too close. He was handed a reprimand for that. He did the same on Lap 36 at Turn 9-10 for which he was handed a warning but since he repeated it again at Turn 13-14, he was handed a 5s time penalty.

Here’s the stewards’ report on reprimand:

“The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 11 (Sergio Perez), the team representative and have reviewed video evidence. Article 55.10 of the FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations requires that the leader must keep within 10 car lengths of the safety car once deployed until the lights are extinguished. Car 11 was the lead car on lap 10.

“It was admitted while the lights of the safety car were still on, PER failed to keep within 10 car lengths of the safety car between the exit of turn 13 and turn 14. When questioned during the hearing PER said that the conditions were very wet and that it was very difficult to closely follow the safety car with little heat in his tyres and brakes.

“Although the track was wet in parts, we do not accept that the conditions were such as to make it impossible or dangerous for PER to have maintained the required less than 10 car length gap. Nevertheless, we took into account the wet conditions and the difficulties highlighted by PER as mitigatory circumstances for this incident and, accordingly, determine that a reprimand ought to be imposed.”

Here’s the stewards’ report on time penalty:

“The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 11 (Sergio Perez), the team representative and have reviewed video evidence. Article 55.10 of the FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations requires that the leader must keep within 10 car lengths of the safety car once deployed until the lights are extinguished.

“Car 11 was the lead car on lap 36 during the second safety car period in the race. It was admitted that while the lights of the safety car were still on, PER failed to keep within 10 car lengths of the safety car between turn 13 and turn 14. This occurred notwithstanding the fact that the Race Director had issued a warning to the team that PER was not respecting the less than 10 car lengths regulation between turns 9 and 10. The team passed that warning on to PER.

“We refer to Doc 56 by which we imposed a reprimand on PER for a breach of the same regulation during the first safety car deployment during the race. 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 5 second time penalty on PER.

“Competitors are reminded that they have the right to appeal certain decisions of the Stewards, in accordance with Article 15 of the FIA International Sporting Code and Chapter 4 of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules, within the applicable time limits.”