(CTN News) _ On Sunday, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished seventh in a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, won by teammate Sergio Perez.
With his second win of the season, Perez finished 7.6 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third.
Perez was being investigated after the race for a safety car violation. It could mean a time penalty of five seconds, in which case his lead over Leclerc would cover it. Based on this result, Perez now has four career wins.
In Perez’s opinion, it was his best performance. When I got out of the car, I felt it so much more intense than when I was in the car. Today I gave everything I had for the win.”
This is Verstappen’s lowest position this year, matching his seventh at the British GP in July. Two of his first three races were also retirements.
For Verstappen to win the championship for the second straight season, he needs to win here and finish 22 points ahead of Leclerc. That could happen next weekend at the Japanese GP.
Perez said it’s nice for Max Verstappen to get it in Japan. “It’s nice for the team and Honda.”
As long as the points distribution doesn’t change following Perez’s investigation for not staying within 10 lengths of the safety car, Max Verstappen is 104 points ahead of Leclerc and 106 ahead of Perez.
Perez said, “I have no idea what’s going on. I was told to increase the gap.”
When Verstappen tried to overtake Lando Norris’ McLaren after the second safety car restart following Yuki Tsunoda’s crash on Lap 36, his tires locked up, and he had to pit again.
As a result of a team blunder in qualifying, Max Verstappen started from eighth place.
Drivers had two hours to finish the 61-lap race after heavy rainfall delayed the race start from 8 p.m. to 9:05 p.m.
With about 30 minutes left, DRS was allowed after the virtual safety car was deployed three times.
Max Verstappen dropped several places after Perez made a good start and passed Leclerc.
“I pushed all the way, the bad start put us on the back foot, and after that it was really difficult to race,” Leclerc said. “A difficult race, a good night’s sleep, and we’re ready for Japan.”
Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was cut off by Nicholas Latifi’s Williams on Lap 8.
In his 350th F1 race, Fernando Alonso’s engine failed on Lap 21, bringing out the first VSC. Perez went away clean at the restart, while Verstappen fell to seventh behind him.
On Lap 33, Lewis Hamilton hit the crash barrier with his Mercedes. Soon after, the leading drivers changed tires in a hurry. The safety car was deployed again after Tsunoda’s mistake.
Max Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin right at the end after a mostly disappointing race for the championship leader.
As a result of grid penalties for multiple engine-part changes, Russell started from the pit lane and finished 14th. He had the fastest lap of the race but didn’t qualify for the bonus point because he didn’t make the top 10.