Sergio Perez keeps his Singapore GP win despite penalty

Sergio Perez remains the winner of the Singapore GP despite a 5-second penalty for two separate safety car infringements.

Sergio Perez (Images through IMAGO / Eibner)
Sergio Perez (Images through IMAGO / Eibner)

Sergio Perez held off the challenge for Charles Leclerc to take his second victory of the season and cut down the gaps in the championship. The Mexican was only truly challenged after the last safety car restart, but he passed that test with flying colours, and then the gap increased substantially, perhaps partly as a result of tyre degradation.

It was a fantastic victory, and one that Perez termed as his best ever performance in Formula 1: “It was certainly my best performance. I controlled the race, although the [tyre] warm-up was pretty difficult. The last few laps were so intense. I really didn’t feel it so much in the car, but when I got out of it, I felt it. I pushed [and] I gave everything for the win today.”

But there was some uncertainty about the result – Perez was under investigation for two alleged safety car infringements where he strayed out of the maximum of 10 car lengths to the safety car, but he didn’t know what happened: “No, I have no idea what’s going on. They just told me I was under investigation, [and] to increase the gap, so that is what we did.” Now, a decision has finally been made.

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Sergio Perez gets away with safety car infringements

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez (Images through IMAGO / HOCH ZWEI)

It was in fact found that Sergio Perez did commit the two aforementioned safety car infringements. But the penalty was not enough to take away his win. For the second incident, the Mexican received a 5-second penalty, and for the first, he received just a reprimand, when there had been suggestions thrown around that it may be a 2×5-second penalty coming his way.

If Charles Leclerc had been able to stay within 5 seconds (the result of his tyres falling off the cliff) he would have been the winner today. But as it is, a well-deserved victory stands for the Mexican. He was by far the best driver on track today in an incident-filled Singapore GP, even if the car was also likely better than the Ferrari.

During his battle with Leclerc, he also seemed to be suffering some issues in his career, which he called problems with the ‘driveability of the engine’. That couldn’t have helped, but the Mexican succeeded in holding on to the position, with the Ferrari driver never even in a position to really go for the move.

The FIA explained in its document that the penalty was given due to Perez repeating the offence. He had done so the first time on lap 11, and for the second time on lap 36. The Race Director had also issued a warning to Red Bull that the Mexican was not respecting the less than 10 car lengths regulation. But the penalty has no effect on the result, and the Mexican will now shift his attention to Japan.

Also Read: ‘My best performance’: Sergio Perez fends off Charles Leclerc to take a dominant win in the Singapore GP

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Aniket is a Journalism student, and a Ferrari (and Fernando Alonso) fan with much love for Bayern Munich, cinema, music, and literature - and really, all art.