Marina Bay [Singapore], October 3 (ANI): Sergio Perez of Red Bull Racing restricted Charles Leclerc of Ferrari to a second-place finish, winning a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, extending Max Verstappen's wait for the World Championship after the star racer finished at seventh.
However, it took two hours to confirm Perez's win as stewards investigated him for leaving too much distance between himself and the safety car on two different occasions. There were also three virtual safety car deployments.
International Automobile Federation (FIA) impose a five-second penalty on Perez. But he still finished with his second win in the ongoing season, having finished off the Grand Prix 7.5 seconds before Lecrec.
Perez passed the pole-sitter Lecrec during the start and was under pressure from the Monegasque star for a good portion of the race. The race ended in a two-hour time limit and a full 61 laps could not be completed due to multiple interruptions.
"It was certainly my best performance," Perez said as quoted by Sky Sports. "I controlled the race. The last three laps were so intense - when I got out of the car, I felt it. I gave everything today," he added.
Singapore's night race was held for the first time in three years as the previous two editions were cancelled due to COVID-19. Verstappen needed to win the race from the eighth on the grid to claim his championship title. He was in contention but an error flat-spotted his tyres, forcing him to pit.
The Dutchman is still leading the standings with 341 points, but his lead is reduced to 104 points. Leclerc is at second with 237 points, two points ahead of Perez. Verstappen has a chance to close off a dominant campaign in Japan during next weekend.
Carlos Sainz finished at third in the race for Ferrari, despite lacking pace. McLaren was dealt a huge blow in the battle for the constructor championship at racers Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo finished at fourth and fifth after both were forced to retire due to engine failures.
Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes did not have a good afternoon, finishing in ninth place after losing his third place to Sainz in the beginning.
Aston Martin had a strong showing with Lance Stroll (6th) and Sebastian Vettel (8th) attaining top 10 finishes.
Singapore GP Final Result, Top 10: Sergio Perez (Red Bull), Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), Lando Norris (McLaren), Daniel Ricciard (McLaren), Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Max Verstappen (Red Bull), Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri). (ANI)