Perez dominates in Singapore as Verstappen's winning streak ends

Sergio Perez secured a fourth Formula One triumph and second of the season as he dominated at the Singapore Grand Prix, ending Max Verstappen's five-race winning streak.

Verstappen headed into Sunday's race with a 116-point lead at the top of the championship, aiming for a sixth straight win and 12th victory of 2022 as he edges towards the title.

Yet it was Red Bull team-mate Perez who added to his Monaco Grand Prix crown earlier in the year by winning at a soaked Marina Bay Street Circuit, where safety cars were a regular feature.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finished in second and third respectively, with Verstappen's championship lead over the Monegasque driver dropping to 104 points after the Dutchman came in seventh.

After an hour-long delay, Perez raced out the blocks to take the lead from Leclerc, while Lewis Hamilton recovered after being forced off the track in a battle with Sainz.

A plethora of safety cars followed as Zhou Guanyu, Nicholas Latifi, Fernando Alonso, Alex Albon and Esteban Ocon all retired inside the first 28 laps.

Perez continued to clock the fastest laps at the front before Hamilton – frustrated by Sainz in third – slammed into the barriers, with Lando Norris overtaking his fellow Briton.

Yuki Tsunoda's crash saw another safety car deployed before Verstappen swerved off the track to drop down to 12th, though he recovered to overtake Pierre Gasly and Valtteri Bottas.

Perez's domination under the lights continued despite the push of Leclerc as the Red Bull driver claimed victory at the first F1 race in Singapore in three years, though he faces a wait to discover if a five-second penalty could be applied to his final result.

'I TOLD YOU' – HAMILTON BEMOANS MERCEDES TYRE DECISION

Hamilton started the race in third but fell down a place after a first-corner battle with Sainz saw the seven-time world champion edged off the track.

"I told you about these tyres, in future you need to listen to me. No grip," Hamilton declared on the team radio soon after, lamenting Mercedes' late decision to operate on intermediate tyres.

It was not the first time Hamilton – who ended in ninth – has exchanged such words with his team, adding to a frustrating season that could end without a single victory for the first time in his career.

ALONSO DENIED HISTORY

Alpine's Alonso was aiming to surpass Kimi Raikkonen for the most Grand Prix finishes in history as the Spaniard looked to complete his 351st race.

But after stating "engine, engine" on the team radio, Alonso was forced to withdraw before the halfway point in Singapore, leaving him waiting to overtake Raikkonen.

IN THE POINTS

1. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +7.595 seconds
3. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +15.305
4. Lando Norris (McLaren) +26.133
5. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) +58.282
6. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) +1:01.330
7. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +1:03.825
8. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) +1:05.032
9. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +1:06.515
10. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) +1:14.576

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 341
2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 237
3. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 235
4. George Russell (Mercedes) 203
5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 202

Constructors

1. Red Bull 576
2. Ferrari 439
3. Mercedes 373
4. McLaren 129
5. Alpine 125