The Singapore Grand Prix was stated to be one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult race of the year by one of the commentators. I had not previously seen this race, so I didn’t really grasp why. As the track conditions slowly evolved over time, I began to understand his comment.
The race was initially delayed due to rain. After this delay, the track was still wet, so everyone began the race with intermediate tires. Sergio Perez wasted no time and stole the lead from Leclerc with a fantastic start.
It was shocking to see how the race conditions gave way to many mistakes for drivers, which usually took place when trying to overtake. This was because, as the race progressed, the cars would clear out the water from the main racing line, and when drivers would attempt to overtake, they would be transitioning from an almost dry line to a very wet line, which had not been driven on very much. This, in turn, would lead to a drastic change of traction that would make the drivers lock up their tires, crash, or overshoot, losing valuable time and positions.
Albon spun out during the first lap, Verstappen had his tires lock up while overtaking, and Hamilton crashed into a barrier but didn’t suffer any devastating damage other than a loose endplate at his front wing, which was swapped during a pit stop. There were many other instances where the drivers spun out and crashed, but the fact is that it was really surprising to see the best among the field struggle during this race, which is a testament to Sergio Perez’s skill.
Sergio Perez managed to hold off Leclerc when the race was very near the end. He had a couple of lock-ups which, in addition to the DRS, slowly led to Leclerc closing the gap, but was unable to find a solid opportunity to overtake. This was further compounded by the fact that the teams had begun to switch to medium and soft compound tires after seeing Russell had made the fastest lap on tires for dry surfaces. Changing lines while driving on the wet would be hazardous though. The adverse effects were seen even with intermediate tires.
The race ended with six cars that did not finish, and a well-earned victory by Sergio Perez. The championship might have been decided in this race, but in reality, this race was much too chaotic for this to have happened. All that’s left is to see if the championship will be settled in Suzuka for Max Verstappen.
I’m Gabriel, a Texas A&M Commerce graduate with an avid passion for motorsports. My favorite category of racing is Formula 1. I thoroughly enjoy go karts and racing sims when not reading about anything automotive.