Sergio Perez handed five-second penalty as Singapore GP win is confirmed

Sam Cooper
Sergio Perez trails the Safety Car. Singapore, October 2022.

Red Bull's Sergio Perez trails the Mercedes Safety Car. Singapore, October 2022.

Sergio Perez has been handed a five-second penalty for a Safety Car infringement, meaning his victory at the Singapore Grand Prix is confirmed.

The Mexican led from the first corner to take the fourth win of his career, but it could have potentially been taken away from him after he was investigated for a possible Safety Car infringement as the FIA chose to delay the investigation until after the race.

Perez was summoned to the stewards for an alleged breach of Article 55.10 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations, which pertains to keeping within 10 car lengths of the Safety Car.

Long after the Mexican had met with the stewards, the FIA released their verdict with Perez being handed a five-second time penalty and a reprimand.

With 10 minutes left of the race to go, Perez was made aware of the possible penalty and as a result, put his foot down and finished 7.595 seconds ahead of second-place Charles Leclerc, meaning the Red Bull driver keeps his win.

The FIA adjudged that Perez twice fell foul of not staying within 10 car lengths of the Safety Car during the first and second Safety Car periods of the race.

In the first instance, Perez slipped behind between the exit of Turn 13 and Turn 14 but explained his actions as not being able to keep up in the wet conditions. However, the FIA said they did not accept that as true but accepted it as a mitigating circumstance.

“When questioned during the hearing Perez said that the conditions were very wet and that it was very difficult to closely follow the Safety Car with little heat in his tyres and brakes,” the FIA statement read.

“Although the track was wet in parts, we do not accept that the conditions were such as to make it impossible or dangerous for Perez to have maintained the required less than 10 car length gap.

“Nevertheless, we took into account the wet conditions and the difficulties highlighted by PER as mitigatory circumstances for this incident and, accordingly, determine that a reprimand ought to be imposed.”

In the second instance, Perez again fell behind in the same spot and the FIA said that as he had received a warning, they decided to hand him a five-second penalty as well as two penalty points.

The actions mean that Perez finished 2.5 seconds ahead of Leclerc.

Ferrari said during the race that they believed Perez fell foul of this ruling twice and told Leclerc after the race finished that Perez could receive two five-second penalties for both of the alleged infractions.

However, after meeting with the stewards, Perez reported to the post-race press conference and told the media he expected “no further action.”

It took until 01:42 Singapore time for the decision to be announced, more than two hours after the investigation was announced.

Read more: Max Verstappen reflects on ‘incredibly messy’ Singapore GP weekend