Sergio Perez won the race in Singapore from the lights to the flag. A master lass from the Red Bull driver on the always challenging street circuit of Singapore keeping Ferrari´s Charles Leclerc´s attack under control during the last half an hour of the race. However, a controversial pending penalty put the team celebrations on hold for a while.
Perez alleged infringement was passing the safety car just before the second restart. However, race control announced the investigation would take place after the end of the race. The notification made Red Bull to urge Perez to open a gap of 5 seconds or more between him and Leclerc in case he was finally penalised. The Mexican fulfilled the task by opening a 7 seconds gap at the chequered flag.
Summoned to the stewards after the race for breaching article 55.10 that reads that the leading competitor must keep within 10 car lengths distance from the Safety car once deployed until the lights are extinguished. The driver attended the meeting accompanied by a team representative.
After hearing from the driver and team representative and reviewing video evidence, the stewards decided to penalise Perez with an addition of 5 seconds to his race time penalty and two penalty points from his license, meaning Perez kept his victory ahead of Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.
A fragment of the statement reads:
“Car 11 was the lead car on lap 36 during the second safety car period in the race. I was admitted that while the lights of the safety car were still on, Perez failed to keep within 10 car lengths of the safety car between turn 13 and 14.
This occurred notwithstanding the fact that the race director had issued a warning to the team that Perez was not respecting the less than 10 car lengths regulation between turns 9 and 10. The team passed that warning on to Perez.”
It also adds Perez had also a reprimand for breaching the same rule during the first safety car period.
Considering Perez had breached the 55.10 article twice the stewards decided to impose the 5 second penalty.