Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was thrilled by Sergio Perez’s drive at the Singapore Grand Prix today. The Mexican claimed his fourth career win in incredibly tough conditions at Marina Bay.
In spite of a 5-second post-race penalty and a separate reprimand for dropping back more than 10 car lengths behind the Safety Car, he kept his win.
Perez had to deal with changeable weather conditions, as well as multiple Safety Cars and Virtual Safety Car interventions. He was also under intense pressure throughout the race from Charles Leclerc.
Ultimately the critical moment was the start. The Mexican got the jump on the Ferrari into turn 1.
“It was a phenomenal drive by Checo in all conditions,” said Horner.
“He converted the start, he beat Charles to the start, and then that first stint was really really tricky with with the inters, not trying to take too much out of them, but he was able to eke out a gap, control the virtual safety car, then the safety car [he] had to do it again.
“And then obviously, as we progress towards the actual pit stop [switching from inters to dries], you know he pulled out a decent lap that he could afford to pit quite comfortably the lap after Charles. And again, I think we got the timing of that right.
“And then the safety car came out, concertinaed it all together. Of course as the lead car, you’re the other reference, so it’s always harder in that situation. But again, the job he did on the slick tyres was… he kept his head, he kept his cool.
“There was some big moments for him, and you know, Charles was giving it everything in the DRS, but as soon as Charles made one mistake and dropped out the DRS, that gave Checo the ability to find his rhythm and extend the lead.”
Perez has been a long way off the pace of teammate Verstappen in recent races, but he bounced back superbly this weekend as he qualified on the front row and controlled the race beautifully today.
“I think Checo, all credit to him, he qualified within two hundredths of pole,” stated Horner.
“[He was] on the front row of the grid and then he’s absolutely controlled that race, and his pace throughout the race was phenomenal, so you know all credit to Checo.”
Horner is hopeful that Perez can now kick on from this result and finish the season strongly after winning for the second time this year at a street venue.
Today’s win leaves him just two points behind Leclerc for P2 in the Drivers’ Championship with five races to go.
“Checo has always been phenomenal at street circuits. He seems to like slippery street tracks,” Horner continued.
“And we’ve been working hard with him on set-ups and so on. And I think that hopefully this will now give him confidence for the remainder of the championship.”
¡¡Cuánto necesitaba este momento!! Ganamos y pusimos a nuestro país donde se lo merece. 🇲🇽— Sergio Pérez (@SChecoPerez) October 2, 2022
Excelente trabajo @redbullracing
I really needed this moment!! We won and put our country where it belongs!!
Excellent team work @redbullracing 🙌 pic.twitter.com/h4JyLIRoYU