Formula 1’s return to the Singapore Grand Prix for the first time since 2019 delivered a hectic race on a drying track.
Sergio Perez emerged the winner but does he receive the highest score in Edd Straw’s F1 driver ratings this week?
After each grand prix, The Race will rate each driver’s weekend with a mark out of 10.
An average mark is 5 out of 10, so that score is indicative of a decent drive given the high standard of drivers in F1.
For a more in-depth explanation, read our outline of the system.
Started: 8th Finished: 7th
Would have been on pole position comfortably but for having to abort his final lap when the team realised he wouldn’t have enough fuel left to supply the mandatory fuel sample – meaning he would have been excluded.
But that was following a lap that he backed off on late on after a moment through Turn 16-17, understeering in the first part then being off line for the second, which would also have been good enough for pole without the error and might even have done the job had he closed out the lap.
Described his race as “incredibly messy”, with the anti-stall kicking in at the start and ensuring he finished the first lap down in 12th. He had spells stuck behind Alonso then Norris, with his massive lock-up after bottoming out while trying to pass the latter resulting in a trip up the escape road and a trip to the pits. Recovered from 13th to finish seventh.
Verdict: Capable of dominating, but Q3 misfortune led to in-race frustration that proved costly.
Started: 2nd Finished: 1st
Was around half-a-second up on Leclerc for much of his final lap, but having gathered up a spectacular moment when the car briefly pointed towards the barrier on the approach to Turn 13, things started to get away from him from Turn 14 onwards, leaving him an agonising 0.022s off Leclerc.
Jumped ahead of Leclerc at the start and was relatively comfortable until the second full safety car, after which he looked vulnerable to Leclerc. But he weathered that storm and did well to pull out the necessary five-second-plus gap by way of insurance against a penalty, which proved crucial. Unquestionably the best of his four F1 wins.
Verdict: Superb under pressure in the race, but rating lightly dented by pace relative to Verstappen and missed pole opportunity.
Started: 3rd Finished: 9th
Lapped just 0.054s off pole position and was on a lap significantly faster than Leclerc’s, only to ship time through the slippery Turn 15/16 right/left, which was largely responsible for him ending up behind the Ferrari. As he put it: “Turn 16 I had a bit of an oversteer moment, I went a bit wide, then the rest of the sector just wasn’t that great”.
Lost a place to Sainz at the start, which was costly as he got stuck behind the Ferrari and lost touch with the leaders. His crash mid-race meant he dropped to the lower reaches of the top 10, with his later ill-judged attempt to pass Vettel on the damp line leading to him sliding deep and losing a place to Verstappen.
Verdict: Quick, but produced his worst race of the year thanks to key errors.
Started: 20th (pits) Finished: 14th
The reappearance of a “torque following” problem from FP1 in qualifying, described by the team as a feeling of 10% throttle “pushing you into the corner” made life difficult for Russell in qualifying. This was eventually traced to a braking problem. He was eliminated in Q2 as a result, but despite the troubles should have found the few thousandths needed to get into Q3.
Started from the pits after a complete power unit change and was always likely to spend the race stuck in traffic. But two mistakes, locking up and going off early on – clipping the innocent Bottas – and later hitting Schumacher meant any chance of recovery was wiped out and condemned him to a twice-lapped 14th.
Verdict: Made too many errors, even allowing for car problems.
Started: 1st Finished: 2nd
Leclerc’s ninth pole position of the season was his most fortuitous given he made a couple of errors on what should have been his fastest lap at the end of Q3, so didn’t improve, and Verstappen was forced to abandon his lap.
However, Leclerc’s judgement of the available grip in the tricky last sector on what was ultimately his fastest lap was excellent – particularly in the tricky Turn 16 that caught many out, including Leclerc himself on the final attempt. That ensured he kept Perez and Hamilton – both of which were faster until the closing part of the lap – behind.
Wheelspin in the second phase of the start on a less grippy patch of the track meant he slipped to second behind Perez. And there he stayed, showing threatening pace earlier in stints but not being able to sustain it.
Verdict: Clearly the stronger Ferrari driver, but a missed victory opportunity.
Started: 4th Finished: 3rd
This was a missed opportunity for Sainz, who was on a lap at the end of Q3 that could have earned him pole but for misjudging the available grip in Turn 16 and losing time. The few tenths that cost him made the difference between pole position and fourth.
Never looked to have the pace of Leclerc, meaning he gradually faded away from the top two whether it was in the early laps or after the two safety car periods. He blamed that on his lack of confidence snowballing on a track where small moments can lead to costly offs. But he did at least keep it clean, and keep Hamilton behind in the first 30-odd laps.
Verdict: Solid and free of major mistakes, but not at Leclerc’s level.
Started: 16th Finished: 5th
Was relatively comfortable at the start of Q1, but struggled as the track got drier to pick up the grip – just as Norris did. Opted to try a second set of intermediates, but it wasn’t enough and he was eliminated in Q1. But he lapped only 0.312s slower than Norris, which was very respectable given only Norris had the latest McLaren upgrade.
Ricciardo’s best result of the season was thanks to three main factors: a great start that got him up to 13th on the opening lap, keeping it clean in challenging circumstances and saying out until the lap-36 safety car, which allowed him to jump the Aston Martins and Gasly. His race pace wasn’t as strong as Norris, but he did the ideal job for the team.
Verdict: Not as quick as Norris, but his experience counted on race day.
Started: 6th Finished: 4th
Cut it fine in Q1 and Q2 thanks to the struggle to gain the same pace as others on intermediates as the track dried up. But the switch to softs in Q3 improved matters, and although Norris had an untidy middle part of the lap sixth was a better result than expected.
Made a great start to jump Alonso and held fifth for the first 32 laps before Hamilton handed him fourth place. Did a superb job to keep Verstappen behind, even drawing an error out of the Red Bull driver that ensured he could finish in the top four.
Verdict: Another weekend on which he optimised the result.
Started: 17th Finished: DNF
A glazed-brake problem on his second run in Q1 meant he had “no brakes” on his one push lap. That led to his elimination in Q1, although he always looked hard-pressed to match Alonso’s pace even though he clearly had the pace for Q3.
Gained a couple of places on the opening lap to run 15th and was up to 13th having passed Bottas and jumped Magnussen when the Haas driver was forced to pit.
Verdict: A nothing weekend thanks to Q1 exit, although had a hand in the brake glazing problem.
Started: 5th Finished: DNF
Described qualifying as “stressful”, but despite a busy lap with several moments and snaps, he put the Alpine as far up the grid as possible. He may not have enjoyed it, but it was one of the strongest performances in Singapore qualifying.
Wheelspin at the start allowed Norris and Gasly to jump him, although Alonso dispatched the AlphaTauri around the outside in Turn 7 later to finish the opening lap sixth. And there he stayed, keeping Verstappen at bay until suffering an engine failure on lap 20 that put him out.
Verdict: The only real blemish was the wheelspin at the start.
Started: 7th Finished: 10th
Happy with the balance of the car, but not the pace on Friday, he made the most of the tricky conditions to make it to Q3 in intermediate conditions. He lapped seven-tenths quicker than team-mate Tsunoda.
Ran in the top eight for much of the race, but the team’s decision to bring him in for slicks early – in Gasly’s opinion an unnecessarily aggressive move – proved costly. That meant he slipped to 10th having been jumped by the Aston Martins and Ricciardo.
Verdict: Had a strong weekend and would have been fifth without the slightly early stop.
Started: 10th Finished: DNF
Opted to start Q3 on intermediates, which meant he was out of sync and without the chance to run longer on the softs and exploit the available grip. That left him 10th, just over seven-tenths off his team-mate. Did a tidy job to get through Q1 and Q2.
Ran in the points for the first 20 laps before losing a couple of places to a brief off compounded by triggering the anti-stall. Things got worse a few laps later when he crashed out after being a little too aggressive in the early stages of slick running.
Verdict: Quick but two in-race errors, the latter a crash, ruined his weekend.
Started: 13th Finished: 8th
Outpaced Stroll in Q1, but struggled after switching to slicks for the second run in Q2. Unlike Stroll, he didn’t set a serious lap time on the slicks thanks to errors in tricky conditions, leaving him down in 14th.
Ran eighth early on after a good first lap and was still there at the end of the race. But pitting for slicks just before the safety car proved costly, allowing Ricciardo and Stroll to jump him. He did at least have the consolation of jumping Gasly, who stopped one lap earlier.
Verdict: A good weekend’s work that could have yielded an even-better result.
Started: 11th Finished: 6th
Like his team-mate, opted for a run on slicks at the end of Q2 and it almost paid off, with his pace looking strong across the first two-thirds of the lap. But once he reached the wetter part at Turn 16, the time slipped away thanks to the lack of grip.
Given his five points finishes prior to Singapore were for 10th places, sixth was a strong result. It was largely the consequence of keeping it clean in tricky conditions – not an easy feat – combined with jumping ahead of Vettel and Gasly thanks to the timing of the second safety car and the errors made by Verstappen and Hamilton.
Verdict: Although quicker than Vettel in qualifying, needed luck to jump him in the race.
Started: 19th Finished: DNF
The return of the “annoying” steering-wheel offset that has occurred sporadically through the season, and brake problems, made Q1 difficult for Latifi. He ended up 0.547s off team-mate Albon after having a difficult time throughout practice.
Briefly ran 17th before being passed by Russell. He was running in 18th ahead of Zhou and under pressure when he pulled left and hit the Alfa Romeo approaching Turn 5, causing damage that led to both drivers retiring.
Verdict: Poor awareness ruined his and Zhou’s races.
Started: 18th Finished: DNF
Although the Williams was always expected to struggle at high-downforce Singapore, this was compounded by struggles preventing the tyres from overheating. This meant that doing better than the back row was always going to be unlikely.
Albon’s race started to go wrong almost immediately with a spin at Turn 7 on the opening lap, clipping the wall. With tyre management proving tricky, he lurked near the back and kept himself busy keeping Magnussen behind before nosing into the wall after another mistake. That led to him retiring after recovering to the pits.
Verdict: A poor weekend, perhaps partly excused by his rapid recovery from intensive care.
Started: 14th Finished: DNF
Felt he had a chance of making it to Q2, but the gamble on switching to slicks failed and he wasn’t even able to show the kind of pace Stroll did having put on dry tyres That left him slowest of the 15 Q2 runners.
Bogged down at the start and momentarily triggered the anti-stall. That left him 18th at the end of the first lap and chasing Latifi. He was threatening the Williams into Turn 5 when Latifi pulled to the left and hit the Alfa, putting Zhou out.
Verdict: Innocent in the Latifi collision, but was only in that position after another dire start.
Started: 15th Finished: 11th
Bottas should have made it out of Q1, but things didn’t work out well in terms of timing once the team committed to him staying out on his original set of intermediates. In the best of the conditions, he struggled for grip and proved to be one of the first to finish his lap, adding up to elimination.
Given his lowly starting position, he was never able to gain the positions he needed to grab a points finish. But he kept it clean and made steady progress on his way to 11th place and couldn’t have done much better.
Verdict: His Q1 exit laid the foundations for a disappointing weekend.
Started: 9th Finished: 12th
Came alive after his recent poor run to make it to Q3. The team opted to start out on intermediates, but Magnussen pitted for slicks before posting a time. That gave him a long enough final run to take ninth place on his final lap.
For the third time in a race this season, Magnussen was shown the black-and-orange flag while running 13th early on for front wing damage sustained when he clipped the rear of Vettel’s Aston Martin. That forced him into the pits and effectively wiped out any chance of points, particularly given he spent time stuck behind the Williams of Alex Albon.
Verdict: Quick, but while the black-and-orange flag was unfortunate, the damage was self-inflicted.
Started: 12th Finished: 13th
Made a good step from Friday to Saturday on his first experience of the Marina Bay circuit. Ended up 0.364s slower than Magnussen. His final Q2 lap, on intermediates, started well but began to get away from him at Turn 8 thanks to overworking the rear tyres early in the lap.
Schumacher’s race was a good example of fine margins as he was running just outside the points when he pitted for slicks a lap before the second safety car. Had he stayed out another lap, he would have been firmly in the points and out of reach of Russell, who hit him and forced a second stop, condemning Schumacher to finish a lap down.
Verdict: Not as quick as Magnussen, but was unlucky not to score.