The Singapore Grand Prix was a massively missed opportunity by Charles Leclerc to claim a fourth victory of the 2022 season, after technically finishing the race at the Marina Bay Circuit just over two seconds behind winner Sergio Pérez.
Leclerc looked strong all weekend, no matter the conditions.
Following a one-hour delay after a heavy downpour before the race, the track conditions were actually very similar to that of qualifying, where the Ferrari driver claimed pole.
The Monegasque driver led the race for roughly 30 metres, after the second phase of his start saw Pérez breeze past into Turn One.
Leclerc appeared to have considerably better pace than the Red Bull driver; however, failed to find a way past, let alone attempt an overtake.
The Ferrari driver could never get quite close enough by the time they reached the braking-point at the likes of Turn Seven, where the majority of overtakes happened during the race.
Even a five-second time penalty couldn’t stop Pérez from winning, after Red Bull gave him the hurry up in the closing minutes of the race after knowing he was likely to get a post-race penalty for falling too far behind the Safety Car.
Despite trying to stay within five-seconds, Leclerc ultimately settled for second place after not having good enough pace at the end.
“The start wasn’t good enough and then it was a really difficult race for us to overtake,” Leclerc told reporters.
“With Red Bull, it seemed we had the upper hand in the first few laps and then they seemed to struggle a little bit with [tyre] warm-up, but then once they put the tyres in a window they are very strong.
“But then at the end of the race it wasn’t that representative. I was pushing until the gap was like 5.1 seconds, and then when I knew it was 5.1 I just kind of brought the car home, so the pace wasn’t that representative at the end.
“But having said that, I pushed quite a bit at the beginning of the stint and probably my tyres were a little bit overheated at the end.”
With Carlos Sainz finishing third after a somewhat lonely race, it meant that both Ferraris finished on the podium for the first time since the Miami Grand Prix much earlier in the year.
The 24-year-old couldn’t believe how long it’d been since both himself and Sainz were on the podium together but put the double-podium finish down to the Scuderia having improved their “execution”.
“That long?” Leclerc replied when informed of this.
“That’s good, and as I said before the weekend, we are trying to take those last races to improve our execution on Sunday – communication, strategy,” he continued.
“We’ve already done a few changes and it’s not been an easy race today, but I think we’ve made the right choice and I’m happy.
“Then of course we’ll look into the start because that’s where we more or less lost the race.”