The Mexican brilliantly managed a wild race that went down to time after two Safety Car and a trio of Virtual Safety Car periods, and resisted massive pressure from Leclerc to claim just his second win of the season as the first race in three years in Singapore delivered an eventful spectacle. 

But Perez faces a post-race investigation for an alleged infringement during a Safety Car period. 

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It was arguably Perez’s best victory of his career following an intense two-hour race that was delayed by more than an hour because of torrential rain. 

The track dried up enough for a standing start on intermediates, before the field switched onto slick tyres in the closing stages when the crossover from wet to dry finally came. 

But the circuit remained greasy and the tricky conditions caught several drivers out, including both Lewis Hamilton and Verstappen, who both had off-track excursions as only 14 drivers reached the chequered flag.

Leclerc lost the lead to Perez at the start but appeared to have more pace as he hounded the Red Bull driver in the latter stages, but he was unable to make a move and a couple of lock-ups enabled Perez to scamper clear. 

Carlos Sainz completed the podium for Ferrari, while it was a strong day for McLaren with Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo taking fourth and fifth. 

Lance Stroll was sixth ahead of champion-elect Verstappen, who briefly dropped to last place after being forced to make an unscheduled pit stop when a huge lock up ruined his tyres. 

But the Dutchman charged back through to seventh at the flag, passing Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel on the final lap.

Verstappen will have his second shot at wrapping up the 2022 title at next weekend's Japanese Grand Prix. 

Meanwhile, it was a disappointing race for Hamilton. The seven-time world champion dropped behind Sainz at the start and hit the barriers during his pursuit of the Spaniard, leaving him with a damaged front wing and requiring to pit for repairs. 

Hamilton ended up ninth after 2021 title rival Verstappen snuck past when the Mercedes driver ran wide in his attempts to overtake Vettel. 

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly completed the points-paying positions in 10th, ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas, the Haas pair of Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher, and George Russell, who endured a difficult race for Mercedes.