Kanaan misses out on MAVTV 500 repeat, but frustrated over race (VIDEO)

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For Tony Kanaan, finishing second in the MAVTV 500 and losing out on a repeat opportunity of his 2014 win in the Verizon IndyCar Series season finale wasn’t the worst part of Saturday’s race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

The fact the racing was how it was, condensed into closer packs at times before it spread out longer over stints, was the more frustrating part for the series veteran who raced back when average lap speeds were anywhere from 235 mph to north of 240 even, at Fontana.

First off, Kanaan described the missed opportunity in the race, as he just lost out to Graham Rahal before the final accident between Ryan Briscoe and Ryan Hunter-Reay ended the race under yellow.

“It’s hard to tell. I think I was [ahead],” Kanaan told NBCSN’s Kevin Lee. “I’m obviously… when you’re like that, in a close race, you never know. It was a crazy race. I’m glad I’m in one piece. I don’t know when the yellow came out, but I was second at the line. Congratulations to him.”

Then, the sage driver of the No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet offered his opinion on the racing itself.

“It’s a new package, We keep guessing. We guessed on the wrong side,” Kanaan said. “It was great for the fans, but people are not in the race car to see what 215 mph is like doing this.

“I would like you guys to try, the guys that criticize us. It’s tough and stressful. Hopefully we come up with a better solution.”

Kanaan’s second place, on the bright side, is his best result of the season and second podium, with the first having come in the season opener at St. Petersburg where he finished third.

Sergio Perez wins rain-delayed race in Singapore over Leclerc; Verstappen seventh

Sergio Perez Singapore
Clive Rose/Getty Images,
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SINGAPORE — Max Verstappen’s Formula One title celebrations were put on hold after the Red Bull driver placed seventh at a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, won by his teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.

Perez’s second win of the season saw him finish 7.6 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third place.

Perez was investigated for a potential safety car infringement but still kept the win after a 5-second time penalty for dropping too far back after being warned.

Verstappen had won the past five races but needed to win here and finish 22 points ahead of Leclerc to be crowned champion for a second straight season. That could happen next weekend at the Japanese GP.

Verstappen made a mistake after the second safety car restart, following AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda’s crash on Lap 36. When Verstappen tried to overtake Lando Norris’ McLaren, he locked his tires and needed to pit again.

Leclerc started from pole position with Verstappen going from eighth after a team blunder in qualifying.

The race start was delayed by more than an hour to clear water off the Marina Bay Circuit track following heavy rainfall. Drivers had to finish the 61-lap race within a two-hour window; 59 laps were completed.

Tricky conditions saw the virtual safety car deployed three times and DRS was allowed with about 30 minutes remaining.

Perez made a good start and jumped past Leclerc while Verstappen dropped several places. The first safety car was on Lap 8 when Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was cut off by Nicholas Latifi’s Williams.

Perez got away cleanly at the restart, while Verstappen climbed into seventh behind Fernando Alonso – whose 350th F1 race ended disappointingly when his engine failed on Lap 21, bringing out the first VSC.

With the track still damp, drivers decided against changing to quicker tires – apart from Mercedes’ George Russell, who struggled for grip.

Hamilton made a rare mistake on Lap 33 and thudded into the crash barrier. Soon after, the leading drivers changed tires in a flurry of stops. They did so just before the safety car was deployed again following Tsunoda’s error.

Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin right at the end for seventh place.