Carlos Sainz established himself as the big name this weekend at the F1 Singapore GP. In the race held on Sunday (17), the Spaniard dominated from start to finish and tried to win the first race of the weekend, ending Red Bull’s dominance in the 2023 season.
For the second time this year, Carlos Sainz was first in Marina Bay. Sharing the front row of the starting grid was George Russell, with Charles Leclerc completing the top three starting positions.
On a very complicated weekend in Singapore, Max Verstappen only managed 11th place, and couldn’t even make Q3 in qualifying on Saturday – the driver was sent off after Liam Lawson’s lap.
The lights went out and the Spaniard was able to maintain the lead, while the Ferrari driver from Monaco took the lead over his Mercedes rival. Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton went straight through Turn 1 and crossed the track, rejoining the track in third place. Immediately, his companion asked him if he would reinstate the position.
After the start of the competition, the two-time Red Bill champion was able to secure only one place. The driver with the most positions was Oscar Piastri with three, while it was Yuki Tsunoda, the first to leave the school, who fell the most with four places.
As the first lap ended, the order on the track was Sainz in first place, 1s302 ahead of Leclerc in second. Russell, Hamilton and Lando Norris completed the top five – and of the top eight, only Charles was on the soft tyre.
Verstappen was trying to climb the field to get into the front positions. After leaving Lawson and Nico Hulkenberg behind, the hunt for Kevin Magnussen began, but the Haas driver did not make things easier for the Dutchman.
It took a while, but eventually the transcendence came. The Red Bull competitor made a clear attack on the Dane, leaving him behind and occupying eighth place.
Another good battle was shaping up for 13th place between Sergio Perez and Piastri. The Australian managed to leave the Mexican behind, but he quickly got the change and was sent back.
When choosing tires for this start of the race, the vast majority of competitors chose medium tyres, with the exception of Leclerc on soft tyres, and Verstappen, Perez and Valtteri Bottas on hard tyres.
Sainz was on pole, with Leclerc, Russell, Norris, Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon, Verstappen, Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg completing the Singapore Grand Prix points area.
The thinking was that Ferrari was willing to sacrifice first and second places to ensure victory. Things indicated who would risk making the cut – on Leclerc’s radio, the engineer was saying that the focus was always on Sainz.
In third place and just under a second behind the Ferrari Monaco driver, Russell spoke on the radio about what needed to be done to win in Singapore. The answer was clear: you need to squeeze into the top two places
On lap 19, the first accident of the race occurred with Logan Sargeant. The American Williams drove straight through the corner and hit the guardrail, damaging the front wing and leaving some debris on the track. Unexpectedly, the safety car deployed.
As the Safety Car left the track, the drivers took the opportunity to go to the pits. Sainz entered first and was able to get out quickly, but Leclerc’s stop was problematic, with Monaco losing two places.
The one who did not stop was Verstappen, who now appeared in second place between Carlos and Russell, who also stopped in the pits.
The green flag and racing resumed at Marina Bay, with Sainz managing to maintain pole position, with Verstappen in second, followed by Russell, Perez and Norris. At this moment, all drivers, except Zhou, were on a hard tire – and the Chinese driver was on a medium tire.
George was attacking the Red Bull Dutchman, constantly putting himself side by side with his opponent, but the two-time champion was closing the door. However, a few meters away, Russell managed to leave Max behind, while Norris also passed Perez behind. Hamilton then overtook the Mexican from behind, but it was after the white lines.
Sainz took first place, 0s529 ahead of Russell second. Norris took third place, while Verstappen took fourth place, without stopping in the pit area, while Hamilton completed the top five positions.
In the upcoming curves, Lewis was overtaking Verstappen. The Red Bull driver did not even offer any resistance to his Mercedes opponent, as he fell behind.
Of all the competitors in the field, only the Red Bull duo, ranked sixth and seventh, and Bottas, who appears in 17th place, have yet to make a pit stop.
Pierre Gasly and Magnussen had a very exciting encounter. In fact, they went side by side and the Frenchman got close to the Dane, but was unable to finish tenth.
In the replay, it could be seen that Perez slid down the track and almost lost control of the car, allowing Alonso to get closer, who was now less than 0 seconds 5 behind his Red Bull opponent.
Shortly afterwards, it could be seen that Magnussen was having problems with his car. The Haas competitor began to fall on the field and fell to fifteenth place.
A dispute broke out between three rivals on lap 37 at Marina Bay, with Perez, Ocon and Alonso vying for seventh place, with the Frenchman managing to leave the two-time Spanish champion behind when he crossed the arm and began chasing the Mexican. From Red Bull.
Perez’s tires were increasingly losing performance. After being passed by Ocon, Fernando was also able to get ahead of the driver who entered the pits shortly afterwards.
On lap 40, Verstappen finally went for a pit stop, followed by Bottas. The Austrian team player resumed the race in only 15th place, just behind Magnussen.
On lap 44, there was a new abandonment of the dispute. Due to car problems, Ocon parked at the side of the track, first requesting a yellow flag in the first sector of the street circuit and then a virtual safety car to remove his car from the Alpine.
Only three drivers chose to stop: first it was Appon’s turn to pit, and on the following lap, Mercedes made two stops with Russell first and Hamilton shortly after.
Alonso also took the opportunity to stop in the pits, where he also encountered problems and had to change tires in over 25 seconds, as well as paying a 5-second penalty for crossing the white line at the entrance to the pits on his first stop.
The points zone after completing 47 laps was with Sainz in first place, Norris, Leclerc, Russell, Hamilton, Gasly, Piastri, Lawson, Hulkenberg and Verstappen.
With less than ten laps to the checkered flag, Russell finally reached Leclerc and the battle for the bottom rung of the podium began. The Briton got behind Monaco and managed to complete the pass and still had to defend himself from his opponent, but managed to stay in third place. After that, Hamilton passed Charles as well.
With four laps to go, the top four were very close. Sainz, Norris, Russell and Hamilton were actively competing for podium places in a very exciting end to the race.
George started attacking Lando. The Briton side-lined over the Australian who was defending brilliantly – and at the back, Hamilton tried to take advantage of the dispute and attack his Mercedes team-mate.
On the final lap, unexpectedly, Russell abandoned the race when he pushed hard and went straight, hitting the wall. Thus, Hamilton inherited the podium for third place.
The checkered flag and Sainz took the second win of his career, with Norris finishing second and Hamilton third.
Formula 1 2023, Singapore Grand Prix, result:
1) Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari)
2) Lando Norris (McLaren/Mercedes)
3) Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
4) Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
5) Max Verstappen (Red Bull/Honda RBBT)
6) Pierre Gasly (Alpine/Renault)
7) Oscar Piastri (McLaren/Mercedes)
8) Sergio Perez (Red Bull/Honda RBBT)
9) Liam Lawson (Alpha Tauri/Honda RBBT)
10) Kevin Magnussen (Haas/Ferrari)
11) Alexander Albon (Williams/Mercedes)
12) Zhu Guanyu (Alfa Romeo/Ferrari)
13) Nico Hulkenberg (Haas/Ferrari)
14) Logan Sargent (Williams/Mercedes)
15) Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin/Mercedes)
Exit) George Russell (Mercedes)
Exit) Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo/Ferrari)
Exit) Esteban Ocon (Alpine/Renault)
Exit) Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri/Honda RBBT)
Exit) Lance Stroll (Aston Martin/Mercedes)
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