Carlos Sainz ends Red Bull streak after winning in Singapore

Carlos Sainz ends Red Bull streak after winning in Singapore

Carlos Sainz Jr. snapped Red Bull’s winning streak after edging Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton to win the Singapore Grand Prix.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz succeeded in turning his pole position into a race win in the Singapore Grand Prix, holding off McLaren’s Lando Norris and a late surge from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in a frantic finish that saw George Russell crash out on the very last lap.

Red Bull’s overwhelming dominance in the 2023 season came to an end after the team was unable to make up for its subpar qualifying effort and persistent performance troubles, placing Max Verstappen in fifth and Sergio Perez in eighth.

There were only 18 cars on the starting grid under the floodlights at Marina Bay Street Circuit. This was as a result of Lance Stroll’s withdrawal following his severe qualifying crash and Zhou Guanyu’s starting from the pit lane due to Alfa Romeo’s decision to undertake overnight adjustments to his power unit under parc freme conditions.

In spite of this, the track was still very crowded as the race began, and polesitter Carlos Sainz alongside George Russell led the push into turn 1 running on medium tyres. Meanwhile, Sainz’s Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc hoped to get an edge right away being the only driver in the top ten to choose to start on the soft compound.

The two out-of-place Red Bulls, on the other hand, were both betting on a protracted opening stint on hard tires.

Sainz took the lead as soon as the race turned through the first corner. Leclerc’s gamble paid off as he overtook Russell for second, as the Mercedes driver was also edged out by his teammate Hamilton who took a sharp turn to avoid collision.

As a result, Hamilton was forced to give the position back to his Mercedes teammate. Lando Norris also felt unfairly disadvantaged after Hamilton dropped him to fifth place before the latter was advised to let him through as well, out of an abundance of caution to avoid a steward intervention.

Fernando Alonso moved up to sixth with Kevin Magnussen falling to eighth place behind birthday boy Esteban Ocon. Yuki Tsunoda was pulling over further back at turn 14 with a puncture on the AlphaTauri following first lap collision.

Max Verstappen, who started from position 11, gained a few positions early on but struggled. On lap 6, he ultimately overtook Magnussen by using DRS at the end of the bridge. Perez was still only 13th and struggling to pass Liam Lawson using the DRS while McLaren’s Oscar Piastri was gaining down on Perez.

Management of the tyres was crucial. Leclerc felt he could be running ahead of Sainz on the softs considerably sooner since Sainz was unwilling to exhaust his mediums prematurely.

However, Logan Sargeant ran wide and crashed into the wall at turn 8 to escape the long line of competitive cars battling for DRS that was trailing them. While he was able to resume racing, the Williams’ damaged front wing was spewing debris all over the track, prompting race officials to deploy a safety car on lap 20 to give marshals time to clean up.

There were several pit stops as a result, as every driver switched to the hard compound. Verstappen carried on his race on the same hard tyres and took second place ahead of Russell while Sainz resumed in the lead. Perez placed fourth ahead of Norris given that he did not pit as well.

On the restart on lap 23, Leclerc was still well ahead of Hamilton, Alonso, and Ocon despite being slowed down by traffic in the pit lane. Verstappen was all over the track fending off Russell while Sainz immediately pulled away, subsequently Norris did the same to Perez as Sainz did to Russell.

Hamilton blasted his way past Perez at turn 7, and had a great view of Norris passing Verstappen to claim third. Verstappen was now having a lot of trouble, saying that “it’s like driving on ice,” therefore it was certain that he would fall behind Hamilton at turn 7 on lap 27.

On the subsequent lap, Leclerc promptly dispatched the Red Bull at the same corner. This added more trouble for the reigning world champion as pit stop was still to come after all.

Similarly, Perez was having trouble keeping up with Ocon, who had passed Alonso on lap 37. On lap 39, the Alpine executed an incredible move on Perez into turn 8, and the Red Bull soon fell behind Alonso and Pierre Gasly.

Perez dropped to the rear of the pack in 17th place behind Sargeant on lap 40 after the team was forced to call him in for fresh rubber. Verstappen exited on the following lap, narrowly managing to make the sharp turn into pit lane. After a three second stop, he emerged from the pits in 15th place.

Sainz, Russell, Norris, Hamilton, and Leclerc engaged in a four-way fight for the victory after Red Bull pulled out of the final showdown. Sainz, Norris, and Leclerc stayed outside after Ocon pulled over with a gearbox issue on lap 43, allowing Russell and Hamilton to pit for new mediums.

The top three were much slower on worn hard tyres, despite having a 15-second advantage over the two Mercedes.

On lap 53, Russell drew up to Leclerc and slid past him through turn 16. Seven seconds later, Hamilton made a clean pass of the Ferrari around the outside of the corner. Sainz, who was aware that his tyres were worn out, bundled Norris, Russell, and Hamilton together to form a DRS train, which caused the trailing cars to come sliding past each other.

Sainz was able to continue and finish ahead of Norris for his second F1 race victory. However, Russell overreached and lost control on the penultimate lap at turn 10, which gave Hamilton the final podium slot.

Along with Russell, Valtteri Bottas also retired later than expected. Fernando Alonso slipped to P15 after many mistakes and a penalty, while Alex Albon lost out on points through a late run-off.

As a result, Liam Lawson finished ninth, ahead of Kevin Magnussen of Haas, to earn his first championship points in his third Grand Prix.

2023 F1 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX RACE RESULTS

POS DRIVER NAT.TEAM TIME
1Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari62 laps
2Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team+0.812s
3Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team+1.269s
4Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari+21.177s
5Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing+21.441s
6Pierre GaslyFRABWT Alpine F1 Team+38.441s
7Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren F1 Team+41.479s
8Sergio PerezMEXOracle Red Bull Racing+54.534s
9Liam LawsonNZLScuderia AlphaTauri+65.918s
10Kevin MagnussenDENMoneyGram Haas F1 Team+72.116s
11Alex AlbonTHAWilliams Racing+73.417s
12Zhou GuanyuCHNAlfa Romeo F1 Team Stake+83.649s
13Nico HulkenbergGERMoneyGram Haas F1 Team+86.201s
14Logan SargeantUSAWilliams Racing+86.889s
15Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team+87.603s
DNFGeorge RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team62 laps
DNFValtteri BottasFINAlfa Romeo F1 Team Stake55 laps
DNFEsteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team43 laps
DNFYuki TsunodaJPNScuderia AlphaTauri 2 laps
DNSLance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team

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