Carlos Sainz wins Singapore GP, ends Red Bull's unbeaten season
THE ITALIAN GRAND PRIX: SUNDAY 17TH SEPTEMBER 2023
- 1. Carlos Sainz Jr
- 2. Lando Norris
- 3. Lewis Hamilton
- 4. Charles Leclerc
- 5. Max Verstappen
- 6. Pierre Gasly
- 7. Oscar Piastri
- 8. Sergio Perez
- 9. Liam Lawson
- 10. Kevin Magnussen
Red Bull's unbeaten season and Max Verstappen's record-breaking streak comes to an end.
Carlos Sainz clinched victory at the Singapore Grand Prix, bringing an end to Red Bull's unbeaten season and Max Verstappen's record-breaking streak.
Sainz displayed a tactical masterpiece in the closing laps, ensuring that Lando Norris in his McLaren stayed close enough for him to utilise the Drag Reduction System (DRS) overtaking aid, effectively fending off the charging Mercedes duo of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.
The race concluded in dramatic fashion, with Russell crashing out on the final lap while pursuing Norris, ultimately gifting the final podium position to Hamilton.
This triumph marked Sainz's second Formula 1 victory and Ferrari's first since Charles Leclerc's win at the Austrian Grand Prix on July 10th the previous year. During this period, Red Bull had only conceded one race, which occurred when George Russell secured victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix in November.
Sainz's win also brought an end to Verstappen's remarkable string of ten consecutive victories as Red Bull's substantial pace advantage throughout the year dissipated under the lights of Marina Bay. Verstappen settled for fifth place, marking his first race outside the podium this season.
The Singapore Grand Prix, initially a subdued contest, sprung to life in the final ten laps. Russell and Hamilton entered contention after Mercedes utilised a Virtual Safety Car on Lap 45 of the 62-lap race to bring both drivers in for fresh tires while others remained on the track.
Their enhanced pace quickly saw them catch up to the front three cars. Although both drivers smoothly passed Leclerc, Russell faced difficulties overtaking Norris, who persistently stayed within a one-second range of Sainz.
Sainz, aware of Norris's proximity, strategically allowed him to stay close, enabling Norris to benefit from the DRS overtaking aid on the straights. Norris skillfully defended his position in the closing laps, thwarting Russell's attempts to pass.
Russell, after a few unsuccessful overtaking attempts on Norris, made contact with the inside wall and collided with the barrier on the final lap. This mishap propelled Hamilton to third place and Leclerc to fourth in the other Ferrari.
Verstappen, who finished fifth, extended his considerable championship lead over Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, who secured eighth place. Verstappen now boasts a 151-point lead, with his earliest opportunity to clinch the title being the Qatar Grand Prix on October 8th. Red Bull, having dominated the season, aspires to continue its success at Suzuka.
Alpine's Pierre Gasly claimed sixth place, followed by McLaren's Oscar Piastri. Liam Lawson continued his impressive debut season in Formula 1, securing his first career points with a ninth-place finish. Lawson is expected to compete at the Japanese Grand Prix, as Daniel Ricciardo remains unavailable due to a hand injury sustained in a crash preceding the Dutch Grand Prix.
Kevin Magnussen secured a valuable point for Haas, rewarding the team for a strong weekend that witnessed both of its cars commencing the race from within the top 10.