Carlos Sainz and Scuderia Ferrari won the Singapore Grand Prix on the Marina Bay street circuit. The Spaniard dominated the weekend from the very beginning, but today’s race was a very tense marathon, a 62 lap chess game that Carlos managed to perfection, once again proving that apart from being very quick, he also has a great tactical brain. This was Sainz’s second Formula 1 win, following on from the one at Silverstone last year, while for the Scuderia it’s number 243. Completing a great day for the team was a fourth place for Charles Leclerc, who only lost the second place he had grabbed with a demon start off the line because of traffic in pit lane when he made his one and only stop. This is the first win for the team with Fred Vasseur at the helm and it consolidates the Scuderia’s third place in the Constructors’ standings now just 24 points behind second placed Mercedes.
The race. Carlos got away perfectly from pole on Medium tyres, shadowed by his team-mate, the only driver on the grid to have fitted the Soft compound, which helped him get the jump on George Russell. From then on, Carlos ran at a comfortable pace with the intention of keeping the pack bunched up so that other teams could not make a two stop strategy work. When Logan Sargeant crashed on lap 20, the Safety Car came out and both drivers therefore pitted for their only stop, taking on Hard tyres. Leclerc was slightly delayed getting out because Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes was arriving at just that moment and that meant Charles lost position to Russell and Norris. At the restart, Charles attacked the McLaren driver but that left him open to a pass from Hamilton. On lap 44, the Mercedes duo made a second stop under a Virtual Safety Car, fitting new Medium tyres, going on the attack for the final part of the race.
Thrilling finale. Russell and Hamilton had great pace, catching and passing Charles and, with five laps to go, they set about pursuing Carlos and Norris. Carlos showed great tactical nous, allowing Norris to get close enough to use DRS, thus protecting him from Russell’s attacks all the way to the chequered flag, although the Mercedes driver actually crashed on the last lap, leaving Hamilton to come home third and Charles to pick up the 12 points for fourth.
Carlos Sainz #55
It has been an incredible weekend right from the start. The team deserves this win for the enormous work they have done both here and in Maranello and I’m proud to dedicate it to all of them and the tifosi.
We executed the weekend perfectly on my side and I think we managed the final thrilling part to perfection, giving Lando (Norris) DRS and controlling the pace all race long. Of course, pitting earlier meant we had to make our tyres last for a longer stint and the final laps were on the limit, but I’m extremely happy we made it work.
Tonight we celebrate, but from tomorrow we’ll start preparing Suzuka. Let’s keep it up.
Charles Leclerc #16
I’m really happy for the team. So much work has been done in order to understand the car better in the past few weeks and today it paid off. Congratulations to Carlos who did a really good job all weekend.
Our plan was for me to start on Softs and position myself ahead of George (Russell), which was the right choice and worked out well. Unfortunately, we lost some positions due to traffic during the pit stop under the Safety Car. Still, our race execution was good today so I’m happy. It’s great to see that we’ve made a step forward in terms of performance overall and hopefully we can confirm it next week in Japan.
Frédéric Vasseur - Team Principal
I am proud of what the team has achieved this weekend with everyone doing a really great job. We know we’ve been making progress and here in Singapore we managed to get everything out of the SF-23, thanks in part to the great work done in Maranello. We proved to be competitive in qualifying and today that was also the case in the race. Carlos produced a magisterial performance in the race, always in control of the situation, especially in the final laps when he intelligently ensured Norris had DRS to defend against Russell.
But for traffic in the pit lane, Charles would probably have also finished on the podium. We are pleased to be the first team to have ended Red Bull’s winning streak and are happy to have picked up these points which keep us in the fight for second place in the Constructors’ championship. Now we move on to Suzuka, a very different sort of track, where we will do our utmost to continue this positive trend.
John Elkann - Presidente Ferrari
We can all be very happy with today’s win. Congratulations to the whole Ferrari team, at the track and back in Maranello starting with Carlos who was so very quick over the course of the whole weekend.