Formula One

F1 Singapore GP results: Smooth operator Sainz holds off Mercedes’ charge to win

F1 Singapore GP results Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari win
Photo by Icon sport

Carlos Sainz Jr. ran a smooth operation in Singapore. The Spaniard driver broke Max Verstappen’s 10-race winning streak, securing a lights-to-flag victory ahead of Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton.

F1 Singapore GP result: Who won the race?

Carlos Sainz Jr. won the Singapore GP, his second career victory. The Ferrari driver led all 62 laps, but it was far from an easy task. On the final laps, Sainz had to hold off fast-charging Mercedes duo George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, who had both pitted for new tyres. Employing a strategic move to create a DRS train behind second place Lando Norris, the Spaniard controlled the final laps to complete his lights-to-flag win. Russell crashed out of third place on the final lap, promoting Hamilton to the rostrum. Max Verstappen finished an impressive fifth, from 11th on the grid. Rookie Liam Lawson picked up his first points with a ninth place.

Sainz holds the lead, Verstappen climbs up the order

Sainz got a perfect launch off the line and maintained the lead into turn 1. Russell had a poor getaway and was immediately jumped by Charles Leclerc for second place.

Hamilton tried to pull off an ambitious double overtake on Russell and Lando Norris, but found himself with nowhere to go. The Mercedes driver had to cut turns 2 and 3, emerging back in third place. However, having clearly cut the track to gain an advantage, he was eventually forced to give both positions back. Further down the order, Yuki Tsunoda retired with a mechanical issue halfway through the opening lap.

Verstappen made up three spots, jumping Liam Lawson at the start, and then moving past Haas pair Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen.

Safety car mixes up the order

On lap 21, Logan Sargeant crashed at turn 8, breaking his front wing. The appendage got logged underneath his car, and the American littered the track with debris on his way back to the pits. Race control had no other option but to deploy the safety car.

Ferrari and Mercedes were both forced to double-stack, with Leclerc dropping back even further in an attempt to prevent it from happening. However, with Ferrari pitting immediately behind Mercedes’ box, the Monegasque got stuck behind the German team’s own double-stack, losing positions to Russell and Norris as a result.

The SC timing couldn’t have been worse for Verstappen, who had started on hards hoping for a long green flag run. While the two-time champion did jump up to second, he still had to pit, and would likely need to do so under a green flag.

Sainz held the lead at the restart. On 20-lap old tyres, Verstappen was quickly demoted by Russell and Norris. Sergio Perez, who was in fourth place, was trying to hold off Leclerc and Hamilton. The Ferrari driver made a mistake while trying to put a move on the Red Bull, and allowed Hamilton through. Both drivers were eventually able to get around the Mexican, before doing the same to Verstappen.

At the front of the field, Sainz ran at a metronomical pace, controlling the race to keep the Russell-Norris-Hamilton train behind.

Perez and Verstappen pitted in succession on laps 40 and 41, dropping well outside the points in the process. Esteban Ocon, who had been running a brilliantly in sixth, stopped on track with a mechanical failure. The birthday man’s race came to an early end, triggering a virtual safety car on lap 44.

Sainz plays the strategic game to perfection

While Sainz, Norris and Leclerc chose not to pit under the VSC, Mercedes brought both drivers in for a fresh set of mediums. Russell and Hamilton reemerged fourth and fifth, respectively.

Russell quickly shaved the gap to Leclerc. On lap 53, the Mercedes driver pulled off the move, setting off in pursuit of Norris. Verstappen, meanwhile, sliced his way up the field, eventually climbing back to sixth place.

Russell and Hamilton closed in on Norris and Sainz. It was then that the Spaniard pulled off the winning move: the Ferrari driver slowed down to bring former teammate Norris within DRS range. The strategy worked to perfection, with Norris creating a DRS train and holding off the charging Mercedes pair.

Russell crashed out of third place on the final lap, promoting Hamilton to the podium. But it was Sainz who got to celebrate, crossing the line with less than a second on Norris to secure his second F1 win. Verstappen finished his comeback drive in the top 5, and nearly got Leclerc for fourth at the line.

Pierre Gasly, Oscar Piastri, Perez, Lawson and Magnussen completed the points paying positions. With ninth place, Lawson secured his first F1 points in only his third start. Hamilton picked up the bonus point for the fastest lap.

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