Carlos Sainz wins F1 Singapore Grand Prix for Ferrari

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz produced a tactical masterclass to win the Singapore Grand Prix.

The win makes Sainz the first non-Red Bull driver to claim the chequered flag in the past 16 grands prix.

McLaren’s Lando Norris finished second and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finished third.

The top three were separated by less than two seconds at the finish line.

Sainz started on pole and led from start to finish, surviving a late push from Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate George Russell — the latter crashing on the final lap.

But Sainz drove a brilliant race, controlling the pace of the field on a track that is notoriously difficult for overtaking. 

Sainz and Norris both finished the race on old hard compound tyres, while the chasing Mercedes had fresher medium compound tyres.

But ultimately the chasing pack ran out of time, with Sainz collecting his second win in F1.

“Given our limitations with tyre wear, I knew it would be a long [final] stint on hards [tyre],” Sainz said.

“It worked to perfection.

Sainz led Russell off the start, with fellow Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc moving himself into second. 

The race was meandering along for the opening 20 laps, with the drivers maintaining their tyres in the hot conditions.

A safety car was called after the Williams of Logan Sargeant crashed into a barrier, scattering debris across the track.

Every runner pitted, except the Red Bulls who were running long into the race on hard tyres and the Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas.

Sainz was able to pit and stay in the lead, as Verstappen on old tyres, moved into second.

Carlos Sainz drove an outstanding race from pole position.(Getty Images: Clive Rose)

Meanwhile, Sainz’s Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc went from second to sixth as he had to wait for cars to pass him in pit lane.

There was plenty of action when the race resumed, with the Red Bull’s of Verstappen and Perez on old tyres in second and fourth, well out of position.

Once the Red Bulls were cleared by the leaders, Sainz led Russell in second, Norris in third, with Hamilton in fourth.

The quartet played a game of cat and mouse, as Sainz tempered his pace in an effort to conserve his tyres.

A Virtual Safety Car was called on lap 44 when Esteban Ocon — on his birthday — pulled over when he lost power in his car.

Mercedes pitted both of their drivers for new medium tyres, putting Russell and Hamilton fourth and fifth, with Sainz, Norris and Leclerc in front on their worn hard tyres.

The Mercedes pair were given 17 laps to hunt down the leaders who were about 20 seconds up the road.

With eight laps to go they both forced their way past Leclerc in an effort to snatch victory.

The four drivers were separated by two seconds going into the final lap, before Russell crashed, ending his hopes of a miracle win and handing third pace to Hamilton.

Verstappen drove a great race to finish fifth, despite starting from 11th after a poor qualifying session. 

Verstappen had won the previous 10 F1 races, a record in the sport.


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