F1: Sainz takes pole position, dominates from start to finish and wins Singapore GP. Verstappen is 5th

Carlos Sainz established himself as the big name of the F1 Singapore GP weekend. In the race held this Sunday (17), the Spaniard dominated from start to finish and tried to win the first race of the weekend, ending Red Bull’s dominance in the 2023 season.

For the second time this year, Carlos Sainz was in pole position at Marina Bay. Sharing the front row of the starting grid was George Russell, with Charles Leclerc completing the top three starting places.

In a very complicated weekend in Singapore, Max Verstappen only managed 11th place, not even managing to get into Q3 in Saturday’s qualifying – the driver was pushed out after Liam Lawson’s lap.

Lights off and the Spaniard managed to maintain the lead, while the Monegasque driver from Ferrari got ahead of his Mercedes opponent. Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton went straight through the first corner and cut across the track, returning to the track in third place. Immediately, his companion asked if he would return the position.

After the start of the competition, the two-time Red Bill champion managed to gain just one place. The driver who had gained the most positions was Oscar Piastri with three places climbed, while Yuki Tsunoda, first dropout, was the one who fell the most, with four.

With the first lap completed, the order on the track was Sainz in first with a 1s302 advantage over Leclerc in second. Russell, Hamilton and Lando Norris completed the top five – of the top eight, only Charles was on the soft tire.

Verstappen had been trying to climb the field to get into the front positions. After leaving Lawson and Nico Hülkenberg behind, he began the hunt for Kevin Magnussen, but the Haas starter did not alleviate the situation for the Dutchman.

It took a while, but finally the overtaking came. The Red Bull competitor made a clear attack on the Dane to leave him behind and take eighth place.

Another good fight that was building was for 13th place between Sergio Pérez and Piastri. The Australian managed to leave the Mexican behind, but soon received change and was passed back.

When choosing tires for this start of the race, the overwhelming majority of competitors opted for the medium, with the exception being Leclerc on the soft, Verstappen, Pérez and Valtteri Bottas on the hard.

Sainz was in first, with Leclerc, Russell, Norris, Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon, Verstappen, Magnussen and Nico Hülkenberg completing the Singapore GP points zone.

The thinking was that Ferrari were willing to sacrifice a one-two finish to secure victory. Things pointed to who would take the risk of making the undercut – on Leclerc’s radio, the engineer was saying that the focus was always on Sainz.

In third place and just under 1s behind Ferrari’s Monegasque driver, Russell spoke on the radio about what needed to be done to seek victory in Singapore. The answer was straightforward: he needs to put pressure on the top two

On lap 19, then, the first incident of the race involved Logan Sargeant. The American driver from Williams went straight through the corner and hit the protective wall, damaging the front wing and leaving some debris on the track. Unexpectedly, safety car deployed.

With the safety car leaving for the track, the drivers took the opportunity to go to the pits. Sainz entered first and managed to get out quickly, but Leclerc’s stop was problematic, with the Monegasque losing two places.

The one who didn’t stop was Verstappen, who now appeared in second place between Carlos and Russell, who also made a pit-stop.

Green flag and race restarted in Marina Bay. Sainz managed to maintain first place, while Verstappen in second place, followed by Russell, Pérez and Norris. At this moment, all the drivers, with the exception of Zhou, were on a hard tire – the Chinese driver was on a medium tire.

George was attacking Red Bull’s Dutchman, constantly putting himself side by side with his opponent, but the two-time champion was closing the door. But, a few meters ahead, Russell managed to leave Max behind, while just behind, Norris also overtook Pérez. Then, Hamilton passed the Mexican behind, but it was after the white lines.

Sainz was in first place with an advantage of 0s529 over Russell, second. Norris was in third place, with Verstappen, without having stopped in the pits, in fourth and Hamilton completing the top five.

In the curves ahead, Lewis was gaining on Verstappen. The Red Bull starter didn’t even offer resistance to the Mercedes opponent, falling behind.

Of all the competitors in the field, only the Red Bull duo, who are in sixth and seventh, and Bottas, who appears in 17th, had not yet stopped in the pits.

Pierre Gasly and Magnussen were in a very exciting clash. In fact, they went side by side and the Frenchman got close to the Dane, but was unable to take tenth place.

In the broadcast replay, it was possible to see that Pérez slid on the track and almost lost control of the car, allowing Alonso to approach, who is now less than 0s5 behind the Red Bull opponent.

Shortly afterwards, it was possible to observe that Magnussen was having problems with his car. The Haas competitor began to fall in the field and dropped to 15th place.

A dispute between three competitors caught fire on lap 37 in Marina Bay. Pérez, Ocon and Alonso were fighting for seventh place, with the Frenchman managing to leave the two-time Spanish champion behind when overtaking on the arm and began the hunt for the Mexican from Red Bull.

Pérez’s tires were losing more and more performance. After being overtaken by Ocon, Fernando also managed to get ahead of the driver who, shortly afterwards, entered the pits.

On lap number 40, Verstappen finally went to make his pit stop – Bottas followed. The Austrian team’s starter resumed the race only in 15th place, immediately behind Magnussen.

On lap 44, then, a new abandonment in the dispute. With car problems, Ocon stopped on the side of the track, first requiring a yellow flag in sector 1 of the street circuit and then a virtual safety car to remove his Alpine.

Only three drivers opted for a stop: first it was Abon’s turn to pit and, on the following lap, Mercedes made a double stop with Russell first and Hamilton soon after.

The person who also took the opportunity to make a pit-stop was Alonso who, in addition to paying the 5s penalty for crossing the white line at the entrance to the pits on his first stop, also encountered problems and had to change tires in more than 25s.

The points zone with 47 laps completed was with Sainz in first, Norris, Leclerc, Russell, Hamilton, Gasly, Piastri, Lawson, Hülkenberg and Verstappen.

With less than ten laps to the checkered flag, Russell finally reached Leclerc and the fight for the bottom step of the podium began. The Brit got behind the Monegasque and managed to complete the pass and still had to defend himself from his opponent, but managed to stay in third. Following this, Hamilton also passed Charles.

With four laps to go, the top four were very close. Sainz, Norris, Russell and Hamilton were actively fighting for the podium positions in a very exciting end to the race.

George started attacking Lando. The Briton placed side by side on top of the Australian who had been defending himself brilliantly – further back, Hamilton tried to take advantage of the dispute and attack his Mercedes teammate.

On the last lap, unexpectedly, Russell abandoned the race when he pushed hard and went straight, hitting the wall. With that, Hamilton inherited the podium for third place.

Checkered flag and Sainz achieved the second victory of his career, with Norris in second place and Hamilton reaching third place.

F1 2023, Singapore GP, race, result:

1) Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari)
2) Lando Norris (McLaren/Mercedes)
3) Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
4) Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
5) Max Verstappen (Red Bull/Honda RBPT)
6) Pierre Gasly (Alpine/Renault)
7) Oscar Piastri (McLaren/Mercedes)
8) Sergio Pérez (Red Bull/Honda RBPT)
9) Liam Lawson (AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT)
10) Kevin Magnussen (Haas/Ferrari)
11) Alexander Albon (Williams/Mercedes)
12) Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo/Ferrari)
13) Nico Hülkenberg (Haas/Ferrari)
14) Logan Sargeant (Williams/Mercedes)
15) Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin/Mercedes)
OUT) George Russell (Mercedes)
OUT) Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo/Ferrari)
OUT) Esteban Ocon (Alpine/Renault)
OUT) Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT)
OUT) Lance Stroll (Aston Martin/Mercedes)

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The Post F1: Sainz takes pole position, dominates from start to finish and wins Singapore GP. Verstappen is 5th
Originally Posted on www.f1mania.net

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