Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz won the Singapore Grand Prix today, ending Red Bull's hopes of a historically undefeated Formula 1 season. Charles Leclerc overtook George Russell's Mercedes for an early Ferrari 1-2 after teammate Carlos Sainz took the lead right away. After most of the field was forced to pit after Logan Sargeant nudged his Williams into the wall, Charles Leclerc fell to 4th place, behind McLaren's Lando Norris and Russell, due to a delay caused by the safety car. Subsequently, he lost an additional position to Lewis Hamilton of the Mercedes team as a consequence of running wide. At halfway through the race, a virtual safety car enabled the Mercedes drivers to utilise their new medium tyres to close the gap to the leaders. In a nail-biting finish, the top four cars were side by side until Russell crashed out on the penultimate lap. Norris secured the second position, while Hamilton occupied the third place.
Max Verstappen, starting from 11th on hard tyres in his Red Bull, made early progress but then fell back from second position on old rubber when the safety car intervened. He was down in 15th place, but he fought back to finish in sixth place.
F1 Singapore Grand Prix: Marina Bay Street Circuit Race Result
On lap 20, Sargeant had an understeer and slammed into the wall. This destroyed his front wing and caused debris to fall as he made his way back to the pits, causing a short safety car period. Sainz made a stop and kept the lead, but Leclerc, who was in the rear of the pack, had to be stopped as the cars entered the pits, allowing Russell and Norris to pass him. Verstappen began the race from the 11th position with hard tyres. He successfully advanced one position during the first lap by overtaking Liam Lawson, and then on the second lap, he surpassed Nico Hulkenberg's Haas to secure another position. On lap 6, he overtook Kevin Magnussen, a teammate of Nico Hulkenberg's.
|1||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||-|
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||-21.441|
|8||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||-54.534|
|12||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo||-|
|15||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin||-|
|DNF||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||-|
Verstappen remained out under the safety car, which momentarily moved him up to second but put him in a vulnerable position on worn-out tyres. At the restart, Russell overtook Verstappen for the first time all season on lap 23, while Norris passed Perez (who also remained out) for fourth. Hamilton successfully overtook Leclerc when the Ferrari driver made an error and raced wide.
F1 Singapore Grand Prix: Mercedes George Russel Final Lap Crash
Mercedes has made a strategic decision to prioritise victory in the Singapore Grand Prix after a power failure experienced by Esteban Ocon of Alpine at the Marina Bay circuit. A virtual safety car was triggered as a result, forcing many cars to make pit stops. Despite initially missing the pit-lane entrance, Mercedes used a double-stacking strategy, resulting in both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell occupying the fourth and fifth positions respectively. Equipped with a new set of medium tyres, they are now in pursuit of the top three contenders.
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 17, 2023
Russell closed the distance to Leclerc and overtook him for third on lap 53, and Hamilton did the same on lap 54. Russell quickly caught up to Norris, who had a 6-second lead, and the top four were running side by side going into the last four circuits when Sainz reported his tyres were "finished." Norris put up a strong defence against Russell, which opened the door for Hamilton to attack his teammate. On the penultimate lap, Russell crashed into the wall and was eliminated from the race, moving Hamilton up to third place, with Norris just holding off Sainz for the win by 0.8 seconds. The identical spot where Russell ran into trouble was also where Norris ran into trouble, he said.