Carlos Sainz claimed took victory at the Singapore Grand Prix to end Max Verstappen and Red Bull’s Formula One win-streak.
Red Bull had won the last 15 races, including all 14 in 2023, with Verstappen claiming victory in the last 10 consecutive grand prix – a record for the soon to be three-time world champion.
However, the RB19 car was nowhere near it’s best at the Marina Bay street circuit, and with the Dutchman starting 11th on the grid, the fight for the win came down to the Ferrari’s of Sainz and Charles Leclerc, the Mercedes of George Russell and Sir Lewis Hamilton, and McLaren’s Lando Norris.
Sainz started on pole and Ferraris lead 1-2 in the early phases while the Brits trio scrambled for position, before the safety car came out to deal with debris from Logan Sargeant’s Williams.
In the flurry of pitstops, Russell crucially jumped Leclerc into second, but the main five remained close until the virtual safety car was deployed with just over 20 laps to go because of Esteban Ocon’s stricken Alpine.
Russell and Hamilton opted to gamble and pit for a fresh set of tyres and it quickly appeared to be the right choice with the Mercedes men setting lap times two-seconds quicker than the leaders.
Leclerc was easily dispatched with, but Norris proved trickier to overtake, with Sainz brilliantly backing up his Ferrari into the McLaren in order to hold off the charging pair.
‘It was all about managing the beginning of the stints to make sure I made it to the target laps. The safety car forced us to pit earlier than we wanted and I knew it was going to be a long stint on the hards.
‘It was just quite tight at the end. We gave Lando a bit of DRS to help him and in the end it worked.’
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