Carlos Sainz takes brilliant victory in stunning Singapore finish, fending off rivals from McLaren and Mercedes. A Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix for the books.
It’s safe to say we’ve just witnessed a Formula 1 showdown that will go down in history. The 2023 Singapore Airlines Grand Prix had all the drama, speed, and heart-pounding action that we’ve come to expect from the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
In the red corner, we had the sensational Carlos Sainz, representing Ferrari. He didn’t just win this race; he downright orchestrated a masterpiece. Sainz showed us that it’s not always about sheer speed but also about brilliant race-craft. He held off the relentless attacks from the British trio of Lando Norris, Lewis Hamilton, and George Russell in the closing laps of this 62-lap thriller.
As Sainz himself put it, “An incredible feeling, an incredible weekend.” He knew he had the pace, the headspace, and the strategy to pull off something extraordinary. And extraordinary it was indeed.
Sainz managed the early race pace with some help from his teammate Charles Leclerc. But the real magic happened when a Virtual Safety Car came into play, and Mercedes decided to pit both Hamilton and Russell, hoping to gain an advantage with fresher Pirelli Medium tires.
Now, this is where Sainz’s brilliance shone. He used his own speed to help former teammate, Norris, gain an edge against the Mercedes duo. The Englishman defended valiantly, and it was a sight to behold.
It was Sainz’s control in those final 10 laps that sealed the deal. He crossed the finish line with just 0.812 seconds to spare. Norris, despite some last-minute drama with Russell’s crash on the final lap, equalled his best-ever F1 result. It was teamwork and friendship (CarLando) at its finest, and Norris couldn’t have been happier.
And speaking of teamwork, let’s not forget Lewis Hamilton, the four-time Singapore winner. He claimed his 196th podium finish in a career spanning 325 races. He also snagged the extra point for the fastest lap, just to remind us all that he’s still got his mojo.
But the Marina Bay Street Circuit had its fair share of drama. Logan Sargeant’s Williams kissed the barrier at Turn 14, shedding carbon fibre like confetti. And then there was Esteban Ocon’s Alpine, which had a suspected gearbox problem and had to park itself on track.
And let’s give a shoutout to Pierre Gasly, who fought back from elimination in the first qualifying segment to finish a stellar sixth.
Max Verstappen, the Dutch sensation and reigning world champion, wasn’t having the best day. He described his Red Bull as feeling like “driving on ice,” despite its race pace. His teammate, Sergio Pérez, was sandwiched between two of the three rookies in the field.
Oscar Piastri had an awesome drive to secure seventh place, and Liam Lawson, in only his third outing as deputy for Daniel Ricciardo at AlphaTauri, grabbed ninth place.
The final point of the day went to Haas’s Kevin Magnussen, who seems to have a special connection with the Singapore track.
In the end, it was a race that kept us on the edge of our seats, and it wrapped up within the two-hour limit on Singapore’s shortened layout. The Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix continues its record of a Safety Car intervention at every race, adding to the drama on track.
The action wasn’t just concentrated in Formula 1 either. In Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, Frenchman Florian Latorre showcased some serious skills, claiming his second consecutive win. He navigated the Marina Bay Street Circuit’s barriers like a pro, leaving China’s Kailuo Luo trailing behind.
And let’s not forget TSS The Super Series, where Tanart Sathienthirakul dominated, securing a double win. The Thai driver played it cool, even with multiple safety car interventions, finishing a remarkable 10.2 seconds ahead of his rival Adrian D’Silva.
To top it all off, Robbie Williams graced the Zone 4 Padang stage, making it a race weekend to remember. Over 264,000 fans flocked to the Marina Bay Street Circuit, enjoying over 80 hours of entertainment and performances by 139 artists across 13 stages. It was a celebration of speed, music, and everything in between.
The Singapore Grand Prix never fails to deliver thrills, spills, and unforgettable moments, and we’re all the more excited on what’s to come next year.
Photo Credits: Singapore Grand Prix