At the end of the season, Red Bull was unable to keep up with the competition, and Carlos Sainz and Ferrari were able to take advantage of the situation to win the Singapore Grand Prix. The competition believed for the majority of the year that Red Bull would not be able to win again.
Although Sainz remained in the lead the whole race and made no mistakes, it was by no means a walk in the park for him to take the checkered flag. Instead, the race illustrated what has been obvious for some time now: what a spectacle Formula 1 would be this year if Red Bull were removed from the equation.
Sainz was the first to cross the finish line, with Lando Norris of McLaren and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes following close behind. George Russell, who just a short while earlier had looked like he would win after making a brave strategy play, crashed out of third place on the final lap of the race.
It was the race that Formula One and a significant portion of its audience – my apologies to any Red Bull fans who may be reading this – had been waiting a long time for.
It was the first time that Red Bull had been defeated since the last race of the previous season, which took place in Brazil. It was also the first time that Max Verstappen had not won since the Grand Prix of Azerbaijan back in April.
It was undoubtedly entertaining while it lasted, despite the fact that nobody had any delusions about Singapore’s potential to become a trend-setter in the near future.
Sainz takes the win with ease. The Red Bull run will come to an end in Singapore.
Review of the Singapore Grand Prix on the Chequered Flag podcast.
Ferrari is able to keep their cool and “nail” a wonderful opportunity.
In the race’s early stages, Ferrari came out on top, claiming victory despite the fact that in the past they had a good chance of letting it slip away. In especially up until the year 2022, but also for some years prior to that as well, their strategy team was occasionally a laughing joke, and as a direct consequence, they failed to win a number of victories, not only in individual races but also in championships.
But on Sunday, everything worked out exactly like they had hoped it would. The race was precisely organized by Ferrari, and one of their strategies was using Charles Leclerc in a way that would make it easier for Carlos Sainz to win. Then, towards the conclusion, when a late twist set up a grandstand finish, Sainz utilized his renowned nous and intelligence to hold on when he could have so easily lost out. This allowed for a climax that was exciting to watch.
At Ferrari, the happiness that came from achieving a goal that they had previously failed to achieve was palpable, and Sainz expressed it.
He remarked, “We’ve had one opportunity this year to win the race, and we nailed it here in Singapore.” “We’ve had one opportunity this year to win the race,” he continued. The entire weekend, we didn’t make a single mistake, and yes, there were a lot of times out there when we were a little bit under pressure, but we managed to keep our cool through it all.
“We adhered to our original plan and course of action. It was necessary for us to experiment with tyre deterioration, pit-stop spacing, and DRS. And despite all of that, and despite the fact that we were able to keep everything under control, we were able to bring home a victory that was never simple, but that unquestionably feels amazing.
Sainz’s late stress was given by a virtual safety car with just under 20 laps to go. Sainz had controlled the speed of the race and managed the field throughout the entire competition, which took place on a track that is notoriously difficult to pass on.
Mercedes had been looking forward to this opportunity, as it provided them with the option to move to the two-stop strategy that they had intended and for which they were the only team to have conserved an additional set of new medium tyres.
As a result, Russell and Hamilton fell from their previous positions of second and fourth, respectively, to fourth and fifth. But now that they had new rubber to use in their assault, they immediately got to work.
Russell cut the gap to third-placed Leclerc in seven laps, while Hamilton also narrowed the gap on him, and they raced through the Ferrari as if it wasn’t there. The gap to third-placed Leclerc had been 13.5 seconds.
After this, Sainz was aware that he had a problem. And this is the point where the team strategy from earlier in the race gave way to the driver’s ability to improvise.
Sainz realized that he needed to reduce his speed in order to allow Norris to get within one second of him and make use of the DRS overtaking aid that was available to the McLaren. The pressure that Sainz was under from Norris would grow as a result, but the genuine danger would be reduced because it would be more difficult to pass the McLaren.
“I was quite taken aback by how quickly the Mercs were able to get around Charles and close the gap on Lando and I,” Sainz said. “It surprised me quite a lot.” “And I thought, ‘OK, it’s not going to be easy, and these last five or six laps are going to be a fight.’ ”
“And at that point, obviously I needed to alter the strategy a little bit,” she said. I was forced to give Lando a sneaky lift with the DRS, but it was worth it because it allowed us to stay ahead of the competition, win the race, and bring home the victory for Ferrari, which feels amazing.
“There was a certain lap in which I believe Lando defended through Turns 16-17, and then I had to slow down quite a bit into Turns One, Two, and Three to give him DRS once more.
“I believe that move actually saved my race, as well as Lando’s P2, because I have the feeling that, if it hadn’t, I would have also been dead meat there. It also saved Lando’s P2.” If the Mercs had managed to get by Lando, I believe that they would have had a rather easy time getting by me.
“In races like Singapore, where it is possible that this method would come in handy at some point, you should always keep it in the back of your mind as a kind of tactic that you can utilize.
The problem is, obviously, it’s easy to have in thought, but it’s a lot more difficult to execute it because it does put you under some additional pressure and it comes with its own set of hazards. “The thing is, obviously, it’s easy to have in mind.”
“And it’s all about having that commitment to do it and to put yourself under that extra risk,” she said. “And it’s all about having that commitment to do it.” However, I believed that doing so was my one and only legitimate opportunity to win the race, and I was determined to do so.
On lap 59, with four laps remaining, Sainz made the defensive move that he was alluding to. Out of the 14th turn, Russell got a run on Norris and was able to catch up to him. However, Norris was able to hold on by pushing the “overtake” button on his controller, which provided him with a momentary boost in speed and power.
“Carlos played it smart,” added Norris, who conceded that he had focused on gaining second rather than attacking the Ferrari. “Carlos played it smart,” Norris said. “Carlos played it smart.” The increase in DRS was “very helpful; we played it together in a smart way to get the Mercs to stay behind us.”
Sainz is “proud” of the development Ferrari has made.
For Sainz, the outcome was evidence of the development that Ferrari has been making this year under the leadership of Frederic Vasseur, who took over as team principal.
They got off to a rocky start this year when they found out that the car would not live up to their expectations. It lagged behind the competition, its handling was aggressive, and it put too much strain on its tires. Upgrades during the season have gradually improved it to the point where it is now moderately competitive on some circuits with particular types of bends.
Sainz has found a good vein of form since Formula One returned after its summer break, and he was happy to take his first since last year’s British Grand Prix. Ironically, that race was one of the races where Ferrari revealed their strategic shortcomings by blowing a win for Leclerc. Sainz has found a rich vein of form since Formula One resumed after its summer break.
In spite of this, he continued by saying, “What I’m more proud of is that we had one chance to win this year, and the team under pressure responded.” I, too, responded, and between the two of us, we were able to make the most of the one opportunity presented to us by both the Red Bull and the circumstances.
This is encouraging news regarding the development that Ferrari is making in terms of how races are being executed.
Russell is devastated by the mistake.
Russell was never able to get so close to Norris again after his attack on him on lap 59, and then on the very last lap, he made a simple mistake that destroyed all of his hard work.
At first, Norris collided gently with the wall on the entry to Turn 10, but the impact was sufficient to cause Russell, who was following closely behind, to also collide with the wall, albeit in a more severe manner. It ruined the Mercedes’ suspension, which led to the accident.
After everything was said and done, Russell was very emotional.
He expressed his feelings by saying, “I feel like I let myself and team down.” “It’s going to be tough.”
“Had I been able to overtake Lando when I had that one opportunity, we would have had a chance to win the race. However, Carlos did such a superb job of managing the pace and giving Lando the DRS that we were unable to gain a chance of overtaking Lando. We came within half a car’s length of winning the race.
And then there was the final lap, and I have no idea what the heck took on there. It’s possible that we had a little slip in concentration or that we became frustrated upon realizing that we had lost an opportunity; either way, a mistake of one or two centimeters has cast such a pall over the entire weekend.
“The team did an amazing job, the car was great, the strategy was bang on, we were brave and bold, it was exciting out there, and it is heartbreaking to be standing here with no points,” he said. “The car was great, the strategy was bang on, and we were brave and bold.”
What exactly took place at Red Bull?
Nothing of this would have taken place if Red Bull hadn’t put up an unusually poor performance over the weekend.
After finishing 11th in qualifying, Verstappen commented that his car was “shocking.” After watching a video of the lap captured by the onboard camera of the Red Bull, Norris commented, “I kind of laughed because I’ve never seen a car that bad before.” Max also laughed about it.
Red Bull had arrived in Singapore anticipating that it would be the most challenging race of the year for them, but no one, neither inside nor outside the team, anticipated that they would do as poorly as they did.
The essence of F1 teams is to be secretive, but Red Bull take this, along with so much else, to extremes, and they were not going to divulge what had gone wrong. The chief engineer for the team, Paul Monaghan, confessed that they had “some problems in the car that we know about but can’t fix immediately, the circuit didn’t do us any favors, and we made a number of errors in approaching qualifying.”
Christian Horner, the leader of the team, stated that it was possible that their simulation did not bring them to the correct conclusion. We ended ourselves in the wrong window, which showed some of the faults the automobile has, and this has actually been a very important lesson for next year. “And you have to unravel your way out of that, and we ended up in the wrong window,”
The automobile began the weekend a significant distance away from where they anticipated it would be. As a result of the misalignment in the setup, the tyres did not function correctly, and the situation continued to spiral out of control. Red Bull pushed the car too low in qualifying in their pursuit of performance, which caused them to go back and forth on the set-up of their vehicle.
In the race, it was inevitable that Verstappen would be the more competitive driver. Although the timing of the safety cars worked against Red Bull, the world champion managed to rise up from 15th place after his pit stop to right on the heels of Leclerc’s Ferrari crossed the line to take fifth place.
Horner stated that “we understood a lot more in the race,” and that “the pace of the car came more back to what we expected.” Therefore, I believe that we were given a pretty excellent steer. Max kept up a really fast pace throughout the second half.”
Horner stated that there was no sense of disappointment when their winning streak came to an end.
“We never expected it,” was the response he gave us. It was still going to take place eight more races. It is beyond our wildest expectations that Max has won 10 races in a row, and the fact that he has completed 15 races is beyond our comprehension. We feel an overwhelming sense of pride.
There was inevitable talk all along the pit lane that Red Bull’s performance may have been affected by a technical directive issued by the governing body the FIA prior to the race with the intention of restricting the use of flexible bodywork.
However, Horner refuted that claim, stating that “it has not changed a single component on our car.”
The question then posed to him was, “How was it even possible to lose so much pace?”
“It is such a complicated sport,” Horner commented about the activity. “There is an extremely high level of competition, and it is an extremely difficult task to design a vehicle that can be competitive on each and every track, in each and every weather condition, with each and every tyre compound. We witnessed that even during the times when Mercedes was in the dominant position, and they would occasionally come here and struggle.
It’s a breath of fresh air that we have a new winner and a podium without them, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said after the race. “I have no doubt that they will be strong at the more conventional race tracks,” Wolff said.
“And you have to take the small positives in a year of Red Bull dominance,” the speaker continued. “It’s a matter of perspective.”