Singapore Grand Prix Round-Up

And what a weekend that was!

After an intense weekend of ups and downs, Sainz claimed victory with Norris in close second, and Hamilton filling up the podium in third.

Ferrari Strategy

Ferrari clearly entered the race determined; they pulled out every strategy so they could claim that victory, even if that meant sacrificing teammate Leclerc on the way. Carlos Sainz led McLaren’s Lando Norris and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton nose to tail across the finish line.

Carlos stated that keeping Lando Norris within DRS range during the closing laps was the key to his victory on Sunday. With this Sainz was holding Norris, this way he had a better chance of keeping Russell and Hamilton behind.

Red Bull Defeated

Max Verstappen’s consecutive winning streak came to an end in Singapore as Carlos Sainz took victory for Ferrari. Perez and Verstappen were having trouble recovering from a double Q2 exit.

Red Bull manager Christian Horner has said that the Singapore Grand Prix weekend has exposed the weakness of Red Bull’s previously unbeaten RB19.

Red Bull had been off since Friday’s Qualifying, however, Horner stated that the team understood their issues much more after Sunday’s race, the team hope that the rare weaknesses uncovered will be able to be fixed for their 2024 RB20.

Starting 11th, Verstappen came home with fifth, while Perez made it to eighth from 13th on the grid.

Stroll Walks Away from Crash

Lance Stroll was pushing hard to make it into Q2 when he suffered a snap of oversteer after running over the kerbs at the final turn.  The car suffered significant damage, luckily Stroll got out of the car unaided and was later passed fit by the medical team.

With that being said, Aston Martin said Stroll was still feeling the after-effects of the crash and therefore he withdrew from the Singapore Grand Prix. They have decided it is better for him to focus on a full recovery in time for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

Perez Hit With 5-Second Penalty

Perez crossed the line in eighth place after he appeared to lunge up the inside of Alex Albon into the sharp Turn 13 left-hander. The pair then made contact at the apex and Albon, who was deflected off-line had to hit the brakes and lock up his tyres to avoid the outside wall.

Perez’s move up the inside was considered to be an “optimistic late manoeuvre that could be defined as “diving in”, and there was nothing Albon could have done to avoid the collision.” As a result of this Perez was found to blame and copped a five-second penalty and had a point added to his FIA super licence.

Albon stated: “We did the race perfectly. I was running P9, was about to overtake Liam for P8, then I got dive-bombed by Checo into Turn 13″. “He T-boned me and I went straight on into the wall, I had to reverse out, I dropped to 13th, and I finished 11th so we should have scored points today and we didn’t.”

The Williams driver was cleared by the stewards for allegedly overtaking Perez under virtual safety car conditions.

Overall, both team representatives chose not to lobby for a penalty and the stewards agreed.

Russell Crashed Out of Podium Finish

George Russell to reflect on “heart-breaking” end to his charge for Mercedes’ first win of the season at Marina Bay. Mercedes’ has said ceding track position and going for the win on fresher tyres was the right way to go in an attempt to break Singapore’s strategy stalemate. Russell said he feels like he “let himself and the team down” after his last lap crash.

George had been on supreme form all weekend from qualifying on the front row around the demanding floodlit street track. He said he would have won the race from Sainz if he had passed Norris when he first arrived on the back of the second-placed McLaren on lap 59. He tagged the Turn 10 wall with his right-rear tyre and went straight on and out of the race.

We can only imagine the disappointment George is feeling.

Rookie Liam Lawson Gets His Points

Singapore was the third race for Liam Lawson while he steps in for injured Daniel Ricciardo. Finishing P13 in Zandvoort and P11 in Monza, on Sunday he secured his first points by coming across the line in ninth. He said in an interview that it wasn’t until much later he realised points were on the cards. Lawson said “Before Max and the Red Bulls were coming back, at that point, I thought we had a chance. Then I felt like it was slipping away. Again.”

This was a first time in history event, the first time any rookie had scored their first points in Singapore – this point is understandable, it is a demanding track and given its later place on the calendar, we cannot forget it was Lawson’s first time racing there.

On top of this, Lawson also took home Alpha Tauri’s best result since the 2022 GP, where Pierre Gasly finished eighth.

Well Done Lawson!