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SUPERB PERFORMANCE | Formula 1: Ferrari's Carlos Sainz wins Singapore GP for second career win

IANS | Updated on Monday, September 18, 2023 10:56 AM IST
Formula 1: Ferrari's Carlos Sainz wins Singapore GP for second career win

SINGAPORE: Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz capped off his superb performance in the last few days by claiming his second career victory, winning the Singapore Grand Prix here on Sunday.

Sainz, who topped the Friday free practice and claimed the pole on Saturday, held off the challenge by Lando Norris and the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell – who crashed on the final lap – to take a well-earned win.

The Madrid-born Spaniard held the lead from the start but with Charles Leclerc having opted to start on the softs, as opposed to those around him on the mediums, the Monegasque was able to jump ahead of Russell for second place.

Sainz, who has been the fastest driver this weekend, then navigated a Safety Car -– caused by Logan Sargeant crashing into the barrier –- to keep a hold of the lead, as he later held off the challenge of Russell, Norris, and Hamilton.

But after Esteban Ocon -– running in sixth at the time -– stopped on track with a suspected gearbox issue, Mercedes used the Virtual Safety Car to stop their drivers for some new medium tyres, setting up a grandstand finish.

But despite Russell and Hamilton getting past Leclerc, they could not overtake Sainz and Norris, with the Spaniard gifting his former McLaren teammate some DRS in the closing stages to hold off the Silver Arrows pair and seal a second career win.

Russell’s hopes of a podium ended in the barrier at Turn 10 on the final lap as he looked to get past Norris for second, allowing the McLaren driver to take his third podium finish of the season, while Hamilton took third place.

Leclerc was able to hold off the fast-charging Max Verstappen for fourth at the end, with the Red Bull driver recovering from a difficult outing, that at one stage saw him being overtaken by the leading drivers for the first time this season, to take fifth.

Pierre Gasly was an impressive sixth for Alpine, while Oscar Piastri took seventh for McLaren. Sergio Perez ended up eighth – although he is being investigated for his part in a collision with Alex Albon.

Liam Lawson scored the first points of his short F1 career for AlphaTauri as he took ninth, ahead of the lead Haas of Kevin Magnussen. Alex Albon wound up 11th for Williams, ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu, and the other Haas of Nico Hulkenberg.

Both Sargeant and Fernando Alonso had their fair share of incidents in the race as the latter had a five-second penalty, a slow pit stop, and went off track to finish last of the remaining runners behind the American rookie in 14th.

Russell’s crash at the end meant he, alongside Valtteri Bottas, Yuki Tsunoda – who sustained a puncture in the opening lap of the race – and Ocon did not finish the race.