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Spanish Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz shatters Red Bull streak with Singapore F1 victory

The Spaniard conquered the streets of Singapore all weekend, qualifying first on Saturday and leading the race from start to finish

Carlos Sainz Jr. of Team Scuderia Ferrari at the Monte-Carlo, Monaco F1 World Championship
Carlos Sainz Jr. of Team Scuderia Ferrari at the Monte-Carlo, Monaco F1 World Championship | Shutterstock

September 20, 2023 8:59am

Updated: September 20, 2023 8:59am

Carlos Sainz, driver of the Scuderia, secured a stunning upset victory at Marina Bay Street circuit on Sunday, ending Red Bull's monopoly for the year.

The Spaniard conquered the streets of Singapore all weekend, qualifying first on Saturday and leading the race from start to finish, something he previously fell short of at Monza.

Sports journalists commented that the Madrid native flawlessly executed every move on the track during one of the most prestigious night races of the year.

It is the second time Sainz has won a Formula One Grand Prix, the first being last year's British GP.

While there were some accidents on the track that could have affected the results, Sainz was able to take the lead after Lando Norris, the Spaniard's old teammate, helped him towards the end of the race.

In the closing moments of the race, Sainz informed his team that his tires were “finished,” forcing him to face the difficult task of keeping the three F1 rockets from taking his victory.

Both Mercedes cars, with faster speeds and newer tires closed the gap as they approached. Sainz then made a strategic decision to let Norris to get close behind him, enabling the British driver to use his DRS to break free of racer George Russell.

This allowed him to use Norris as a friendly shield.

The working relationship between Sainz and Norris shattered the perception that the two men had an unbreakable rivalry, a drama that was featured on the Netflix show Drive to Survive.

“We had one opportunity to win a race this year, and we nailed it. We didn't put a foot wrong all weekend. We managed to keep everything under control. It wasn't easy, but it feels incredible,” Sainz said of the teamwork and victory.

As Mercedes' second driver, Russell had a great night until the last lap, when he ended up against the wall and was forced to retire from the race without adding any points to his season tally.

This incident gave Lewis Hamilton, the other Mercedes driver, third place and also the fastest lap.

After a solid start, Charles Leclerc looked on track to finish second, but couldn't keep up with the cars behind him, finishing fourth.

After starting from 11th on the grid with hard tires and choosing to stay out during the safety car, Max Verstappen saw his record of ten straight wins come to an end.

Logan Sargeant's car struck the wall on lap 20, causing severe damage to the front wing of the car. As he attempted to go back into the pitlane, pieces of the FW45 were left lying around the track.

Verstappen took the lead temporarily, but his worn tires left him vulnerable a few laps later when Russell attacked him hard, suddenly becoming the first driver in the season to overtake him. The Dutchman recovered from a terrible qualifying session by finishing fifth and ahead of sixth-placed Pierre Gasly.

The driver with the most overtakes, Oscar Piastri, started 17th and finished seventh to close McLaren's good Southeast Asian performance.

For his 250th Grand Prix, Sergio Perez's underperformed. Still, his most memorable moment was colliding with Albon when his over aggressive red bull sent the Williams driver to the wall. He finished eighth in the race.

Following a great start to Formula One, Liam Lawson finished ninth while Kevin Magnussen from the American HAAS team completed the top ten.

After 190 miles of racing and a few incidents that delayed the normal pace of the race, four cars from three different times were right behind each other in downtown Singapore instead of the usual dark blue car leading and finishing 30 seconds ahead of the next.

After a long wait for an actual competitive event, fans from all over the world were desperate for the race.

Sainz grew up in the racing world. His father, Carlos Sainz Sr, is a famous retired driver who became popular in the rally world and similar competitions.

He is one of only three drivers out of 20 who speak Spanish as their native tongue, joining Pérez as a success story for the Hispanic community in the prestigious F1 world.

F1 will now be traveling to Japan, continuing its Asian tour, where they will be presenting another fantastic show next weekend, so be prepared to see what this amazing sport can offer you.