2023 F1 Singapore GP results: Carlos Sainz wins thriller

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz won a thrilling Singapore Grand Prix, the 15th round of the 2023 Formula 1 world championship, as Red Bull’s winning streak came to a humbling conclusion.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, the rest of the field on the opening lap

Sainz led from the start, with team-mate Charles Leclerc passing George Russell’s Mercedes for an early Ferrari 1-2.

A safety car for Logan Sargeant nudging his Williams into the barrier sent most of the field into the pits, with Leclerc suffering a delay that dropped him behind Russell and Lando Norris (McLaren). He later lost a further spot to Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) when he ran wide after the restart.

A virtual safety car at two-thirds distance allowed the Mercedes drivers to use their fresh medium tyres and chase down the leaders. In a thrilling finale, the top four ran nose-to-tail to the finish, until Russell crashed out on the final lap. Norris held second, with Hamilton moving up to third.

Max Verstappen started his Red Bull from 11th on hard tyres but, after making early progress, the safety car ruined the team’s strategy, and he tumbled back from second place on old rubber. After running as low as 15th, he recovered to finish fifth.

2023 F1 Singapore Grand Prix results

Cla   Nº   Driver   Car / Engine   Laps   Time 
55 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 62 -
4 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 62 -0.812
44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 62 -1.269
16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 62 -21.177
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda RBPT 62 -21.441
10 Pierre Gasly Alpine/Renault 62 -38.441
81 Oscar Piastri McLaren/Mercedes 62 -41.479
11 Sergio Pérez Red Bull/Honda RBPT 62 -54.534
40 Liam Lawson AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT 62 -
10  20 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 62 -
11  23 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 62 -
12  24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 62 -
13  27 Nico Hülkenberg Haas/Ferrari 62 -
14  2 Logan Sargeant Williams/Mercedes 62 -
15  14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin/Mercedes 62 -
16  63 George Russell Mercedes 61 -
77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 51 -
31 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 42 -
22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT 0 -

How the 2023 F1 Singapore Grand Prix unfolded

Polesitter Sainz, who started on mediums, led soft-shod Leclerc, who jumped up from third on the grid to pass Russell. Hamilton also passed Russell after running wide at Turn 1 and overtaking him off the track. They swapped the positions back on lap two, and Hamilton let Lando Norris (McLaren) past too.

AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda was an opening-lap retirement after clashing with Sergio Perez’s Red Bull, which damaged Perez’s front wing endplate.

Sargeant understeered into the wall on lap 20, which broke his front wing that then dropped debris as he returned to the pits – sparking a brief safety car period. Sainz pitted and retained his lead, but Leclerc – who backed up the pack – had to be held as cars were coming into the pits, and he lost places to Russell and Norris.

Verstappen started from 11th on hards and gained a spot from Liam Lawson on the opening lap and Nico Hulkenberg’s Haas on lap two. He then passed Hulkenberg’s team-mate Kevin Magnussen on lap six.

Verstappen stayed out under the safety car, which briefly elevated him to second, but left him vulnerable on old rubber. Russell attacked him hard at the restart, becoming the first driver to overtake Verstappen all season on lap 23, as Norris passed Perez (who also stayed out) for fourth. Hamilton gained a spot from Leclerc when the Ferrari ran wide, and then moved past Perez a lap later, but also ran wide at the corner exit.

Norris too passed Verstappen for third, before Hamilton pushed him back to fourth on lap 27 and Leclerc did likewise a tour later.

Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso (whose team-mate Lance Stroll didn’t start after his big qualifying crash) attacked Perez for seventh on lap 37 but lost a spot in doing so to Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, who pulled a tidy move to pass Perez two laps later and Alonso followed suit at Turn 14.

Verstappen pitted on lap 42, rejoining on mediums in 15th. Ocon’s strong race ended when he pulled off at Turn 2 on lap 43, causing a virtual safety car, which Mercedes used to pit Russell and Hamilton from second and fourth respectively to use their fresh mediums, rejoining in fourth and fifth.

Sainz led Norris by 1.5s as the race went green again, with Leclerc in third. Behind him, Russell began lapping 2s quicker than the cars ahead. Alonso suffered an off on lap 47 and rejoined down in 17th.

Russell carved into the gap to Leclerc and passed him for third on lap 53, with Hamilton following suit a tour later. Norris was 6s clear, but Russell rapidly chased him down and the top four ran nose to tail entering the final four laps, with Sainz reporting his tyres were “finished”.

Norris defended hard against Russell, which allowed Hamilton to start attacking his team-mate. Russell crashed out on the final lap, promoting Hamilton to third, who Norris just held off as Sainz won by 0.8s.

Verstappen was also on the move, carving his way into the top 10 on his new rubber. He made it as far as sixth, passing Pierre Gasly’s Alpine with seven laps remaining and finished right behind Leclerc at the finish line.

2023 F1 Singapore Grand Prix fastest laps

Cla Driver  Car / Engine   Time   Delay   Km/h 
44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1'35.867   185.507
63 George Russell Mercedes 1'36.273 0.406 184.724
14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin/Mercedes 1'36.456 0.589 184.374
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1'36.575 0.708 184.147
11 Sergio Pérez Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1'37.108 1.241 183.136
23 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 1'37.342 1.475 182.696
55 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 1'37.666 1.799 182.089
4 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1'38.046 2.179 181.384
77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1'38.075 2.208 181.330
10  20 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1'38.107 2.240 181.271
11  16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1'38.275 2.408 180.961
12  10 Pierre Gasly Alpine/Renault 1'38.277 2.410 180.957
13  81 Oscar Piastri McLaren/Mercedes 1'38.492 2.625 180.562
14  2 Logan Sargeant Williams/Mercedes 1'38.531 2.664 180.491
15  40 Liam Lawson AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT 1'39.028 3.161 179.585
16  24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1'39.316 3.449 179.064
17  27 Nico Hülkenberg Haas/Ferrari 1'39.923 4.056 177.977
18  31 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1'39.930 4.063 177.964
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