George Russell, Mercedes, Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Singapore, 2023

Rate the race: 2023 Singapore Grand Prix

Formula 1

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What did you think of today’s race? Share your verdict on the Singapore Grand Prix.

RaceFans has held polls on every F1 race since 2008 to find out which fans thought of each round of the season.

Join in the latest poll and give your verdict on the race: 10 being the highest and 1 the lowest. Please vote based on how entertaining and exciting you thought the race was, not on how your preferred driver or team performed.

What were the best and worst moments of the race? What was the main thing you’ll remember about it? Rate the race out of ten and leave a comment below:

Rate the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix out of 10

  • 10 (19%)
  • 9 (31%)
  • 8 (25%)
  • 7 (13%)
  • 6 (5%)
  • 5 (3%)
  • 4 (2%)
  • 3 (0%)
  • 2 (0%)
  • 1 (1%)

Total Voters: 178

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1 = ‘Terrible’, 10 = ‘Perfect’

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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86 comments on “Rate the race: 2023 Singapore Grand Prix”

  1. Sounded pretty good on the radio, looking forward to seeing the highlights.

    With 5th, Verstappen fails to match Schumacher’s 2002 record of being on the podium at all races.

    1. Yeah, I imagine the highlights will be decent. There was defenitely enough excitement going on to fill some 20-30 minutes of highlights or “in short”. Although in between that there were many laps of just waiting for things to get there.

  2. A typical Singapore GP, but an exciting ending.

    1. Agreed. Surprised to see it rated so high. Maybe (very) short memories? The last laps were indeed eventful but before that we had like 59 laps of no one daring to pick up any pace. Sargeant was lapping faster than Sainz. I fear this track needs to be removed from the calendar or the impact of tire management needs to be drastically changed. I thought the end was brilliant and eventful but the first part was rather an insult to the viewers. Bit like the chase game they do with cycles on an oval circuit where one is waiting for the other to move and they almost come to a complete stand still.

      1. My memory is actually good, thanks. I like a track where it’s hard to overtake but possible and strategy plays more of a role, I like a race where there’s actual competition and the dominant team doesn’t win and apparently so do 90% of voters.

        As it’s the case it was also relatively eventful for singapore with red bulls having to defend themselves for a bit on old tyres, mercedes charging with new mediums towards the end, sainz’s drs trick, verstappen and perez’s recovery.

    2. Yup, that pretty much sums it up.

  3. If Carlos doesn’t get a 10/10 in the rankings for that 4D chess of a race, I don’t know what will!

    1. Not a chance here, he is not British

      1. Has a British driver even got a 9/10 in these rankings yet? The only 9s I can remember are Max in Spa last year and Ocon in Monaco this year. Expect Carlos might get a 9 for this race going by previous rankings.

        1. Indeed, you need to be dutch or french to get 9, and to get 10 you need to belong to a country that hasn’t made it to f1 yet, as no one will get 10 anytime soon!

        2. But yes, a 9 is well deserved, though I wouldn’t bet on it.

      2. Even we can’t deny Carlos, possibly best drive of the season ;-)

  4. The majority of the race was poor, however, I found the final 15 lap sprint some of the best racing I’ve seen in a long time.

    Not shown was the Verstappen/LeClerc chase down (4-5 seconds per lap)

    Feel for George, really bad luck.

    1. That’s being generous to George but I respect that he went for it

    2. I don’t think it was bad luck from George, he simple hit the wall.

      Russel stopped Verstappens charge on Leclerc, he would have had him in sector 3 with ease I think.

      and I agree that the race was poor, Monaco-style poor: drive as slow as possible without being overtaken.
      Luckely the SC and especially the VSC spiced thing up, together with the difference in strategy-calls from Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes, that made the last what 20 to 15 laps very exciting, loved that part

  5. Russell has to go!! He is not the future for Mercedes.

    1. I think that’s harsh but I do question his racing skill when under pressure. He did the same thing in Canada this year too. He’s no doubt quick, but he seems to eat the tyres much more (hence Hamiltons pace advantage) and that leads to these big race ending misjudgments.

      1. Russell had DRS on Sainz and didn’t do an awful lot with it. Russell and Hamilton came in at the same time for fresh rubber, but it was Hamilton with the fastest lap. If Russell was as quick both Mercedes would have been on the podium.

        A poor Strategy call didn’t help either. Mercedes should have kept Russell out in 2nd and only brought Hamilton in for fresh rubber to cover anyone else stopping. Hamilton would have stood a better chance of getting them both on the podium. As things were, had Russell not crashed he would have simply settled for 3rd.

        Really disappointed with Russell.

        1. Great point about splitting the tire call. Having Russell press Sainz while Hamilton came from behind on new tires would have put Sainz to a harder choice than just basically meting out a race winning pace from 20s ahead. Same idea crossed my mind. Teams need to start crowdsourcing strategy lol.

    2. This is obviously too harsh. He made a mistake sure but he really went for it, which is commendable

  6. The race was not won by RB, so 10.

    1. After such a race that’s all you have to say?

  7. Four cars within 2 secs for the final few laps: it is not going to get better than this!

  8. So did Mercedes let Norris pass by geir own admission or because they were told to? Either they shouldn’t have because Lewis passed him fairly and in the end it cost them the race

      1. yeah, i wonder about that, Hamilton was ahead of Norris before George forced him wide. So in theory he only gained an advantage over Russell. Hamilton behind Sainz would have led to a better chance of Mercedes winning, or at the very least getting both cars on the podium. If Russell hadn’t requested the position back. Norris wouldn’t have had a claim.

        1. Sky said stewards had a chat to Mercedes about it. Like what happened in 2021. I think it was a hard call. He passed Norris but Norris left him no space. I think if Hamilton had blamed Norris instead of Russell for going off he would have had a better case.

          1. Yes he had no choice but to head to the run off. Had he stayed on he would have collided with George and possibly brought Lando in to it as well.

            Norris on the radio saying Lewis made his breaking zone for the escape route instead of the corner way way off. He full made turn 1 and completed a pass on Norris and had the position. Had Norris or George left some space he may have been able to stay on the track. But George may not have even known he was there in that split second moment due to Lewis coming around the outside of Norris so fast in turn one

    1. ‘we’ve been instructed to give the place back to Norris as well’
      I just rewatched the on-board with Hamilton

      1. The stewards this weekend were pretty off

        1. usual pro verstappen and anti hamilton stewarding

          1. If they were anti-Hamilton they would have penalised him for the pass on Perez.

  9. It was almost an IndyCar race with how the Safety Car period pitstops influenced it and there was a final showdown between cars on different tyre age. Although the showdown itself was pretty undewhelming with zero (!) overtakes in the end between the leading four. Meh!

  10. What a cracking race. It may well have been a win from pole but far out! What a way to do it! Gave it a 9

  11. RUS cost Mercedes and HAM a first place finish. Guy is not as good as he thinks he is.

    1. Agreed. just look at Hamilton’s pace to get fastest lap and close on Russell. Had Russell shown the same pace with the DRS he had on Sainz Mercedes should have had the win. Instead he gives up a whole lot of points to Ferrari by not finishing.

  12. Best race of the season

    1. You must love sprint racing then.

      IMO It was by far the worst race this season until the end when Mercedes allowed Russell to attack Sainz.

      People who rate this race high (almost everybody) should love Sprint racing.

      1. I thought you were joking on the other thread, which is why I didn’t answer: sprint races are too short to become interesting most of the time, you see here the most interesting part was the end, not the start.

  13. Forgot to add that the track crew at Singapore is awesome and are able to clear cars so quickly. The crew at Monza should hang their heads in shame.

    1. Insert Helmut comment about italians.

      1. “Italians are slow, people in singapore are fast!”, and I’m italian!

  14. Hamilton was so much faster than Russell at the end he could have won. But it’s on him for not qualifying better and thus having to eat those double stacks. Great race. Sainz looks incredible now.

    1. That second double stack wasn’t necessary.

      Had Mercedes just called Hamilton, Russell would have remained out in 2nd. Hamilton would have had his change of rubber a lot faster. That extra 4 seconds stacking behind Russell could have been the difference at the end to Hamilton getting 3rd and possibly 2nd at the end.

  15. Brilliant race! 9/10 for me.
    Great drives all the top 3.
    George is melting under the pressure – him giving up on chasing Lando in the last 3 laps and deciding instead to defend against Lewis was lack of ambition for me. Took his attention off the race ahead of him, defending against Lewis, and met the wall. Poor form.
    Congratulations to Lewis, now the top non-Red Bull driver in the standings!

    1. That was a howler from Russell. But to be fair Hamilton played things well by cruising up behind him at the perfect moment when he caught Leclerc. He benefitted by Russell getting Leclerc on the marbles etc. So when it was time to join the real battle he probably had fresher tires. And to still be fair to Russell he should have tried to pass Norris in s2 instead of trying for the easy DRS pass. Sainz basically set things up so that would be only way through—a knife fight between the walls and bet Russell couldn’t get that done on Norris.

    2. It is only logical to defend when you are being attacked. Even when the attack in nonsensical.

      1. the defend was nonsensical. when your teammate has the better performance and chance to gain places, then let him pass.

  16. 10 Perfect (= not Red Bull!)
    OK so some passing at the end would have been even perfect-er. But still Sainz using Norris as his shield was enthralling and smart. Would Hamilton have got past Norris if he’d been the lead Mercedes? Maybe but I still think Sainz would have defended enough to the end for the win.

    1. That isn’t how you should rate a race…

      I went for a 7 (rounded up) myself as the race where stationary the first 2/3 part of the race the most fun was the last 1/3.

  17. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    17th September 2023, 15:07

    The first half was a bit stale but it definitely ramped up as it went along.

  18. 10/10

    Interesting strategy early on with Ferrari holding up the pack to stop Max getting back into the race.

    Genius by Sainz towards the end to decide against bolting and drop back to give Norris DRS.

    4 way battle for the win. Loved it.

    1. @fullcoursecaution
      a 10 out of 10?
      you also have seen the first 3/4 of the race right?
      I know the last part was wonderfull to watch, but the 1st part wasn’t: I went to pack the dish-washer, and only followed it by sound.
      And I think the first 3/4 was dull and a 10 can’t be given anymore.
      I think because the best part was the last part, people forget the first part

      1. Yes, 9 for me, add in some torrential rain without stoppage and you get the 10!

  19. Gave it a 9/10. Solid race but shame for George. Happy for Carlos, he’s finally getting to grips (pun intended) with that car.

  20. A 9 easily. Up until the last lap I thought any of the four could’ve won it, even Norris and Hamilton. Nice to see a different winner. First 20 laps are but a distant memory, and after that even some decent midfield action filled the slower parts. Singapore always produces interesting if not exciting races, but today was both.

    1. I didn’t think any could’ve won it, positions were pretty locked in, perhaps norris if sainz had mismanaged the pace, because he didn’t have drs to defend himself. But yes, was an interesting race throughout and I gave it 9 as well.

  21. Good fun for a Singapore GP! 7/10.

  22. Best race I’ve seen on a few years. Heart was pounding, partly due to winning on a bet (Sainz win, Norris podium, Piastri points). Beautiful strategies, full of action and unpredictable events. This is F1. This championship would be electric without RB!

    1. Fully agree, and there’s people who said those who liked this race have short memory, 90% gave ir 7 or more!

  23. I’ll give it an 8 because the first half was pretty damn dull but the last half was electric :)

  24. I really enjoyed it.

    Would have liked to see a bit less tire management & a bit more pushing early on but in the end I think that tactical game helped us get to the exciting finish.

    I’m also glad that they didn’t have that 4th DRS zone as I think that may have ended up making overtaking that little bit too easy which may well have ended up robbing us of the finish we got if the Mercedes had that extra opportunity to get an easier pass.

    And on DRS like I said after Monza the thing I really love about races where DRS is less effective (Or completely ineffective) is that the action is more strung out over the full race distance which often leads to more interesting and exciting ends which is what the races tended to be like before DRS. Races where DRS is that bit too effective tend to front load the action as everyone recovers to there natural spot in the order over the first half of the race which then often leads to less action during the 2nd half.

    But no doubt if they keep this track layout next year the drivers will moan about wanting more DRS & a more powerful DRS so we’ll end up with 4 zones and no proper racing or exciting overtaking given how every straight will be DRS. Will just show how completely broken the show over sport, quantity over quality version of F1 is.

    1. One last point.

      The racing is more thrilling, exciting & memorable when the opportunity for a driver having to work harder to find a way to pull off an overtake is there but when it’s not so easy to do that everyone can do it and there’s no real fighting.

      It’s the fighting & having to work for things that creates the tension, the excitement & the memorable races and not simply having a lot of cars passing other cars with relative ease.

    2. Races where DRS is that bit too effective tend to front load the action as everyone recovers to there natural spot in the order over the first half of the race which then often leads to less action during the 2nd half.

      Absolutely, DRS isn’t just boring to watch, it’s also very detrimental to these kind of long races (one might call them Grand Prix) where strategy gets a chance to play out over the entire race.

      1. What worries me though is that when both Russell and Norris had DRS he couldn’t challenge Lando, even though he clearly had a big pace advantage. If neither had DRS would we just have seen the same problem with the Mercedes cruising up behind the McLaren (or for that matter Charles’s Ferrari) and being unable to make a serious overtaking attempt? In such a scenario we would have had a very dull race as Mercedes wouldn’t have pitted under the VSC and the top five would have just cruised to the flag in order.

        1. If drs wasn’t there I’m pretty sure he would’ve overtaken them with the pace advantage he had, drs trains make it harder to overtake unless you break them.

  25. 8/10
    Safety cars makes the Singapore GP exciting. The first part of the race was actually astonishingly boring. 16 laps in the race and the cars are all covered in 15 seconds. This goes to show how much management starts after probably lap 1. But the second half of the race was very exciting with top four nose to tail till the last few corners.
    I think it pays off to have good friends in F1 and today Sainz and Norris benefited in their fight with Mercedes. Russel fought hard, but in F1 you also have to finish the race and he threw away a podium in the end which took him further away from Hamilton in the standings. It was unfortunately painful to see how Ferrari was using Leclerc by asking for a 2.5 sec drop in 5 laps. He is lacking pace and I believe a bit of motivation as well. Aston Marting has well and truely fallen off the game. Lawson had an impressive fight and if he keeps up this kind of form in Suzuka as well, I think he will be on the grid next year.

    1. On the grid, and pretty soon in RBR, not AT. I’ll be disappointed if he does not make bit by 2025

  26. I rate this a 62/62. Good race, awesome ending.

  27. Was about to loose interest but then the last 20 laps were good. Utter borefest to begin with though.

  28. @johnever I thought the first part was very interesting tactically with Ferrari employing the abnormal strategy of preventing the whole field from spreading, instead of trying to bolt and build a gap in traffic to stop, whilst trying to keep enough of a gap to Russell to be able to double stack in there was a safety car. I found the whole race pretty engaging and a breath of fresh air strategy wise.

    1. @fullcoursecaution Me too. I actually thought Ferrari were in danger of compressing the field so much Verstappen would jump to the front at the pit stops.

    2. @fullcoursecaution
      ooh, you replied here
      I was bored during the 1st stints, I’d rather see racing at high speeds
      But fair enough of course, everyone has his/her own opinion

      @david-br I never thought Red Bull was quick enough, certainly when Verstappen was told to stay behind Ocon.
      And I know of course they were playing the-longer-game…
      I was very surprised by Verstappends pace on mediums btw

      1. I wasn’t surprised by verstappen’s pace on mediums, you have to remember the story of the season and how much stronger they are in the race, as far as I saw he had similar pace as the leading cars, which is still weaker than it used to be but no slouch car for sure.

  29. I was so excited for this (even as a Dutch Verstappen fan) but it was a huge disappointment.

    This was THE chance for 3 teams to win a race. But none of them showed any motivation whatsoever.
    The fact that Ferrari played it safe by sacrificing Lecrelc says everything. Then Russel who did not showed for a single lap the idea that he wanted to win (apart from his radio). Think he was so ashamed of himself he decided that he didnt wanted to be on the scoreboard after all. And Norris, just being happy to even be there was always happy with 2nd. It’s like they forgot how to race. It’s probably the worst race ever with a top 4 being so close.

    Did not gave a grade.

    1. The race you mention is probably abu dhabi 2016, as in the worst with the top 4 being so close.

  30. 9/10 – the first part was pretty dull but a great race after the safety car. Was sat in the grandstand at turn 7 and the atmosphere towards the end was electric. I support Lando which made it especially nail biting! One of the best races I’ve been to. Loses one point for the dull first third of the race, but rest made up for it.

    1. Yes, I saw an interesting shot of the race in tv where they showed the grandstands at the penultimate corner, who saw sainz and norris within a second of each other and then the 2 mercedes chasing 4 sec behind them, must’ve been exciting to be there indeed.

  31. best race of the year, even if they were nursing their tires for most of it.

  32. 7/10 as there was very little that happened throughout but a few decent segments to make it above average.

  33. The race receives a 6/6.5, but I rated it as a 5 to offset the absurd 10s a bit.The race was terribly boring until the Virtual Safety Car (VSC). I was sitting here making a train track with my son when I realized I wasn’t watching a race. When Russell picked up the pace again, closing in on Norris and Sainz, I sat down again. The last few laps were exciting, with clever moves by Sainz.

    1. The 10s must be people who couldn’t stand red bull domination any more, can’t blame them, I gave it 9 because it was fun, strategic and without red bull dominating ofc, but no rain and a bit boring in small parts.

  34. For me the last 15 laps show what all F1 races should be like under the current regs, without the ultra dominant RB car. Teams making strategy calls and allowing their cars to race. Shame about George – but as per Martin Brundle’s commentary – just shows a driver can be sucked into an error by the close following and walls of a street circuit – following Lando and he clipped the wall slightly, and George clipped it more!

  35. I felt ok about the first stint/slow-race only because tension was building and it was clear we were in for a Mexican-Pit-stand-off, with some RBR outliers to complicate things. But we never got to see them draw so I felt hugely disappointed, would love to see how it would have played out. We got paid back with tension in the last stint of course, so that levels out. So what we have left is a lot of extreme managing/slow driving in between.. compensated with a few hard battles.. some Ferrari strategy for once with some Mercedes fumbling. Add a bonus point for it being different strategy wise with almost no DRS highway passing, making it more interesting. I’d say a very generous 8..
    I feel the 9 and 10s in here are from people who only tuned in the last laps?

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