Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Singapore, 2023

Sainz ends Red Bull’s winning streak in Singapore as Russell crashes on last lap

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Carlos Sainz Jnr ended Red Bull’s unbeaten run in the 2023 season by holding off Lando Norris to win the Singapore Grand Prix.

In a thrilling final stint of the race, the Mercedes drivers used fresh tyres to chase the leaders down in the final laps. However neither were able to put a move on Norris for second place and George Russell crashed out on the final lap, leaving Lewis Hamilton to take third.

That left pole-winner Sainz to take his first victory of the year and Ferrari’s first win of the season. Max Verstappen recovered to finish in fifth, pipped to the line by Charles Leclerc who was struggling with his tyres at the end.

Before the race, all the top 10 starters opted for medium tyres for the first stint, with the exception of Leclerc who instead took a used set of softs. When the lights went out, Sainz held onto the lead from pole position but Leclerc used his soft tyres to jump ahead of Russell into second place. Into turn one, Hamilton was side-by-side with his team mate and Norris and ran off the circuit, rejoining ahead of Russell in second.

Hamilton allowed his team mate through into third on lap two, before eventually yielding to Norris two laps later to drop to fifth place. Out front, Leclerc ran within a second of his race leading team mate as Russell dropped two seconds behind the two Ferrari drivers. Sainz controlled the pace on his mediums, telling his team that he had a full second of laptime in hand.

Leclerc was instructed to fall to around three seconds behind his team mate, before raising that margin to five seconds. Leclerc duly obliged, but on lap 20 the Safety Car was suddenly deployed after Logan Sargeant locked up into turn eight and struck the wall, breaking his front wing and leaving debris over the circuit.

Almost the entire field headed into the pits to change onto hard tyres, save for the Red Bulls of Verstappen and Perez, who remained out on the hard tyres they had started on. Sainz beat Verstappen out of the pit lane to retain the lead, with Verstappen slotting into second place ahead of Russell, Perez and Norris with Leclerc dropping to sixth thanks to the busy pit lane.

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The race resumed on lap 23 with Sainz leading the field away and immediately pulling a second clear of the Red Bull. As Verstappen struggled for traction, Russell put the champion under intense pressure before eventually passing him into turn 16. On the next lap, Norris slipped by Verstappen to take third place, with Hamilton passing Leclerc and Perez to move up to fifth.

Ferrari instructed Sainz to back up Russell behind him, with the Mercedes sitting well within a second of the leader but over three seconds ahead of third-placed Norris. Hamilton displaced Verstappen for fourth into turn seven, with Leclerc passing him in similar fashion soon after. Soon, the top four cars of Sainz, Russell, Norris and Hamilton were separated by just over two seconds as Sainz continued to dictate the pace out front.

The Red Bulls eventually pitted on lap 40, with Verstappen emerging in 15th place on fresh medium tyres. The front four continued to run in order until lap 43, when Esteban Ocon pulled off the circuit with a gearbox problem, prompting a Virtual Safety Car period.

As the Alpine was cleared, both Russell and Hamilton pitted for the fresh set of mediums that Mercedes had deliberately saved in practice. The Mercedes drivers emerged in fourth and fifth, with the race resuming with Russell needing to close down a gap of 17 seconds to leader Sainz over the final 17 laps to win.

Russell eventually caught third-placed Leclerc with 10 laps remaining, making a move into turn 14 before Hamilton followed his team mate by the Ferrari soon after. With five laps remaining the two Mercedes had caught the two leaders, Sainz having backed off to give Norris the benefit of DRS. That left Russell unable to attack the McLaren driver.

On the final lap, while following close behind Norris on the run to turn 10, Russell glanced a barrier and slid off the circuit, crashing out of the race.

Sainz took the chequered flag to take victory and end Red Bull’s unbeaten streak over the 2023 season and the first non-Red Bull victory since the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix. Norris finished second with Hamilton third. Leclerc was promoted to fourth with Russell’s late retirement, finishing just three tenths of a second ahead of Verstappen in fifth.

Pierre Gasly took sixth for Alpine ahead of Oscar Piastri in seventh. Perez finished eighth with Liam Lawson securing his first career points and AlphaTauri’s best finish of the season in ninth. Russell’s last-lap demise promoted Kevin Magnussen into the final points position.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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99 comments on “Sainz ends Red Bull’s winning streak in Singapore as Russell crashes on last lap”


    1. Sod off, make your own!

      1. YES MR SAINZ

      2. I’m not sure that’s technically possible (yet).

        1. There was a recent breakthrough in creating eggs from male DNA, so they created a mouse with two fathers.

          But that would be more of gene puddle, than a pool.

  2. Amazing drive by Carlos, and thanks as a Mclaren fan for dragging Lando into 2nd.

    1. @stjs16 You mean thanks to Lando for being there so Sainz could use him for defence.

      1. To both of them for working together without any prior agreement, some teammates should take note of that.

        1. Yes clearly they both benefited for the pull. And if there was a doubt, Carlos said on the radio that was on purpose

        2. They used to be team mates, so they know these tricks!

    2. Sainz’s impressive performance with a wise strategy shows that he is a force to be reckoned with. He has led more laps than anyone except Verstappen, and he is making a strong case for himself as a top-tier driver. He is surely catching the eye of Fred Vasseur and other team bosses who are looking for a reliable and fast driver able to lead a team, something that Leclerc has not demonstrated so far.

      One thing is clear: F1 is much more exciting when there is no dominant team or driver.

  3. F1 grand prix win brought to you by FIA and FOM, exactly the same as 8 years ago! Enjoy it, Carlos!

    1. Three conspiracy theorists walk into a bar… you can’t tell me that’s just a coincidence

    2. Iam curious, what happened?

      1. 2015: A pretty much uneventful win from pole by Seb, so I do not see the point. May be the self-appointed expert refers to the infamous crashgate (although it is not very much related either) but it was 2008, 15 years ago, not 8.

        1. No, it’s nothing to do with crashgate, the similarity here is this is a red bull dominant season and 2015 was a merc dominant season, and suddenly none of them were as competitive as they used to be all season in singapore, merc were also off the pace in 2015.

  4. Finally, a non-RBR winner, about time.
    Sargeant’s & Russell’s unforced errors, though.

  5. Watching the replay back Norris actually hit the wall in the exact spot that Russell did. He got lucky being able to make the finish.

    1. Imagine how bizarre it would have been if they both crashed out at the same time from the same mistake

    2. Lando was giving George the hint: “That’s how you do it, pal”, and George obliged XDD

  6. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    17th September 2023, 15:25

    Sainz worked this weekend to perfection. Even when waiting to Norris to keep him in drs he still finished the race 20s+ up on Leclerc.
    Bad luck or frustration I’m not sure, but for Russel to clip the wall like that so late on is going to hurt. Leaves him over 70pts behind Hamilton now which will hard to reduce when you’re the 2nd to 4th best car.

    Fingers crossed Red Bull stay middling for the rest of the season so we can enjoy others fighting for a win, but sadly I expect a Max walkover in Japan.

    1. Yes, Singapore is the flunked subject for RBR and Max, was it 2017 when he darted into both Fezzas and was crunched? I cannot remember a single decent race by Max there He was lucky there were no Marina bay races in 2020-21.

      1. To be fair, Kimi got great traction and smashed MV into Seb in 2017 – not MV’s fault.

        1. To be fair, Kimi got great traction and smashed MV into Seb in 2017 – not MV’s fault.

          Speaking as a Hamilton fan, and happy at his result in that race, I have to say that there were two guilty parties in that pile-up and both were driving Ferraris. Kimi moved slightly right, Seb moved strongly left.

          Max, unusually, was totally innocent.
          If he hadn’t been there, then Kimi and Seb would have taken each other out almost as spectacularly.

          1. Well, anyway bad result for Max in 2017. Even if it was not his fault, he was a bit too optimist going for that gap. Singapore has always resisted him. Maybe he gets a dominant win in 2024, we’ll see.

        2. “factual description of events”

          the entire thing was caused by Seb squeezing way too much when there were 3 cars alongside, probably didn’t account for Kimi being there.

      2. That seems odd to focus on given the end of the race which was quite exciting at front. Saw the top 4 do some decent racing in the second half of the race.

      3. He got a second place in 2018 at least, back when he was still trying to get his first pole, 3rd place in 2019 is also not bad considering red bull was often the 3rd best car those years. Then ofc 2022 was an unlucky problem in quali, otherwise he’d have been ahead. 2017 surely had great potential in the wet, I blame vettel for that crash, he’s the one who moves too far across, I think 2nd place or even the win was possible in 2017, it’d have been hamilton vs verstappen and hamilton was starting behind.

  7. Frustrated with Russell in the last stint. Hamilton was the quicker driver in that critical part. I knew that Mercedes had no chance when I saw Russell’s first two laps and comparing them to Hamilton.

  8. That was awesome, I doubt anyone at all thought Sainz and Norris were going to hold 1st and 2nd when the Mercs caught them with 5 laps left, but they did it. Amazing strategical thinking by Sainz (he’s shown he’s really good in this regard many times previously too) and equally good defensive driving from Norris to not yield under pressure.

  9. 1. Best race of the year.

    2. Russell cost Mercedes a 1-2. Toto should have ordered him to let Lewis have a go with his better pace, and should he not have succeeded, ordered them to switch back positions.

    3. Aston Martin didn’t want to embarrass Lawrence and Lance Stroll by putting Dragovich in the car. I have zero doubt he would have scored points and that would have shone a brighter light on Lance’s ineptitude.
    Can the other minority owners not intervene? Lance is costing them valuable points, and thus a lot of money in the Constructors Championship.

    1. As far as I know, they now aren’t allowed to put a driver in for the race only. The driver has to have taken part in qualifying to be able to take part in the race so AM did not have a choice here.

      1. Generally a driver change must be done before qualifying. But in this case, Aston Martin would have had a pretty strong case to argue for ‘force majeure’ because Stroll was injured. The rules make allowances for that.

        1. Exactly this! Their 2nd driver was unfit due to injury so agree it would have been a compelling enough argument in favour of Aston Martin.

        2. The rules also say that, in order to participate in the race, a driver must have participated in at least one practice session (qualifying counts as a practice session). If Drugovich had done one of the practice sessions for Aston Martin, he’d have been allowed to race, but as Stroll didn’t withdraw until after qualifying it was too late for him to get any track time.

        3. Stroll crashing is not force majeure.

      2. Stroll had also done quite a bit of damage to the car, and there may have been further damage to chassis that wasn’t evident. They may have figured that they didn’t have enough spares on hand to reliably fix it in time, and didn’t want to waste engine and gearbox mileage on a lost cause.

    2. On 2. Note that Hamilton didn’t ask for this. He merely told the wall to have Russell go faster. Hamilton could see as well as us that Russell was already sliding around and Hamilton was having to avoid hitting him from behind. That was strange. We could see Russell could go no faster. I kind of feel Hamilton against Rosberg or Bottas would have zoomed right up to the back of his teammate after the stops and said man too slow I’m coming.

        1. Yes, but my point was not for Hamilton to ask, but the team to tell the drivers to swap positions m, and if Lewis didn’t succeed, switch back before they crossed the finish line.

          1. As Hamilton said in his interview, his mistake wasn’t qualifying further ahead. He was faster in the last stint for sure but he sealed his faith by being behind when the safety car hit the track and Mercedes had to play their cards.

    3. 1 point for fastest car of the race:you are right Hamilton was the fastest driver at that point.
      Fact is Mercedes plan was never to let Hamilton win.
      Hence no attempt to swapt Russel and Hamilton at any point.
      In fact,Mercedes should have split risks with that late tyre swap.
      They should have hold track position with Russel as he was in 2nd position and gamble with Hamilton (only)for tyre swap to attempt to win.
      But as said above:the plan was never to allow Hamilton to win in Singapore.
      Toto is probably pissed that Lewis did not crash in place of Russel.
      Anyhow ,finally we got a race worthy of the name with 4 drivers fighting for win as Martin Brundle said it today.

    4. 1) not by any stretch of imagination, bar last 10 laps it was a snoozefest.
      2) hindsight is 20-20, he was in front on merit and by the time you could conclusively tell hamilton was quicker, it was too late to swap them.
      3) they simply couldn’t put drugo in the car, because they were not allowed doing so, same as other people who didn’t start because of heavy crash in Q. put your tinfoil hat away and look up the rules instead

  10. Red Bull would be easily in the mix if they didn’t start so down on the order.

    So this weekend was a hickup. It happens. Their streak and Max’s is over, but they’ll be resuming domination in Japan, unfortunately, because, as we could see, without them the top is really entertaining.

    1. This track is seems to be all about sliding the car, flat tracking it. The redbull cars dont seem to like that driving style, which is typical of high efficient downforce ground effects. I think this track just doesnt suit Max or Red bull. I think it is that simple. We’ll see when we get back to a real track with flowing corners and such.

    2. Starting so down was not all the problem. The begin-with-hards strategy was a gamble that did not pay off, mostly because the SC car was horribly timed for them. Too early for the hards, and forcing them to a second stop later on. Everybody put on hards to finish the race but it was not an option for them. To compound the damage, two or three laps after they pitted to change their dead hards there was a VSC.

      The win was not really in the cards, but with better timed SCs (or without any) Max could have made a podium and Checo could have finished in the points.

      Anyway I do not get why the RBR wall did not split the strategy, this one was too much of a gamble to commit both cars to it.

      1. Well, perez already finished in the points even with the bad strategy, so I guess you meant further up.

    3. Sure is real entertainment without max in pole.
      In fact ,it is very simple;with max(and the car) in good condition MAX wins 100% of the time.
      A real machine as david coulthard(ex red bull) says.
      A robot this Max V,100% of the time!!!

  11. I cannot believe what I’ve seen this last lap.

    Russell left me flabbergasted on how big of a screw up this is. My God, he is done! This was surreal. There was no mitigating factor as we’ve seen with other drivers in the past. I’m afraid his future in Mercedes is over after this. I’m really sorry for him.

    Also, let the record show, it’s disheartening how things are not coming together for Leclerc. He is pacing the same as Sainz, but he will get the flak regardless, and this isn’t right. I’ve seen enough drivers get burned maliciously without good cause to let this pass.

    Man, I do hope both LEC and (especially) RUS come around, but I won’t hold my breath for it.

    On a side note, what a shame for Ocon, he did a great race! A shout out to both Lawson and Zhou as well. Sainz was the class of the field today. Norris again did great. Oh, and Verstappen’s management seemed way better than Perez’, which is something quite big, actually.

    Next, a real race!

    1. It’s always hard to measure a Leclerc race performance cause something always seems to go wrong on his side of the garage if it isn’t strategy or slow stops.

      Leclerc got screwed after the first stop having to wait to leave losing places and not pitting during the late VSC. I get why Ferrari didn’t as an extra wall for Sainz against the Mercs but Ferrari really sacrificed him for Sainz out there.

    2. Oh, come on… Russel made a big mistake, but he was hammering it down the whole WE. Not good, but far from being an “underpar” performance. I think both him and Mercedes wanted the victory and nothing less in maybe the only opportunity of the year, the went all in and it didn’t pay off.

      Leclerc’s issue was not today, but yesterday. It was always going to be a tactical one for Ferrari and the driver starting ahead was going to have the nb1 role. Fair and saure, his fate was decided Saturday and he knew it…

    3. Niefer ,you are wrong:Russell is nowhere done;all the contrary.
      He is driving for Toto Wolf not Mercedes.
      And as such,as long as Toto is running Mercedes and Russell is carrying Toto’s orders.
      He will remain 1st pilot(as he is now)at Mercedes.
      There is no chance in hell ,that a pole position specialist of the caliber of Hamilton ;could have missed his qualif on Saturday by almost 6/10 of a second ;unless helped to miss it by in garage saboteurs!!!
      Mercedes never intended for Hamilton to win was for Russell their number one driver to win and he screwed it up,big time.
      read my post above.

  12. This is exactly what Lewis was referring to with his “better teammates” comments.
    Also imagine if this was Redbull, no question they would have asked whoever was ahead of Max to move over for him.
    Lewis has never been in a team where they have a clear no1 driver.

    1. Did you know today’s racewinner was a teammate of Verstappen in the Toro Rosso?

    2. Ehmm, ‘Valtteri, it’s James’?

    3. CP, There was 2008 where he was partnered with Heikki Kovaleinen. I don’t recall McLaren using team orders but neither can I recall HK ever being in a position where they could swap the cars to LH’s advantage. HK was scoring points and contributing to MErc’s score in the WCC, but not taking points off Massa, so strange as it sounds, a stronger team mate might have made it easier for LH to win the 2008 WDC.

      1. I think the only time really was Hockenheim – they were on different strategies and there was no point in Kovalainen holding Hamilton up, so not an especially contentious strategy (apart from the fact that team orders were technically illegal at the time).

    4. Lewis has never been in a team where they have a clear no1 driver.

      In his rookie year, his team-mate demanded #1 status.
      Alonso making demands of Ron Dennis…
      Ron being a gentle, reasonable, chap gave it due consideration (usually measured in microseconds) and refused.

    5. CP you are RIGHT and wrong:today at Mercedes,the number one driver is Russell.
      However not clearly.

  13. By the end of the race Russell was cold already, the edge was gone, he wasn’t going to win this and was satisfied in beating Hamilton, again.

    Pretty disappointing as he spent the whole race behind cars doing NOTHING.

    1. Hamilton did seem a bit faster in the race but Russell was fast enough to have a shot at the 2-tyre strategy and almost made the pass on Norris. Difficult one. I think Hamilton may just have nailed it, but Norris is tough to pass. Not a clear cut decision for Mercedes. Russell was deservedly ahead of Hamilton from qualifying and for not going wide in the opening laps. So getting him to move over would be a bit much.
      As for Hamilton running wide, it seemed like he was mostly trying to avoid contact. I thought he might get penalized for the Perez one, even though I think he was actually mostly wary of Perez tagging him. I think Hamilton needs to ‘tidy up’ his racing a bit, just seems a bit loose in general (like the Piastri incident too). Maybe it’s the car being less easy to control than he’s used to.

      1. Sikhumbuzo Khumalo
        17th September 2023, 16:53

        Sportsmen are like vultures. They will identify a weakness very quickly. Everyone knows that LH is judged harshly by FIA. MOST of them were there when FIA stole championship from him. So they race him differently knowing that if anything the Fia will be harsh on Lewis.

        1. It’s possible, at least I think it’s the case where Perez is concerned. The incident with Hamilton in the rain in the sprint race at Spa being example, Perez defends hyper-aggressively with Hamilton knowing the balance is on his (Red Bull’s) side I feel. You can see that Hamilton was clearly past in this race but was wary of Perez still defending and so opted to go wide. I guess that’s how the race director judged it too (Perez was complaining but I don’t know if the team did).

          1. I was surprised they didn’t penalise Hamilton, based on the way they’ve been quick to penalise drivers at previous races this season. I’m not talking about whether or not a penalty was deserved, just that they seemed to turn a blind eye to track liits etc unless it blindingly obvious, like Alonso crossing the pit lane white line. I wondered if the stewards had felt some backlash and embarrassment at yesterday’s descision to not give a gridpenalty to Verstappen and felt they needed to have a light tough today to keep themselves out of the spotlight.

      2. @david-br

        I feel Hamilton would have caught Norris quicker but overtaking is a different story. Russell is more aggressive than Hamilton in overtaking. Still, I would have preferred them to swap earlier because from the first 2 laps, I already knew Russell would not catch them as quickly as they needed. But Hamilton could have perhaps qualified better to make this easier.

        1. @krichelle I supposed Hamilton’s race setup was better? Don’t know. I thought Russell would get past Norris until Sainz’s DRS gift came into play. After that it was frustrating as it seemed just beyond GR and it felt like Hamilton had the pace, maybe, to get past.

        2. Kri, I’m not sure Hamilton would have got past either, but I think he might have made better attempts. When I’ve watched Russell, he seems fast in clean air but I get the impression he runs out of ideas pretty quickly when faced with problems ike Norris today.

      3. He did seem faster David?
        Who got 1 point for fastest lap of the race? Max verstapen again?
        But again those points are manipulated anyway!

  14. Frustrating for Lewis, who’s pace all race was him at his very best.

    However, maybe he’ll stop having these non-event qualification stints and realise that they are just as important, even if he’s a low chance of getting pole.

  15. What a terrible drive from Alonso and Aston Martin. The team is a mess. First, they can’t improve the car. Second, their second driver destroys the car in the qualification. Third, their first driver makes mistakes left and right in the race. Last, the team manages to lose any chance for points during the last pit stop. It’s a Ferrari + Alpine kind of performance. Bravo.

    I also don’t understand why they finished the race after Alonso missed the breaking point with 10-15 laps to go. Just go into the pits and end this nightmare. Save the engine, pack your things, and prepare better next time.

    It would be okay to lose one race like today if they had at least Hulk instead of Stroll from the start of the season. But in this case, I hope so much that McLaren gets them in the WCC. The team is completely delusional about their car development and driver line up (Alonso is still good; Stroll must go now). They need to wake up. Although, after latest comments from Krack, I doubt that losing to McLaren will help them.

    Russell is another disappointment. He is not 18 or 20 or 22 to lose his temper. His last stint was idiotic. He tried to go very fast immediately. Hamilton, on the other hand, saved the tyres during the first few laps. When they got to Norris, Russell didn’t have any tyre advantage.

    PS: No chance for a 1-2 for Mercedes. 2nd place at best if Hamilton passes Russell. They didn’t have another 4-5 laps to make that work. And mediums were done (almost done for Hamilton) when Mercedes were behind Norris. So, no chance.

    1. It would’ve made sense to pit hamilton only, from a team result perspective, ensuring 2nd place for russell, hamilton would’ve dropped from 4th to 5th, and if he got right behind russell, he could’ve let him by for a chance to get a win for the team (since russell would’ve had no chance to pass sainz), then if he hadn’t been able to he would’ve given the place back, hamilton already did stuff like this.

  16. Someone could’ve watched the first 2/3 of the race and change the chanel, thus missing most interesting laps of the season by far.
    Great racing by Sainz, and Norris, and good on Merc to try something risky. In the end, Russel binned it when Sainz, Norris and Hamilton kept their cool, which is a shame, but should be a learning experience.
    In the end, not a bad race for Verstappen, with luck being a factor all the same. But he clearly doesn’t know how to write off a loss, and I admire that attitude.
    Best racw of the season, with the winner hanging in the air almost to the very end. Shows that racing is exciting even when there isn’t much overtaking.

    1. Someone could’ve watched the first 2/3 of the race and change the chanel, thus missing most interesting laps of the season by far.

      If only they had some race format where they would race a third of the distance to the finish :p

  17. 170-47…

    I can’t remember a time when a driver in a top-5 points scoring car (which was 2nd fastest to start the season) who continually fails to score points and makes a lot of mistakes, was able to keep their race seat for a whole season.

    How can Lance improve if he knows he doesn’t have to try and be better? That he’s got a race seat no matter what!

    If this is so, Aston Martin are hurting him rather than helping him!

    1. I can’t remember a time when a driver in a top-5 points scoring car (which was 2nd fastest to start the season) who continually fails to score points and makes a lot of mistakes, was able to keep their race seat for a whole season.

      Unfortunately this would then also go for Carlos and Charles. I mean Monza and Singapore look great and I wish them more of it, but there were times…

      1. He’s talking about a driver getting a miserable amount of points compared to his team mate and keeping his seat, ferrari drivers haven’t been so bad.

    2. Raikkonen’s 2014 was really bad, but I doubt he did as many mistakes as stroll, and like I said in other articles, to people who said stroll is not so bad, the comparison to alonso is even worse than 2014 to raikkonen was.

  18. I fear Ricciardo is now toast..

    1. He won’t be toast because they will give him another chance but Tsunoda might be…

      1. It’s tough to accept that Lawson and Ricciardo are fighting for a seat and nobody talks about Tsunoda losing his.

        de Vries and him made that car look terrible, but now with at least one proper driver on the seat, it seems on par with that team usually does.

      2. Tsunoda might be…

        Lawson is just confirming what was obvious for a while: Tsunoda has a guaranteed seat thanks to Honda.

        All this talk about needing multiple seasons to get to grips with F1 that Red Bull’s sock puppet ‘team principal’ used to repeat ad nauseam are clearly not true.

        1. Not sure Tsunoda is fully to blame.

          Not much discussion in msm but looks like Perez collided with him at the start which made the car undriveable hence his retirement

          His car was a mess when he stopped.

    2. Perhaps Sargeant will be removed and Lawson put in the car. It doesn’t seem like Sargeant has gotten any better and is not getting anywhere near the points the need from him.

    3. I know for sure Franz is Tost.

      1. 🙄

        He’s leaving at season’s end anyway?

  19. Brilliant pole and win by sainz this guy just doesn’t get the credit he deserves IMHO.

    1. If he keeps driving like this he will, so far he didn’t get credit cause he simply was nowhere near leclerc’s speed.

  20. Everything great thing comes to an end, so it did come to an end for Max and RB.

    Great drive from Carlos. Great recovery from Max. With a bit more luck, things would have been a lot more spicier. Good drive from Hamilton but he probably should have qualified ahead for Merc to ask Russell to let him through. Russell was having a decent weekend before he binned it. In the end as Martin Brundle keeps saying, it is one thing to catch and an entirely different thing to pass and F1 today showed that for much of the race. Still think RB and its drivers potentially could have won with a better qualifying.

    Leclerc is becoming the Sainz of 2022.

    Great race and good fun overall.

    1. Everything great thing comes to an end, so it did come to an end for Max and RB.

      The race win streak (brought to you by Wikipedia) came to an end, but the RBR seems just as fast as before.

  21. Tough race for Russell but massively tough spot to be in and it was just a small mistake that ended up costing him dearly.

    I think we would have liked to have seen Hamilton take on Norris and Sainz there – he has a lot more experience to fall back on and he seemed to have great pace on the softs.

    1. No thanks, we’ve all seen what happens when Lewis tries to overtake a mcLaren

      1. It wasn’t a bad overtake – just a bit too ambitious even for Lewis.

  22. If Mercedes were like Red Bull, Lewis Hamilton would have won this race.

    He had the pace to overtake both Norris and Sainz if they let him past Russell – which I agree would have been a hard ask.

    But this is the kind of race that shows the class difference between Hamilton and Russell. Russell is like Leclerc – awesome on his day, but too prone to mistakes when under pressure.

    1. I agree, this shows the difference in strategy between merc and red bull. I personally would’ve left russell in 2nd place and pitted only hamilton, differentiating and ensuring at least a 2nd place result.

  23. I have to say, that my wish almost came true.
    I’ve been wishing for Ferrari to do things right all across the board.
    The one bit I feel they missed is that they didn’t allow Leclerc to burn the last of his tyre life by letting him pass Sainz, build a gap and then pit.

    All in all, though, very happy to see them avoid the usual silly mistakes.
    NB. Not a Ferrari fan, just wanting to see proper racing.

    1. The one bit I feel they missed is that they didn’t allow Leclerc to burn the last of his tyre life by letting him pass Sainz, build a gap and then pit.

      Ferrari decided early on that Leclerc was there as a buffer for Sainz.
      Still I think letting Leclerc go at the start would’ve been a better strategy, and a Ferrari 1-2 after the pit stop.
      I’m not sure why Leclerc struggled so much on the hard tyres (he seemed to keep the softs alive even when closely following Sainz), and I doubt such a strategy would’ve given them a 1-2 finish, although the chances could’ve been better.

  24. Still I think letting Leclerc go at the start would’ve been a better strategy, and a Ferrari 1-2 after the pit stop.

    I was thinking more of using the last life in the softs for a run out in front of a blocking Sainz and then a swift stop for Leclerc.
    If he’s in front of Sainz after the stop then they swap back at a convenient point, to allow Sainz a protected run on the last of his tyre life (but that would have been supplanted by the first SC)

    I know a large part was working to keep the whole grid close so that Merc didn’t have a gap to do a switch to those spare mediums they had, but I think they could have played it better.

    This is coming from a LH/Merc fan, remember.

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