The Singapore Grand Prix has an intricate design that allows for great racing between drivers. One of the many night races to happen this season, it is surely one you shouldn't miss. In case you did, here’s what happened.
It came as a shock to many that the two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez failed to make it to the third session of qualifying that Saturday. Lance Stroll had to miss Sunday’s race due to a crash he was involved in on Saturday’s qualifying session. Starting in pole position was Carlos Sainz, in second was George Russell and to finish the top three was Charles Leclerc. It was “lights out and away we go” and right away the first two laps were filled with action. In the second lap on turn 14, Yuki Tsunoda suffered a puncture due to a collision with Perez which ultimately ended his race that Sunday.
As the cars continued around the track everything seemed to be running smoothly up until the 20th lap. On the 20th lap, after the Williams of Logan Sargeant ended up in the barriers, a safety car was deployed. All the drivers except for Verstappen, Perez, and Bottas took advantage of the “cheap pitstop”. In F1 when there is a safety car, most teams make use of this time to do a pitstop since you generally lose less time there than the average pitstop. The pitstop allowed for most of the teams to switch to the hard tires and hopefully use that set until the end of the race. However, the pitstop did not go as smoothly for everyone seeing as Fernando Alonso was given a five-second penalty after crossing the solid white line at the pit entry.
All eyes were on the Ferrari driver as he continued to dominate the race and maintain his first place position. Meanwhile, in the middle of the pack, the two Red Bulls seemed to be struggling to keep up the pace. Verstappen showed some redemption after climbing his way up through the pack but was ultimately overtaken by Lando Norris for the third place spot. After taking over that third place spot, Norris then proceeded to overtake Russell to end up in second place.
With Sainz ahead, Norris struggled to complete an overtake due to Sainz’s excellent defensive strategy. Sainz showed off his dominance by managing his tires and holding back Norris, which ultimately held back Russell and Hamilton as well. On the 43rd lap, a virtual safety car was deployed due to Esteban Ocon hitting the barriers. Following the “cheap pitstop” strategy, Alex Albon decided to take the opportunity and come into the pits.
As the race was almost coming to an end it seemed that the podium would be clear. Carlos Sainz in first, Lando Norris in second, and George Russell in third. However luck was not in Russell’s favor, before reaching the checkered flag, Russell hit the barriers which ultimately ended his race for third place. However, this did not stop the Mercedes team from taking home points this weekend due to Hamilton taking the third place podium.
The Singapore Grand Prix was an action-filled race and also a memorable one for many, especially AlphaTauri’s Liam Lawson. In just his third race of the season, he managed to score points for the team after finishing in ninth place. The third place podium marks Hamilton’s fifth podium of the season, placing him in third place in the driver’s championship standing. Norris’s second place podium is now his third podium finish for the season and his second second-place podium thus far. Finally, Sainz’s first place podium marks his second one of the season and as a result, the prancing horses of the Ferrari have put an end to the dominant streak of the Red Bull’s raging bulls this season.