Carlos Sainz on pole as Red Bull implodes

By | September 16, 2023

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz speaks to the media at the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix. Credit: Alamy

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz speaks to the media at the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix. Credit: Alamy

Carlos Sainz achieved consecutive pole positions while Red Bull failed to even get past the Q2 stage of the Singapore Grand Prix.

Sainz expected Red Bull to come in well for qualifying after a dismal Friday, but instead their problems only intensified, Sergio Perez spinning in Q2 while Max Verstappen also failed to find the pace to get into the top 10.

Lance Stroll meanwhile emerged unscathed from a huge crash at the end of Q1.

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Logan Sargeant, with the Williams sporting its special Gulf livery here in Singapore for the first of three rounds, led the way as the field filtered onto the track to begin qualifying.

As the pre-session continued to look pessimistic about his pole position chances, Verstappen, who took to the track immediately alongside Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, suggested the concern was genuine.

Sargeant’s record of 1:35.098 was quickly and comprehensively shattered, with Norris in the uprated McLaren holding off both Red Bulls after their first flying laps. Leclerc managed to overtake Norris in P1, with just 0.04 seconds covering the top three, completed by Perez, at that early stage.

Now it was time for Mercedes to enter the conversation with Russell taking top spot with a 1:32.478, 0.045 over Leclerc, while Hamilton only managed fifth as Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll went on the radio for complaining about Sargeant’s impediment, an incident noted by the stewards.

Verstappen found time to clock a 1:32.398 for his next attempt, although his time in P1 was very brief, with Sainz then clocking a 1:32.339 to take the lead. With six minutes remaining of Q1, the top five were covered in less than 0.15 seconds.

Perhaps the only thing closest to the top five was Esteban Ocon and the wall as he put a brush to the paint, while the stewards announced that the Stroll-Sargeant obstruction case would be investigated after the session. Stewards also noted “several cars obstructing Turns 16 to 19” as a very busy night lay ahead.

Sargeant and Williams teammate Alex Albon both found themselves in the Q1 elimination zone before the final laps, with Stroll and the Alfa Romeo duo of Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas needing to improve if they wanted their evening went further.

With all 20 cars on track for one last attempt in Q1, Verstappen duly noted that there were “so many *beep* cars”, many of which improved significantly on a track that was accelerating.

But it all came to an end when Stroll lost control on the exit of the final corner and took a heavy hit into the wall, bringing out the red flags as the session ended early.

Luckily Stroll confirmed “I’m fine” after a frightening impact, with the Canadian eliminated in Q1 together with Zhou, Sargeant, Oscar Piastri and Bottas. AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda was a surprise at the top of Q1.

Stewards soon confirmed that Verstappen would also be investigated after qualifying for impediment in the pit lane, as the Red Bull driver stopped for several seconds at the pit exit with the green light. recommends

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After a half-hour delay to clean the track and complete the repair of the barriers, qualifying resumed with Q2.

And the first to put a time on the board was Verstappen, a 1:32.307, soon overtaken by Haas’ Kevin Magnussen while the Ferrari and Norris drivers then shuffled Verstappen further back in the standings.

Although on new soft tires compared to those used for the Ferraris, Alonso was still one of the first to raise eyebrows in the session when he sprinted to the top, his 1:31.835 putting him within 0.058 of Sainz.

Russell also had fun on the softs as he waited for his rivals to provide their times before firing his shot, a very effective shot setting a 1:31.743 to go P1, all while Verstappen was again involved in a potential obstacle while Tsunoda this The problem came with time, noticed by race control and soon confirmed for investigation.

Verstappen found himself on the brink of elimination before his final run, while Perez needed to improve to move up to P11. Only some sharp reactions from Sainz in the pit lane prevented him from collecting Verstappen as he exited the Ferrari garage, which would have completed a nightmare qualifying in the Singapore GP for the championship leader.

Apparently, that near miss only delayed the pain.

Perez would spin at Turn 3, confirming his exit, while Liam Lawson in the AlphaTauri, ironically, eliminated Verstappen from qualifying. A double elimination from Red Bull which was met with an outburst from Verstappen on the team radio as the buzzer machine was forced to work overtime.

Sainz meanwhile stretched his legs to take first place and by a margin of three tenths over Russell, although for a short time there was potentially trouble brewing for Leclerc in the other Ferrari as race control spotted him for not having allegedly slowed down under yellow flags, although this was soon cleared without any investigation being necessary.

Then we moved on to the fight for pole position, surprisingly without Red Bull, and after the first round Sainz was once again in the lead, the Spaniard on provisional pole and 0.251 on Leclerc while Ferrari sat on the front row as it was. era.

While Sainz found the best part of two tenths to secure pole, Russell was able to start Leclerc from the front row, covering just 0.079s of the top three as a thrilling Singapore Grand Prix awaits.

Order Q3

1 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari 1:30.984
2 George RUSSELL Mercedes +0.072
3 Charles LECLERC Ferrari +0.079
4 Lando NORRIS McLaren +0.286
5 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.501
6 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas F1 Team +0.591
7 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +0.631
8 Esteban OCON Alpino +0.689
9 Nico HULKENBERG Haas F1 Team +0.824
10 Liam LAWSON AlphaTauri +1,284

Order Q2

1 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari 1:31.439
2 George RUSSELL Mercedes +0.304
3 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +0.396
4 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas F1 Team +0.453
5 Lando NORRIS McLaren +0.512
6 Nico HULKENBERG Haas F1 Team +0.555
7 Charles LECLERC Ferrari +0.573
8 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.580
9 Esteban OCON Alpino +0.650
10 Liam LAWSON AlphaTauri +0.727
11 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing +0.734
12 Pierre GASLY Alpine +0.835
13 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing +0.871
14 Alexander ALBON Williams +2,280
15 Yuki TSUNODA AlphaTauri –

Order Q1

1 Yuki TSUNODA AlphaTauri 1:31.991
2 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing +0.108
3 Nico HULKENBERG Haas F1 Team +0.109
4 Liam LAWSON AlphaTauri +0.224
5 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas F1 Team +0.251
6 George RUSSELL Mercedes +0.340
7 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +0.348
8 Esteban OCON Alpino +0.378
9 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing +0.407
10 Charles LECLERC Ferrari +0.415
11 Pierre GASLY Alpine +0.461
12 Lando NORRIS McLaren +0.492
13 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +0.593
14 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.660
15 Alexander ALBON Williams +0.677
16 Valtteri BOTTAS Alfa Romeo +0.818
17 Oscar PLATES McLaren +0.911
18 Logan SARGEANT Williams +1,261
19 Guanyu ZHOU Alfa Romeo +1,267
20 Lancia WALK Aston Martin +1,406

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