Carlos Sainz ended Max Verstappen’s 10-race win streak, putting Ferrari back to the top step of the podium. The Spaniard managed to soak up the pressure and masterfully control the pace in Singapore to claim victory. These were Sainz’s comments post-race:
“Incredible feeling and incredible weekend. I want to thank every member of Scuderia Ferrari for making an incredible effort to turn the season around. We managed to win after a difficult start. We had a perfect weekend. We won this race.
“We return home with first place, and I’m sure that all of Italy and all the Ferrari fans will be proud. We had to manage our limits on tyre degradation. In the beginning, we had to reach the target lap in order to fit the tires we had in mind.
“Then the Safety Car arrived earlier than we expected, so we had to do a longer stint than expected on hard tyres. I had to try to keep George behind, and everything had to work perfectly.
“The margins were very close, but I gave Lando some DRS to help him, and in the end, we managed to finish first.
“I thought I had the pace. I won’t lie; you’re always under pressure, and you’re always close to making mistakes at a circuit like this.
“But I felt in control and managed everything well. Bringing the car to the finish line was the best feeling. I’m over the moon.”
John Elkann, Ferrari President, released a statement post-race and expressed his joy at the Scuderia’s result in Singapore.
In second place was Lando Norris. The British driver extracted every ounce of potential from his car, claiming a ninth career victory. The 23-year-old was helped by his former McLaren teammate Carlos Sainz, taking advantage of DRS from the SF-23:
“Carlos was very generous in helping me obtain the DRS. He helped my race, and I helped him, so it was tough. We knew it would be tough as soon as the Mercedes stopped, especially with a couple of cars to overtake.
“But we are on the podium, in second place; we kept them at bay. We did everything we were supposed to do and more. So we are very happy.”
Lewis Hamilton rounded out the podium. The seven-time world champion had a better feeling with the W14 as the weekend progressed, finding his groove in race trim and showing more pace than teammate George Russell.
At the end of the race, the Englishman declared that the correct strategy was – in his opinion – to make two pit stops using the team’s extra set of mediums:
“First, I want to congratulate Carlos and Lando, who did a great job, and their strategy worked. We had set up the weekend differently to make a different strategy with the tires in the race today.
“In my opinion, it was a two-stop race, but it must be said that the others did a fantastic job today. It was a shame about the mistake in the first corners, but I kept my head down and continued to push. Bad luck for George, too.
“We were pushing so hard to catch those in front of us that we overheated the tyres, and he made a mistake. Anyway, it was a good weekend. It was a tough race, but today, we just have to be happy with what we did.”
Charles Leclerc finished in fourth position after a race of sacrifice, especially in the first stint of the race, ensuring Ferrari an excellent haul of points, especially against Aston Martin (and Mercedes).
The Monegasque had to open the gap with his teammate to try to protect the Spaniard from any undercut or overcut attacks and to keep the temperatures of the tyres, Power Unit and brakes at bay:
“Today it’s normal that the temperatures went like this things, that I was sacrificed. We had already discussed it before the race. The important thing was to let Ferrari win.
“In the first stint, the situation was a little different because we had better pace than the Mercedes, so it was positive. This is why I asked if it was possible to change the strategy.
“But in the end, we did very well because Carlos managed to win, and that’s what counts. I’m certainly disappointed on my part. I would have liked to have had a better result because the pace was there.
“In the second stint, I didn’t try to do anything other than bring the car home. When Russell and Hamilton passed me, I knew that was the end of my race.”