A remarkable shift was witnessed on the Formula One tracks when the dominant force of Red Bulls appeared to falter, leading to the most electrifying battle for victory witnessed this season. The winning streak of its predominant leader, Max Verstappen, was halted at ten consecutive races, with the Red Bull team record suspending at fifteen, both revered F1 milestones. The glory of the Singapore Grand Prix was claimed by Carlos Sainz Jr., racing for Ferrari last Sunday.
Despite ambitions of conquering every race this year, Red Bull found their hopes dashed, with Verstappen ranking fifth and Perez eighth after a challenging weekend in Singapore.
Sainz initiated the race from the pole position and held his ground with remarkably worn out tires through numerous stimulating final laps. This marked his second F1 career victory with McLaren’s Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes trailing behind him. A vigorous four-car race for the lead was abruptly ended when George Russell crashed his Mercedes in the final lap from third position, pushing Hamilton up to the stand.
Sainz humbly conceded after the race that he reduced his speed to keep Norris within the one-second window, granting the McLaren driver the significant advantage of the DRS straight-line speed boost, which was crucial in deterring the two Mercedes.
Norris, who has yet to claim an F1 victory despite clinching the second position in three of the last six races, acknowledged Sainz’s efforts.
The Mercedes team gambled by taking a risk of a second stop to pave the way for an affirmed victory on fresher, faster tires. The consequence was Russell falling back to fourth, slightly ahead of Hamilton. They managed to surpass Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc but Norris remained an insurmountable obstacle.
Verstappen secured the fifth position after an exciting race that saw him start at 11th and momentarily maintaining the second position on track behind Sainz, due to other cars stopping for fresh tires. Despite his worst performance since November 2022, Verstappen extended his championship lead to 151 points over Perez with just seven races remaining.
After an eventful race, Pierre Gasly claimed sixth place for Alpine and Oscar Piastri seventh for McLaren, while Perez had to settle for eighth. Makeshift driver, Liam Lawson, achieved his first points in ninth for AlphaTauri.
Following Red Bull, Aston Martin too had a weekend to forget, with Fernando Alonso ranking 15th due to a lengthy pit stop and the consequential spin. Teammate Lance Stroll did not participate as a result of a crash in qualifying, leaving the team to lament an underwhelming weekend.