Sainz Brightens Up A Predictable 2023 F1 Campaign

Well, this became an interesting weekend for fans of Formula 1, as after Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s utter dominance so far in the 2023 season, the Singapore Grand Prix saw him finally lose his crown.

‘The king is dead, long live the king!’ is not quite the appropriate response though as Spanish Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz Jnr picks up his first Grand Prix win of the year and more solidifies himself in fifth place the F1 standings, as what could have gone wrong for Verstappen basically did. In some ways for F1 fans who enjoy real money casinos, you would not expect a run of luck like that.

However, Sainz deserves huge credit for his controlled drive to take the podium and at least shake up what has become quite a boring, and pretty predictable season of racing so far. His plan and the tactics were expertly perfect, as he took full advantage of Verstappen starting in eleventh place on the grid (the 25 year old battled to fifth place in the end). Despite the best efforts of McLaren’s Lando Norris and Mercedes’ serial winning Lewis Hamilton, he held on for the win. George Russell and Hamilton even gambled on a late pit stop for fresh tyres to now avail, but in holding off Norris’ efforts to pass, they were totally blunted – before Russell’s late error that saw him crash out.

In the round, it was a suitably fitting race that saw Verstappen’s all time ten straight victories record come to an end, as it was very much ebb and flow, with some very close racing and we even had a safety car and a virtual safety car, as a few drivers misjudged their corner lines.

“We nailed the weekend, we nailed the race and we did everything we had to do, and we did it perfect. We brought home P1 and I’m sure the whole of Italy and the whole of Ferrari are going to be proud and happy today. I felt under control, I always felt like I had the head-space and the pace in hand to do whatever I wanted to do. I’m over the moon right now.”

Ferrari pulled every trick in the book, and many had them as favourites ahead of the race given the track, but they still needed to effectively sacrifice third qualifier and team mate, Charles Leclerc, to get over the line. The 25 year old Monte Carlo born driver was the only one in the top ten of the grid to start on soft tyres, and it worked as he quickly passed Russell from the line to give Ferrari a one two in the opening laps.

His job was to then slow the chasing pack, with an instruction to give Sainz a five second lead. He did not quite do that as he stayed with a second of his team mate for ten laps or so, but he did then drop back with a three second gap. His worth truly came to the fore when the safety cars were required, and with Logan Sargeant’s collision, Sainz had a nine second gap going into the pit, and returned to the track still in the lead.

Leclerc however, personally paid for it given how his own race played out, but it was very much a case of job almost done, and from that point onwards Sainz was basically in total control and did not really look back.

Sadly though, many will feel normal service will be resumed when the Japanese Grand Prix rolls around in the next few days, but Singapore certainly showed the neutrals what this season’s Formula 1 campaign could be like if it had not have been for Red Bull’s dominance.

There will certainly be those who would have preferred that option.