Singapore GP: Carlos Sainz hails Ferrari for grabbing “one chance to win”

Singapore GP race winner Carlos Sainz has praised his Ferrari team for pulling off a “perfect weekend” to become the first non-Red Bull victory of 2023.

The Spaniard got the second win of his F1 career following a brilliant performance on Sunday. Sainz had shown strong pace throughout the weekend, backing this up with a stunning pole position in qualifying.

On Sunday, the Ferrari ace then stayed calm and controlled in the face of safety cars and VSCs. Sainz was cool – despite the intense heat of Marina Bay – and managed late-race pressure from McLaren’s Lando Norris and the two Mercedes to take an inspired victory.

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This win is the sum of a string of great drives from Sainz since the summer break, and the Scuderia have enjoyed strong weekends back-to-back in Monza and Marina Bay.

Speaking post-race, Carlos Sainz was thrilled with his team’s work throughout the Singapore GP weekend.

Carlos Sainz: team should be “proud” of Singapore GP

“We have to be extremely proud of the weekend that we’ve put together,” he said. “We’ve had one opportunity this year to win the race, and we nailed it; we didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend.

“Yeah, there were a lot of moments out there where we were under a bit of pressure. But we kept it calm, kept to our plan, our strategy. We had to play with tyre degradation, pit-stop gaps, DRS, and playing with all that, and managing to keep everything under control, to bring home a win that was never easy… that definitely feels incredible.”

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The much-maligned Scuderia strategists are often the source of Ferrari fan discontent. However, in Singapore, Sainz feels that they did not put a foot wrong.

“We had one chance to win this year, and the team under pressure responded. I also responded and we managed to put together a perfect weekend in the one chance that the Red Bull situation gave us.

“This speaks well of the progress that Ferrari is doing, we are doing in terms of race execution.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Ferrari garage, misfortune may have prevented a Scuderia one-two.

Charles Leclerc laments misfortune of safety car

As Carlos Sainz took the chequered flag, Leclerc brought the sister Ferrari home in P4 at the Singapore GP. After the race, the Monegasque star detailed how the safety car did not play into his hands whatsoever.

“I changed the strategy at the last minute to have the softs to make sure I put myself in front of George at the start,” explained Leclerc. “So, at least we executed that perfectly.

“Then from that moment on I knew I had to keep a gap to Carlos in order to have the chance to stop myself and not get undercut. We did that also perfectly. Unfortunately, we had a safety car – this didn’t really help me because everybody stopped at the same time. I had traffic and I lost four/five positions there.”

Although his race did not go as planned, Leclerc was still pleased about the team’s achievement.

“One side of me is happy because we’ve managed to achieve our goal today which was to have a Ferrari on the top step of the podium. That definitely was the target this morning.”

Both drivers will hope for continued battles at the front this weekend at the legendary Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Featured image credit: X/Ferrari