Carlos Sainz takes the checkered flag at the 2023 Singapore GP

Jay Tee

After a fervent battle under the lights of the Marina Bay street circuit, Ferrari’s smooth operator wins the Singapore Grand Prix

Photos: Singapore GP Pte Ltd.


Carlos Sainz is the winner of the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix, beating out McLaren and Mercedes as well as putting an end to Red Bull’s dominant winning streak – that spanned 15 races.

Left to right: Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari team principal Frédéric Vasseur and Sir Lewis Hamilton

No doubt about it, the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix was one of the most intense, dramatic and interesting races in the 2023 season thus far. After battling it out for 62 laps, Carlos Sainz crosses the line first, ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris who takes his third podium finish, matching his 2nd place finishes during the British and Hungarian GP.

The Spanish driver, who started on pole after an impressive qualifying session, maintained his lead throughout the race and claimed P1, bagging his second career win and 25 points in the 2023 World Driver’s Championship (WDC).

Carlos Sainz leading the Singapore GP

Throughout the race, Sainz demonstrated his prowess around the street circuit (like a true “smooth operator”) and stayed in the lead of the entire race, even under the safety car deployment on lap 20 following Williams’ Logan Sergeant collision that broke the American driver’s front wing. 

On lap 58 of the race, Sainz deliberately lowered his pace to ensure that Lando Norris could stay under a second behind and get DRS, effectively keeping the battling Mercedes drivers in third and fourth.

Sir Lewis Hamilton crossed the line in P3, netting him his fifth podium finish for the 2023 season and 196th podium in his career.

On the final lap of the race, the seven-time world champion passed teammate George Russell as the latter clipped the wall on turn 10 (St Andrews road alongside the National Gallery Singapore) and went headfirst into the barriers, dashing his hopes of getting his second P3 finish of the season. 

Further down the pack, Charles Leclerc of Ferrari crossed the line in fourth 21.177 seconds after Hamilton with reigning champion Max Verstappen hot on his heels just under three-tenths of a second behind.

The other five drivers finishing in the points are Pierre Gasly of Alpine in P6, McLaren’s Oscar Piastri who climbed an impressive 10 places from P17 in qualifying to finish P7 in the race, Sergio Perez of Red Bull in P8, rookie Liam Lawson in P9 (his first points finish) and Kevin Magnussen of Haas in P10.

Further down the grid, it was disaster in the tropical heat for Alpine’s Esteban Ocon as the Frenchman encountered gearbox issues as he entered the pit lane, resulting in a DNF on lap 42. Similarly, Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas’ C43 car overheated, while AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda suffered a puncture after contact with Sergio Perez and retired on the first lap of the race. Lance Stroll, who had a massive shunt into the barriers in qualifying did not start the race.

Currently, Max Verstappen still leads the WDC with 374 points under his belt (still enough to lead the constructor’s championship) while Sergio Perez maintains his 2nd place standing with 223 points.

Following Lewis’s P3 finish, he gets bumped up to third in the driver’s championship with 180 points, overtaking Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso with 170 points. Carlos Sainz remains fifth in the WDC with 142 points – extending his lead to 19 points ahead of Charles Leclerc with 123 points.

As the race moves on to Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix, all bets are off. Will Ferrari claw their way up the pecking order to overtake Mercedes in the constructor’s championship, or will Red Bull resume dominating the season as they have for 14 of the 15 races this year? 


F1 Formula 1 formula one motorsport singapore gp singapore grand prix

About the Author

Jay Tee

A millennial with the mental age of a quadragenarian, CarBuyer's latest stringer writes and talks about anything with four wheels and a motor. Doesn't fully get TikTok, makes TikToks anyway. Moonlights for TopGear Singapore. Follow him on Instagram (and TikTok) at @jayyteejy

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