Ferrari's Frederic Vasseur lauds stellar performance by Carlos Sainz in Singapore
In a dramatic showdown at the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz emerged as the triumphant hero, leading the race from pole position to secure a sensational victory.
Ferrari's team principal, Frederic Vasseur, showered praise upon the Spanish driver for his remarkable performance on the demanding Marina Bay Street Circuit.
Sainz faced intense pressure in the closing stages of the race as both Mercedes drivers equipped with fresher, softer tires rapidly closed in on him. However, he displayed nerves of steel, defending his position with precision.
In a strategic move, Sainz provided second-place Lando Norris with the DRS (Drag Reduction System) assistance, effectively impeding George Russell's pursuit. Russell's last-lap collision with the barrier sealed Sainz's victory, marking the first non-Red Bull triumph of the season and his second career win, the first since the 2022 British Grand Prix.
Vasseur commended Sainz's exceptional race management, stating, "I was not focused on Red Bull; we have to do our best no matter where Red Bull is. In terms of management, Carlos did a fantastic job. From lap one, he was in complete control, and it was a superb performance."
Ferrari's Leclerc, Sainz's teammate, concluded the race in fourth place, despite initially challenging for second position. Starting on the Soft compound tires, Leclerc displayed his skill by overtaking Russell in the opening corner. However, a pit lane delay due to traffic saw him drop down the order.
Vasseur explained the team's strategy, saying, "The plan was to position Charles in P2. We had two cars on the right-hand side of the starting grid, which was an advantage. We decided to put Charles on the Softs to secure P2.
"Things were going well until the Safety Car when we had to pit. There was traffic in the pit-lane, and we lost the position, but until then, it was a promising race."
Looking ahead, the Formula 1 season continues with the highly anticipated Japanese Grand Prix, scheduled for 24 September.
This event, hosted at the iconic Suzuka Circuit since 1987, has witnessed the crowning of 13 World Champions. The circuit is revered by drivers for its challenging elements, including the famous 'S' Curves, the high-speed 130R corner, and the tricky Degner Curve, making it a favourite among Formula 1 enthusiasts and drivers alike.
The Japanese Grand Prix promises yet another thrilling chapter in the 2023 season.