Carlos Sainz explains how he helped Lando Norris keep second place in Singapore victory

Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris overcame a strong challenge from both Mercedes cars to claim first and second at 2023 Singapore GP


Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz has revealed the key to victory in Sunday’s 2023 Singapore Grand Prix, and a tactic which also aided Lando Norris in keeping second place for McLaren.

After the virtual safety car (VSC) period ended, Sainz and Norris were chased by the charging Mercedes pair of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, who had stopped under the VSC for fresh tyres on Lap 43.

To stop both Mercedes‘ from going on to take an almost certain win, Sainz allowed Norris back into DRS range, forcing Russell to damage his tyres, and give the pair a gap large enough to hold onto first and second positions.

“It’s always tricky because you always put yourself under extra pressure,” said Sainz to the media when asked how he kept Norris back. “Because then you cannot have a single mistake.

“Because it means that Lando will have a chance to overtake you if he’s on DRS. So you decide to give him the DRS, hoping that that’s going to be enough to keep the Mercedes behind.

“There was one particular lap that I think Lando defended into [Turn] 16-17, and then I had to slow down a lot in Turn 1-2-3 to give him DRS again.

“I think that move actually saved my race and Lando’s, too. If the Mercs had got past Lando, I would have been also dead meat. They could have gone past me pretty pretty easily.”

Proud of his team after a difficult season

Sainz‘s impressive victory in Singapore was his first since the 2022 British GP and also helped Ferrari end Red Bull’s 100% win record in the 2023 F1 season.

Until the Italian GP, where Sainz secured a famous pole position, Ferrari had struggled to challenge Red Bull, with the team admitting they would change car concept for 2024 at the Dutch GP.

“I’m incredibly proud of the effort that the team has done to bring a better high downforce package here,” said Sainz. “I still think there’s going to be tough weekends out there.

“Where we’re not going to be fighting for podiums, and we’re going to get P5s, P6. We just need to make sure we keep getting those if that’s the maximum the car can do. 

“What I’m more proud of is that 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 Red Bull gave us. This speaks well of the progress that Ferrari is doing in terms of race execution.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
- Advertisment -


Jake Dennis of Andretti at the 2024 Misano E-Prix | Formula E

Dennis: Formula E brings something different, F1 is just a procession

Jake Dennis believes Formula E's peloton style of racing brings something different to motorsport in an era where Formula...
Pascal Wehrlein in action during the 2024 Misano E-Prix | Formula E

Wehrlein Secures Dramatic Misano E-Prix Win After Rowland Runs Out of Energy

In a stunning turn of events at the 2024 Misano E-Prix, Pascal Wehrlein seized a dramatic victory, capitalising on...
Pascal Wehrlein at the 2024 Misano E-Prix | Porsche Formula E Team

Results for Misano E-Prix 2024 Formula E Round 7

A dramatic end to Formula E Round 7 at the 2024 Misano E-Prix saw leader Oliver Rowland run out...
Oliver Rowland, Sebastien Buemi and Sam Bird battle at the Misano E-Prix | Formula E

Formula E Misano E-Prix 2024 Race 2 highlights and results: Wehrlein wins on dramatic...

Welcome to this Total Motorsport Live Blog for Round 7 of the 2024 Formula E World Championship, where history is set...
William Byron and crew chief Rudy Fugle celebrate victory in Martinsville in 2024 | NASCAR

How often are NASCAR Cup Series podium sweeps?

It almost feels too good to be true. Hendrick Motorsports winning on the 40-year anniversary of their first ever...
Lewis Hamilton faces the media at the 2024 Japanese GP | Jiri Krenek / Mercedes F1 team

Lewis Hamilton discusses the challenge of transitioning to Ferrari

Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he's not sure how to navigate the transition from Mercedes to Ferrari as it...
Antonio Felix da Costa looks on ahead of the 2024 Misano E-Prix | Formula E

Antonio Felix da Costa stripped of Misano E-Prix victory

Antonio Felix Da Costa of Porsche has been disqualified from the inaugural Misano E-Prix, resulting in his loss of...
Mitch Evans during the 2024 Misano E-Prix | Jaguar Formula E Team / LAT Images

Mitch Evans brands Max Gunther driving ‘dirty’ and ‘ridiculous’

Mitch Evans has hit out at Maximilian Gunther's driving in the first 2024 Misano E-Prix after the pair battled...
Mitch Evans leads the field in the first 2024 Misano E-Prix | Formula E

Is Formula E ‘crazy’ peloton-style racing too dangerous?

If you turned on the TV and watched the first 2024 Misano E-Prix, you would have seen Formula E...
Antonio Felix da Costa celebrates victory after the first 2024 Misano E-Prix | Formula E

Da Costa triumphs for Porsche in chaotic Misano E-Prix

Antonio Felix Da Costa triumphed in an electrifying race for Round 6 of the Misano E-Prix, marking his first...
- Advertisment -