Carlos Sainz takes Singapore pole as Red Bull suffer shock early exit

Both Red Bull drivers went out in Q2 as they struggled for grip.


Carlos Sainz will start the Singapore GP from pole position as the Spaniard carried over Ferrari’s dominant form in practice into qualifying around the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Sainz edged out the Mercedes of George Russell, with the Brit just 0.073s off pole in second, ahead of the other Ferrari of Charles Leclerc in third, while Lando Norris was unable to capitalised on the improved pace of McLaren and had to settle for fourth.

While Ferrari had looked strong all weekend, the big shock of the session was the Q2 exit of both Red Bulls, with Max Verstappen knocked down by the AlphaTauri of Liam Lawson into 11th as the Dutchman fumed about his unruly car on the radio.

Sergio Perez also missed out on the top 10 shootout, after the Mexican span at Turn 3 on his final flying lap in the dying seconds of the session and was unable to set a competitive time.

The grid position could be set to change as a number of cars – including Verstappen – are currently under investigation by the stewards for impeding, with traffic an issue throughout the session.

Lewis Hamilton had to settle for fifth after trailing Russell throughout the practice sessions, while Kevin Magnussen was revitalised in qualifying as he put his Haas in sixth, ahead of the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso.

Esteban Ocon was eighth for Alpine, ahead of the other Haas of Nico Hulkenberg, while AlphaTauri stand-in Lawson was an impressive tenth.

Horror crash

The first part of qualifying was brought to an abrupt halt after Lance Stroll crashed at the final corner in the closing seconds, with the Aston Martin bottoming out as the Canadian battled with understeer, sending him into the wall at around 150 mph.

While Stroll was able to exit the car safely after the high-speed impact, the incident brought out the red flags and meant that Oscar Piastri was unable to complete his lap at full pace as he avoided the crash, meaning he went out in 17th despite having the pace.

Both Alfa Romeo drivers, fresh off announcing contract extensions which will take them into a third season with the team in 2024, went out in Q1, with Zhou Guanyu in 19th and Valtteri Bottas in 16th, with Logan Sargeant down in 18th for Williams.

Where can I watch the 2023 Singapore GP?

For viewers in the UK, every session of the 2023 Singapore GP will be shown live on Sky Sports F1, with highlights on Channel 4.

Meanwhile, if you are in the USA, every session will be shown across ESPN

F1 fans in Australia will be able to catch all the action on Fox Sports, while those in Canada can watch on TSN.

Matt Neill
With years of experience in the motorsports field and Matt Neill founded to give clarity and more depth to the digital F1 landscape.
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