As the dust settles on a gripping Singapore Grand Prix, drivers have only a matter of days to recover before the action resumes at Suzuka. It remains to be seen whether the end of Max Verstappen’s dominant win streak signals the start of a power shift at the top-end of the grid.
The Red Bull star, who had won 10 Grands Prix on the spin before lights out at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, could only manage fifth in Singapore after starting in P11. The result marked the end of Red Bull’s bid to win every race in the 2023 season.
Carlos Sainz became the first driver other than Verstappen or Sergio Perez to win a race this year by holding off a late challenge from George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. The Ferrari star had a little help from Lando Norris, who matched his best-ever F1 result by taking the chequered flag in second.
in 8 hours20:08 Sam Smith
AlphaTauri move a ‘sporting disapopintment’
Martin Brundle criticised AlphaTauri for not sending a representative to a hearing over a possible penalty for Max Verstappen.
The Red Bull star appeared to impede Yuki Tsunoda during qualifying.
But Verstappen escaped punishment, with AlphaTauri not sending anyone to the hearing.
Brundle wrote for Sky Sports: “Quite how Max Verstappen didn’t also get a penalty for impeding Yuki Tsunoda in qualifying when considering other penalties applied this season was a great surprise to many in the paddock, which I confidently predict includes the team and driver in question.
“That Tsunoda’s Alpha Tauri team didn’t send a representative to the hearing, albeit as the junior Red Bull team, was a sporting disappointment to me.”
in 7 hours18:48 Sam Smith
Fernando Alonso torn apart amid struggle
David Coulthard believes Fernando Alonso looked ‘every one of his 42 years’ after a tough Singapore Grand Prix for the veteran.
Alonso came 15th in the Aston Martin.
“Very off form for Fernando,” he told Channel 4. “Made that mistake coming into the pit lane, yes it is a tricky pit lane and having made some mistakes in pit lanes that can happen, but on the radio he was saying the car is undriveable and for the first time it seemed as if Fernando was throwing in the towel.
“That’s normally not at all the way he is. He’s just an absolute samurai fighter and just keeps going. Afterwards he looked like he’d really been through the wars and looked every one of his 42 years.”
in 5 hours17:30 Sam Smith
Gasly wants F1 to tighten rules
Pierre Gasly has asked the FIA to make its rules ‘black and white’ after Kevin Magnussen escaped punishment at the Singapore Grand Prix.
Gasly felt he was pushed off the track by Magnussen during the race.
He later reflected: “I just asked if he can push someone off the race track when I’m going to pass him, I’m going to give him a little nudge and do the same. I’m not going to open the topic – it’s just, make it black and white.
“I was pretty surprised [after qualifying] and again on Sunday. I don’t fully understand the regulation. I read the regulations, I know the regulations, but then it doesn’t always translate to what happens on the track.
“But to be fair, it didn’t change my race. I got the best out of it so it was fine but a couple of times it’s just unfair to me.”
in 4 hours16:40 Sam Smith
Wolff hails near-perfect Russell weekend
Toto Wolff was gutted for Mercedes stat George Russell after the Silver Arrows ace delivered a near-perfect weekend.
Russell was on course for a podium finish but for a devastating crash that ended his Singapore Grand Prix.
Mercedes chief Wolff said: “I’m sad for George because he delivered a 99.9 per-cent fantastic weekend and a split-second lack of concentration, clipped the wall and it happened.”
in 3 hours14:59 Charlie Gordon
Brundle singles out duo
F1 pundit Martin Brundle has heaped praise on youngsters Oscar Piastri and Liam Lawson after the Singapore Grand Prix.
Piastri came from way back on the grid to score points for McLaren, while Lawson went above and beyond expectations by scoring points for AlphaTauri as he continues to deputise for the injured Daniel Ricciardo.
“Well done also to Oscar Piastri who gained 10 places, and Liam Lawson scoring his first points, seventh and ninth respectively, doing a great job for themselves and their teams, and also disproving a widely held theory in F1 that you can’t take a risk on rookies, thank goodness,” Brundle wrote for Sky Sports.
in 2 hours13:52 Charlie Gordon
Wolff shares Russell regret
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes that George Russell should have settled for third place in Singapore when it became apparent that he would not catch race winner Carlos Sainz.
The Brit continued pushing even on the final lap, resulting in him hitting the wall and crashing out in agonising fashion.
“He is totally down,” Wolff told Sky Germany. “The race was suddenly over for him but when we spoke, I told him that he fought and pushed until the end.
“Towards the end, it was all about third place and not the win anymore and we just need to leave this one on the track.”
in 42 mins12:58 Charlie Gordon
Alonso expects Red Bull return
Fernando Alonso is not expecting Red Bull’s F1 slump to last long.
Max Verstappen took fifth in Singapore on Sunday with Sergio Perez down in eighth, finalising what turned out to be a troubled weekend for the Constructors’ Championship leaders.
But Alonso reckons they’ll be back to their previous dominance in Japan.
“Track-to-track its very different,” said the Aston Martin star. “Let’s see in Japan, I expect Red Bull to dominate to be honest.
“This is one off in Singapore, it was also not good for Mercedes in the past when they were dominating the championship.
“So it’s a very special race weekend and we were hoping for more in our case, but we didn’t deliver. Let’s hope for something better in Japan.”
15 mins ago12:01 Charlie Gordon
Suzuka organisers cover up Ferrari blunder
Officials at the Japanese Grand Prix were forced to rectify a comical error involving Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc in the lead-up to this weekend’s race.
Organisers only became wise to the issue after a photo went viral on social media, showing that Sainz’s banner had been placed above each side of the Ferrari garage.
After being made aware of the mistake, workers in high-vis jackets set about covering up the Sainz banner before drivers descend on Japan later this week.
1 hour ago11:04 Charlie Gordon
Horner looks on the bright side
Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes that a troubled weekend of action in Singapore could actually be a positive thing for his team.
Neither Max Verstappen nor Sergio Perez made it through to Q3 on Saturday, while both drivers failed to break into the top four on race day.
“Maybe our simulation before the weekend didn’t lead us to the right conclusion and then you have to unravel your way out of that,” said Horner.
“I think we just ended up in the wrong window that exposed some of the weaknesses that the car has, which has actually been a very useful lesson for next year because it gives some very useful insight into some things we can address in RB20.”