What the teams said – Race day in Singapore
Sainz got a good getaway on the mediums, and had his team mate for company as Leclerc used his soft tyres to get past Russell off the line. Sainz then managed his pace to ensure the pack stayed tightly bunched so no one could pull the undercut. While pitting both cars under the Safety Car, Leclerc lost out after being held in the box and dropped behind Norris and Russell. From there, Sainz continued to back up the pack until the VSC when Russell pitted for fresh mediums. That left Sainz driving flat out to the finish with Norris for company, cleverly backing up to ensure Norris had DRS with which to hold the Mercedes at bay. Leclerc ran out of tyres at the end, but managed to finish ahead of Verstappen – just.
Charles Leclerc, 4th
"I’m really happy for the team. So much work has been done in order to understand the car better in the past few weeks and today it paid off. Congratulations to Carlos who did a really good job all weekend.
"Our plan was for me to start on Softs and position myself ahead of George (Russell), which was the right choice and worked out well. Unfortunately, we lost some positions due to traffic during the pit stop under the Safety Car. Still, our race execution was good today so I’m happy. It’s great to see that we’ve made a step forward in terms of performance overall and hopefully we can confirm it next week in Japan."
Carlos Sainz, 1st
"It has been an incredible weekend right from the start. The team deserves this win for the enormous work they have done both here and in Maranello and I’m proud to dedicate it to all of them and the tifosi.
"We executed the weekend perfectly on my side and I think we managed the final thrilling part to perfection, giving Lando (Norris) DRS and controlling the pace all race long. Of course, pitting earlier meant we had to make our tyres last for a longer stint and the final laps were on the limit, but I’m extremely happy we made it work.
"Tonight we celebrate, but from tomorrow we’ll start preparing Suzuka. Let’s keep it up."
Fred Vasseur, Team Principal
"I am proud of what the team has achieved this weekend with everyone doing a really great job. We know we’ve been making progress and here in Singapore we managed to get everything out of the SF-23, thanks in part to the great work done in Maranello. We proved to be competitive in qualifying and today that was also the case in the race. Carlos produced a magisterial performance in the race, always in control of the situation, especially in the final laps when he intelligently ensured Norris had DRS to defend against Russell.
"But for traffic in the pit lane, Charles would probably have also finished on the podium. We are pleased to be the first team to have ended Red Bull’s winning streak and are happy to have picked up these points which keep us in the fight for second place in the Constructors’ championship. Now we move on to Suzuka, a very different sort of track, where we will do our utmost to continue this positive trend."
Norris got a decent start and ran fourth in the opening stages. He pitted under the Safety Car, which got him ahead of Leclerc and into the podium slots. He then inherited second when Russell pitted a second time, and drove a defensive masterclass in the last handful of laps to keep both Russell and Hamilton at bay. Piastri also had a good race, picking up places at the start, biding his time and leapfrogging a couple of drivers in the pit stops. He couldn’t hold off Verstappen but considering he started 17th, seventh without the latest upgrade package is a very decent result.
Lando Norris, 2nd
“Incredible. Carlos, Charles, Lewis, George, and I really pushed each other hard all evening. The end of the race was very stressful, but it paid off. We knew it was going to be tough as soon as Mercedes boxed, especially with only a couple of cars for them to overtake – but we held them off, did what we needed to do and we’re on the podium with P2, so I’m super-happy this evening.
“The team is amazing, and I can’t thank them enough for their hard work in giving me this car. It was good to see Oscar fighting his way through to P7, cementing the points for the team also. The car looked great in the Stealth Mode livery and it’s just a great result for the team tonight. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do in Japan.”
Oscar Piastri, 7th
“P7. Not a bad night’s work! Obviously, our pace was decent, and I feel that I took advantage of the stuff going on around me after a good first lap. All-in-all, pretty happy with that. I don’t think there was too much left on the table there. It’s great to see Lando on the podium and for the team to be rewarded for all their hard work. I’m looking forward to the upgrades next week and hopefully we can have some more fun.”
Andrea Stella, Team Principal
“Tonight, we are celebrating a very good result for the team here in Singapore. Our aim for Oscar was to get him into the points, he did an excellent job, rising from P17 to P7. Our decision to leave Lando out at the VSC paid off with P2. It worked out well, but it was marginal and could have easily gone the other way, the end of the race was very tense! We had great pit-stops today, good strategy and everyone on the race team has worked very hard all weekend in tough conditions – but I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone at the factory for getting this upgrade onto Lando’s car and making this possible. We’re heading to Suzuka now, where we look forward to another good race!”
Russell and Hamilton were side by side into Turn 1, causing Hamilton to take to the run off area. He emerged ahead but gave the place back to both Russell and Norris just to be safe. From there Russell was second but had no way of getting past Sainz, with Hamilton fourth. But with the late VSC, Mercedes rolled the dice and brought both cars in for fresh mediums – the only team to have a second set. Released into fresh air, both charged back through the field and got past Leclerc with ease. But pushing both Norris and Sainz on the final laps, Russell clipped the wall on the very last lap and ran straight on into the barriers. Hamilton managed to grab the final podium spot, with no time to challenge Norris.
Lewis Hamilton, 3rd
"We rolled the dice this weekend and went with an offset tyre strategy. I felt like the race was a two-stop today and the team did an amazing job to get us back up there. Having to give back the two positions from the first corner was a shame, but I kept my head down and kept pushing. Overall this weekend, I haven’t felt fully comfortable with the car. Today it was in a better place though. If I had had that same feeling yesterday, I think I could have been fighting for the front-row. That may have changed my race today, but I’m still pleased to get on the podium.
"It was extremely unfortunate what happened to George. We were pushing so hard to catch the guys ahead and our tyres were so hot. He’s been phenomenal all weekend and I know he will bounce back. We’re now looking forward to Japan so let’s see what we can do there."
George Russell, DNF
"I am lost for words. I think we were half a car’s length away from winning the race today. If I was able to pass Lando (Norris), I am sure I would have been able to overtake Carlos (Sainz). Unfortunately I missed that opportunity. I made a mistake by one or two centimetres on that last lap, and I clipped the wall. It’s a mistake that has overshadowed my whole weekend. Up to that point, it had been a fantastic race weekend. The car felt great, and the team had done an incredible job. Our strategy was superb, and we were bold and aggressive. It was exciting out there and it’s heart-breaking to be standing here with zero points. Nevertheless, there are positives to take away. I will likely have a bad night tonight and even tomorrow morning. But I will put this behind me and come back stronger next weekend in Japan."
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"Lewis had a brilliant race, and he did a super job to get on the podium. It was of course a shame for George at the end. It was one very small error after a strong weekend but that’s racing – he got it 99.99% right today. It was clear that it was going to be difficult to win the race if we followed everyone else’s strategy. We were aggressive and took the opportunity to put on the Medium tyre under the Virtual Safety Car. The data was robust, and we went for it. At the end, to get on the podium was great and we were very close to making it so much more than that. Overall, it feels that we are continuing to make progress with the W14. We’ve had a really quick car all weekend, so let’s see how we go in Suzuka. Bring it on."
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director
"We had fun racing today. There were some brave decisions taken by the strategy team and the car was working well. It was a good reminder for the entire team of how enjoyable it is to be fighting at the front of a race. George couldn’t have got to the garage sooner to apologise for the mistake; it’s a shame not to take those points but we’re a team and we’ll always work through the highs and lows together. What we can say is that our fight with Ferrari for second in the championship is going to get exciting now. We’ve got a bit of margin on points but ultimately, it’s going to come down to who’s got the best car over the next seven races. This weekend will give the whole team even more motivation and energy to get back to fighting at the front week in, week out. We will take a number of positives from here as we go into Japan."
Red Bull started both their drivers on the hard compound tyres. Verstappen did make initial progress through the field, but they opted not to pit under the first Safety Car. Once racing resumed, those hard tyres did not warm back up easily, seeing Verstappen and Perez overtaken by a variety of cars and dropping back through the field. Swapping to the mediums and dropping well out of the points, they then found the tables turned after the late VSC and were able to use their fresher rubber to climb back into the top 10. They managed a double points finish in the end, which seemed highly unlikely at times.
Max Verstappen, 5th
“I think we did the best we could today. We had good pace and we were just unfortunate with the timing of the safety car, if it weren’t for that, I really think that we would have been in a good place to fight up front. With the strategy today it was really important to not make any mistakes. In the end I was able to have some fun catching up on the mediums. For now, the target is to win next weekend in Japan. Everything needs to be perfect to win every race in a season, I knew this day would come and it’s absolutely fine. Everyone sees how dominant we can be and they don’t realise how difficult it really is, we need to get a lot of things right."
Sergio Perez, 8th
"It was not a great day for us, it was as tough as we expected it to be, we struggled all race and nothing really worked. The safety cars came at the wrong time and it was similar with the VSCs, it was just not our day. In the end we were on a different strategy to everyone else and that was the best we could do. I think we have plenty of things to investigate after this weekend and a lot to understand as a Team. I think the issues were circuit related and we should be stronger next weekend, let’s move on and look forward to Japan.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal
“Firstly, congratulations to Ferrari. Carlos drove a great race and managed to hold on for the win. It certainly has been an exciting race today, but for us, we were very unlucky. The safety car could not have come at a worse time and that killed any chance for us to get into contention. It was a shame, but there are also a lot of positives. Max’s pace at the end and then with Checo coming back through also made for a very strong performance. We knew that the run would come to an end at some point and we reflect on the job well done by the Team. 15 wins in a row is an incredible feat. 10 wins for Max is something that is equally remarkable. We carry a lot of momentum heading into Japan and look forward to getting out and going again."
Ocon was running well inside the points on his birthday after managing a really tasty move on his former team mate Alonso when he had to pull off the track with smoke pouring from his car. Alpine said a suspected hydraulics issue did for his race in the hot and steamy cauldron of Singapore. That left Gasly to bring home some points for the team which he duly did, although he also couldn’t hold Verstappen at bay in the closing stages. Gasly did have an entertaining race however, a multi lap duel with Magnussen’s Haas eventually going the way of the Frenchman.
Esteban Ocon, DNF
“I am gutted to end the race this way. We were performing well and showed some good pace today. The team were making all the right calls and we were able to have some fun on track with some overtakes throughout the race. Unfortunately, we had a gearbox issue, which ended my race. We need to investigate closely to understand what happened and to ensure it does not happen again. We deserved more today but we can be proud of our performance all weekend. It’s certainly not the way I wanted to end my birthday but we have a chance to bounce back next week at my favourite track of the season and we’ll continue to work together as a team to make sure we come away with a strong result in Suzuka.
Pierre Gasly, 6th
“I am very happy to finish sixth today in such a physically tough race like that. I felt confident going into the race and I just targeted having a clean one, tried to be aggressive and decisive and we did just that. There were some tough battles but we got the best from it and maximised our result. A return to the points is important for the team and the car felt good with solid pace. It’s a pity for Esteban as it could have been sixth and seventh for the team, so it’s important we look into what happened and come back stronger across the board. On my side, I hope to enter Qualifying in a much better position to put ourselves in a much better place come Sunday. I’m looking forward to Japan next week on a track I love to drive.”
Bruno Famin, Interim Team Principal
“The team leaves the Singapore Grand Prix weekend with eighth points scored, which constitutes an improvement after the last race. Starting from the middle of the grid, it was important for the team to remain calm and make the right calls. I am very happy with the performance from both drivers. Credit to Esteban and Pierre for how they managed the race in an intense tactical battle and tricky tyre management strategy and also to the team for executing the double-stack pit-stop very well. Pierre and Esteban did a good job gaining places during the race, especially Pierre from twelfth to sixth with a well-managed one-stop strategy, including some clean and decisive overtakes from both drivers. Unfortunately, a suspected issue with Esteban’s gearbox prevented both cars finishing in the points. As a team, it has been one more weekend full of learnings, of which we can take forwards for the remainder of the season. On that front, we are positive as we will fly straight to Japan next week aiming to continue to build up on the momentum from this weekend.”
Lawson dropped a couple of places at the start but opted to play the long game. The same couldn’t be said for Tsunoda, who pulled off the track on the opening lap with a puncture after some contact with Perez. Lawson stayed in the mix, pitted under the Safety Car and made his set of hard tyres last the distance to come home in the top 10, scoring points in just his third F1 race.
Liam Lawson, 9th
“I would’ve liked a few more Grands Prix to prepare for this one, but obviously, when you get the opportunity, you have to take it with both hands. Honestly, that’s what I’m trying to do, and today was fantastic. I’m happy with the race, and I definitely gave it everything because I think we maximised the car’s performance. I need to look at the start because it’s been two weekends in a row that I lost positions, so it makes our lives harder. We stayed out of trouble for the rest of the race and kept it clean. It’s hard when you’re struggling for pace, trying to maximise your tools and get everything out of it, so the race was physically demanding. At the end of the day, I’m really happy to have scored two points.”
Yuki Tsunoda, DNF
“Firstly, congratulations to Liam for scoring points, especially as his first time in F1 in Singapore, he did well. For me, I’m very frustrated because it seems we haven’t had a clean weekend in the last two races, especially after the team brought massive developments to Singapore. I had a good start but made contact on the first lap, and our side pod got damaged along with the radiator and cooling system, so we had to retire. It’s frustrating and a shame I wasn’t able to reach the chequered flag. I feel very sorry for the team because I didn’t get the opportunity to extract the performance, and there’s definitely the pace to score points, but I reset myself, and we bounce back strong for Suzuka.”
Jody Egginton, Technical Director
“As usual, Singapore was not a straightforward race, and we were down to one car after the first lap. Yuki having to retire with damage after contact through no fault of his own was disappointing as he had shown a very strong pace in the Friday long runs. The race soon settled down, and Liam ran in a train of cars behind the Haas, waiting for the pit window to open. When the Safety Car came, we, like the majority, boxed for a set of hard compound tyres. However, although we jumped Hulkenburg, we lost out to Piastri and ended up in the same train, moving into the point-scoring positions when the cars that stayed out finally pitted. From that point onwards, Liam did a fantastic job of managing his tyres, making moves where possible and returning consistent lap times. He was defending against several cars and performed some strong moves to keep in the points and bring the car home for very well-deserved first F1 points. Everyone in Faenza and Bicester has been working flat out to deliver this update, and tonight's points-scoring result is a good reward for the big efforts made by the factory, trackside and drivers. It’s been a very busy weekend, but we’re all looking forward to Japan and taking the next step in extracting performance from this update and the aero parts which will follow.”
Both Haas drivers lost out at the start to the tune of a couple of places, but from there Hulkenberg was holding the rest at bay and protecting his team mate’s position. Double stacking when the Safety Car came out cost the German, but Magnussen remained in the points. He was shown a black and white flag for unfair defending when fighting Gasly and eventually the pressure told, he ran wide letting Gasly through and dropped back through the pack with aging tyres. But pitting then proved a masterstroke as it meant the Dane had fresh tyres at the end to climb back up through the field and grab the final point on offer.
Nico Hulkenberg, 13th
“It was a long race once again here, lots invested, a lot of work but no pay-out unfortunately at the end. At the first Safety Car, I was the trailing car in the double-stop and we lost a lot of positions and ground there, which was not ideal. It was just unfortunate, not much we could’ve done about that. We managed the one-stop but at the end, I was just a falling fruit. I think we might’ve missed an opportunity pitting during the VSC, I feel there could’ve been points there as I was way ahead of Kevin, and he managed P10. A bit disappointed but we drove a good race, nothing personally we can be unhappy about today.”
Kevin Magnussen, 10th
“I thought it was completely game over once I got passed by Pierre [Gasly] and the McLaren. I had a brake problem, and I went wide at Turn 2, went off the track and came back so I thought it was game over then. When the Safety Car came, I pitted and had really good pace on the soft tyre and came up, and then got lucky when Russell hit the wall and gave me the point. It’s very satisfying for me personally, it’s the third grand prix this year for me in P10 – I’m earning those points each time. I’ve really had a season where I’ve had to battle and work hard on things. We pulled this one out of the hat, but we don’t expect the same opportunity on the upcoming tracks until we get the upgrade.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal
“After qualifying P6 and P9 yesterday, we brought a point home which, at the moment for us, is worth a lot and I think it’s the best we can do with what we’ve got. I think everybody worked hard and the point is well deserved. Obviously, we got a little bit lucky in the end when Russell hit the wall, but the guys were hanging in there to bring the cars back in the best position they could, and it worked out. Off to Japan!”
Sargeant was the one to bring out the Safety Car after he ran straight on into the barriers, breaking his front wing. He limped back to the pits shedding debris, hence the need for a Safety Car. Albon also had an eventful race, at one point running straight on at Turn 14 and also finding himself tangling with Perez who optimistically tried a move down the inside and hit the sidepod of the Williams. Plenty of action, but no points for Williams in Singapore.
Logan Sargeant, 14th
"One mistake was very costly today. I feel like the car was in a good place. I’m proud of those last two stints. I never gave up and did everything in my power to close back in and make something happen, but I could’ve used one more Safety Car. It wasn’t a bad race in terms of pace and throughout the whole weekend. I need to cut out those small mistakes as it’s such small margins. I felt good on that first stint. I could feel the tyres starting to go away and knew we were getting close to boxing, so it’s a shame I made that mistake one or two laps too early and that could’ve changed our race. We can still take the positives as we’ve been decent this weekend considering the package we had. We’ll look forward to Suzuka."
Alex Albon, 11th
"It should have been P8 today; we were running in a good position and had a great strategy. We did expect a safety car to come in around that period and we saved the new Medium set of tyres for that situation, which paid dividends in the race. We had a really good evening, we were coming up through the pack and were in P9 and getting close to Liam [Lawson]. We most likely needed a couple more laps to get past him but then I had contact with Checo [Pérez] after he went for, in my opinion, a very optimistic manoeuvre and that was me out of the points."
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance
"Today was one of our best races of the season and to lose the opportunity to score good points with just a few laps to go is very disappointing for the whole team. Alex drove exceptionally well in a very tactical race and when the opportunity arose to go on the offensive using our extra set of race tyres, he executed it perfectly on a track where overtaking is notoriously difficult. The team here in Singapore and in Grove worked brilliantly to give him the chance and he took it expertly.
"Logan was doing well and matching Alex’s performance despite running the older specification front wing. A small front lock-up towards the end of the first stint meant that he understeered; unfortunately, at this kind of track, the walls are so close and consequently, a tiny error has big consequences. With a new front wing and a new set of tyres, Logan then had a very lonely 2nd stint before the VSC gave him the chance to be more aggressive. However, the earlier damage meant that his car simply wasn’t good enough to avoid the high tyre degradation. Although we lost ground to some of our Championship rivals today, we can take heart from the fact that we fought very hard – and deserved more - with a car that wasn’t well suited to this track. We now head straight to Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix and we can carry the momentum and learning from this weekend into one of the best events of the year."
Bottas started on the hards and didn’t stop under the Safety Car. He was running in P10 but dropped like a stone back through the field as his tyres refused to warm back up, and by the time he eventually pitted he was running in last. As such, it might have been a relief when he was told to stop the car with gear shift issues. As for Zhou, he started on the softs, pitted at the end of the first lap for hards and tried to go long but had to abort that strategy thanks to the Safety Car period.
Valtteri Bottas, DNF
“We knew we had to take some gambles today, taking into consideration our starting position and the pace we expected to have. The timing of the Safety Car didn’t really work for us – it was too early – and we couldn’t stop to switch to mediums at that stage, hoping to get them to the end of the race. We weren’t making much progress and, eventually, our race came to an end with a technical issue: we had to stop the car as a precaution, and we’ll need to understand what happened. Today really wasn’t our day, but at least we learned a lot about our upgrades: we expect them to help us more in Suzuka, so we will need to optimise our package and turn all the data we have into performance. I am looking forward to Suzuka: it’s my favourite track and I can’t wait to be on track there.”
Zhou Guanyu, 12th
“We knew we had to try an aggressive strategy to make up ground, so we decided, as a team, to stop on lap two and put hard tyres, hoping to benefit from a Safety Car later in the race. The gamble almost worked, the SC did come, but unfortunately too early: its timing was perfect for those starting on mediums and it shuffled us to the back. At the final VSC, we committed not to stop for softs again, throwing the dice hoping for some other neutralization, but nothing happened and, in the end, we lost places to those on fresh tyres. We knew scoring points would be difficult, especially with two Red Bulls chasing from the back, but our pace was encouraging. We were in the fight for the top ten and I think we were in with a chance, had the circumstances been a bit different. We can be happy with some of the progress we have shown, I felt we were more competitive today. This track was always going to be hard for us, but I think we can make more steps forward in the next few races.”
Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative
“It was a difficult race at the end of a challenging weekend, and we didn’t reach our target in the end. We chose to make some extensive changes on Zhou’s car to explore more setup options, and it worked, bringing more performance for the race. Zhou’s performance was solid, he was in contention for the points but the late VSC jeopardised his race. Valtteri had a more difficult race: the decision to start on hard tyres paid dividends when the Safety came out, and he climbed to P10, but in the end we did not have enough pace to keep the position against cars on fresh tyres. His race was brought to an end by a technical issue and we’ll need to get to the bottom of it to understand what happened. We now have a few days to prepare for Suzuka: racing again is good, as we get a chance to fully focus on our performance again, on a track that should suit our car, and our new upgrades, better. There’s no frustration in the team, just determination to get back to scoring.”
Stroll didn’t start the race after his large crash yesterday, after waking up feeling a bit sore. That left Alonso to fly the flag for the team, and for much of the race he was solidly in the top 10. But things started going wrong when he locked up trying to get into the pit lane, running wide over the white line and getting a five-second time penalty. He pitted again under the VSC to serve that penalty and endured a really slow pit stop that dropped him out of the points, and then managed to run off at Turn 14 to heap more misery on a difficult weekend for the team.
Fernando Alonso, 15th
“It was an extremely tough evening: everything that could go wrong did go wrong for us. It’s better that it happened all in one hit – and let’s not forget it’s actually our first non-scoring race of the entire season. We came here with pretty high hopes, but Singapore is quite a unique event – race pace is really dictated by the temperature of the tyres – and maybe we went a little bit too hard. There are lot of things we need to investigate from this weekend – there’s plenty to take away and improve. We need to get better. Let’s just forget about this weekend and focus on the next one in Suzuka.”
Mike Krack, Team Principal
“It has been a really tough couple of days for the team in Singapore. We only raced one car today and we look forward to seeing Lance back with us in Japan. Fernando’s race came undone during the Virtual Safety Car when the rear jack did not engage properly during the pitstop. We need to analyse exactly what happened. Even without this issue, scoring points would have been difficult today. We will move on and learn from these difficult days. There is a lot of work ahead of us: we must understand where we can find more performance. There is still a long way to go this season – seven more races with plenty of opportunities and points available. A final word of recognition to the crews here in Singapore, especially the mechanics, who worked long hours in challenging conditions all week. Thank you to everyone.”
Mario Isola, Motorsport Director
"Today’s Singapore Grand Prix was a great advert for Formula 1. I think that all the spectators, those at the track and those in front of their screens, must have been holding their breath right to the very end, seeing four drivers fighting for the honour of being the first to put an end to Red Bull’s dominance this season. Really well done to all four, but also to others in this race, not just the drivers, but those on the pit wall too, because they all helped to put on a great show with on-track duels and very intense tactical battles.
On the tyre side, I think the word that best describes the day is management. For almost the entire race, we saw drivers and teams managing their pace in order to be in the best possible shape, not just to achieve the goals they had set themselves, but also to be ready to exploit any opportunity that might come along later. One example of this Is Leclerc’s decision to start on the Soft to try and immediately pass Russell in order to build a gap between the Mercedes and Sainz, out in the lead. Or with Mercedes, who had an additional set of new Medium tyres available for both drivers and made the most of the VSC to change strategy and therefore go on the attack right to the very end, challenging Sainz for the win.
From a technical point of view, the three compounds performed as expected in terms of degradation. The one-stop proved to be the quickest strategy, with the two-stop only working when the race was neutralised. The Hard and the Medium saw the most use, which was also what was expected, but the Soft, which is generally considered mainly as a qualifying compound, also showed it had a part to play in the first stint."