Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz won the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday, 17 September 2023, to end Formula 1 leader Max Verstappen’s record run of 10 wins in a row and shatter Red Bull’s dream of going through the season unbeaten.

Carlos Sainz Celebrating in Singapore

(Photo: CNA/Jeremy Long)

McLaren’s Lando Norris finished a close second and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton took third place as Red Bull ended up off the podium for the first time since last November’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

In a strategic, slow-burning thriller of a race, Sainz – nicknamed “smooth operator” – played his hand perfectly after starting on the pole, slowing the field to close any safety car window and saving his tyres before helping former teammate Norris stave off the chasing Mercedes pair.

Mercedes’ George Russell, pushing hard for the win on far fresher medium tyres than the leaders, crashed on the last lap while in third place.

“We nailed the race,” said Sainz after his second career win for the Italian team. “We did everything we had to do. We did it perfect and we brought home a P1 that I’m sure all Italy and Ferrari is going to be proud and happy today.

“A safety car forced us to pit even earlier than we wanted and I knew it was going to be a long stint and hard … it was just quite tight at the end but we gave Lando a bit of DRS (drag reduction) to help him and in the end we made it P1.”

The Spaniard eked out his hard tyres for 42 laps, winning at the slowest possible speed, for Ferrari’s first victory since Charles Leclerc triumphed in Austria in July last year.

Red Bull had won 15 successive races until Sunday but that looked set to end from the moment they failed to qualify in the top 10.

Double world champion Verstappen started 11th and finished fifth, with teammate and closest rival Sergio Perez, last year’s winner in Singapore, eighth.

Verstappen still stretched his overall advantage to 151 points from a previous 145 with seven rounds remaining and Japan coming up next weekend.

The safety car came out on lap 20 when Logan Sargeant’s Williams hit the wall and left debris on the track, with the Ferraris pitting but the Red Bulls staying out.

Verstappen, who started on the longer-lasting hard tyres, was second with Perez fourth but they were soon overhauled and then plunged down the field when they made their stops under normal conditions.

The 2023 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix drew a more-than-expected 264,108 spectators over the race weekend.

The 2023 Formula 1 Singapore

(Photo: CNA/Jeremy Long)

Organisers had said last week they were anticipating only about 250,000 spectators due to the closure of the Bay Grandstand as part of efforts to redevelop The Float @ Marina Bay.

Last year, the event attracted a record 302,000 spectators, surpassing the 268,000 figure for the 2019 edition. The Singapore Grand Prix was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a news release on Sunday, the organisers said that in “a sign of continuing strong demand into 2024”, the Super Early Bird tickets for next year’s race have sold out, having gone on sale only 72 hours ago.

Guide to Haw Par Villa, Singapore’s Otherworldly Attraction

July 22, 2024

Haw Par Villa is one of Singapore's quirkiest attractions and a must-visit when in the country. This offbeat but informative ...

Unconventional Hotel Stays in Singapore

July 19, 2024

Singapore is known for its diverse and vibrant hospitality scene, where traditional luxury meets innovative concepts. For those seeking a ...

Beat the Heat: Fun Indoor Activities in Singapore with Friends

July 17, 2024

Singapore's scorching sun and relentless humidity can leave you yearning for a cool escape. But fear not, many exciting activities ...

Top Family-Friendly Hotels to Stay in Singapore

July 15, 2024

Singapore offers a range of experiences for the whole family. From world-class attractions to delicious cuisine, there's something for everyone. ...

Ice Cream Shops to Tantalise Your Taste Buds in Singapore

July 12, 2024

Singapore's dessert scene is ever-evolving, constantly churning out innovative and mouth-watering treats. Whether you're a die-hard chocoholic, a gelato enthusiast, ...

Exploring the Botanic Gardens Singapore: An Escape in the Heart of the City

July 10, 2024

The Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a lush testament to the island's rich biodiversity and dedication ...

A Journey with the FunVee Night Tour

July 8, 2024

Are you looking for a unique way to explore Singapore? The FunVee Night Tour is your next adventure! This experience ...

Joya Onsen Cafe: A Tranquil Retreat in the Heart of Singapore

July 5, 2024

Nestled amidst Singapore's bustling cityscape lies a hidden gem that promises an oasis of serenity and relaxation. Joya Onsen Cafe ...