Carlos Sainz warned on Saturday, in Singapore, as soon as he won his second consecutive pole position after the one he had scored two weeks before, in Monza. “I am in my best moment since I arrived at Ferrari.” On Sunday, the Spaniard confirmed those feelings by taking his second victory in Formula 1, thanks to impeccable management of a historically delicate race, not only because of the overwhelming environmental suffocation, but also because it runs through a very narrow passageway embraced by walls. Sainz took advantage of the incomprehensible trigger of Red Bull and Max Verstappen (he finished fifth), penalized by his team’s decision to lower the height of his RB19, turned into a torture rack more than the red buffalo that until now roamed at his side. wide where it circulated.
With the most vulnerable energy cars of the season, Ferrari did not fail this time and planned a perfect strategy, which Sainz applied with the precision of a surgeon. The Madrid native’s victory is the second of his service record in the World Cup, after the one he already scored last year, in Great Britain, in addition to being the first of this year that Red Bull does not celebrate. Sainz was chosen to break Verstappen’s winning streak, which will finally be set at ten consecutive events, and that of the red buffalo brand, which had a chain of 15 grand prix before landing in Singapore.
Lando Norris finished second, benefiting from the appearance of the safety car (lap 20), which allowed him to overtake Charles Leclerc in the first visit to the workshop of the front group, always led by Sainz, infallible in all the maneuvers he made. Lewis Hamilton completed the podium, while Fernando Alonso finished 15th, after the stewards imposed a five-second penalty on him for crossing the track limits at the entrance to the workshop lane. Aston Martin had pointed out this stop on the calendar as the best opportunity on the Asturian’s horizon to celebrate the long-awaited ’33’. However, the Silverstone structure seems to have lost a bit of that drive that made it the surprise of the year. You had to be ready in case Red Bull’s bird arrived and the ones who took a step forward were the ‘Scuderia’ and Sainz, fully committed to the reconstruction process that his team is going through.
The Ferrari driver made a very good start and remained at the front of the pack from the first stop, at which point he dropped the anchor, or rather the handbrake, to control the pace of the pack at will, a privilege in most circuits and much more so in one as mousey as Singapore. With Saturday’s pole, the son of the two-time world rally champion (1990 and 1992) made his speed clear; The victory the next day was a control one, one of those that gives prestige because it upsets those behind. The best testimony to this was given by George Russell, in the role of the caged lion most of the time, absolutely helpless and bound. Revenge came to the Briton thanks to the breakdown in Esteban Ocon’s Alpine (lap 43 of 62), which led to the activation of the virtual safety car protocol, and which opened the window for the two Mercedes to resort to the new game of medium rubber bands that had been saved.
With less than 20 laps remaining and on fresh tires, Russell put things in place and put the turbo into a purposefully dormant test until that point. With the real threat of the Silver Arrows, Sainz got serious and suddenly lowered his time by about two seconds per lap; a pull that did not help him escape, but did serve to materialize one last masterful move that ended up leading him to glory: he used Norris as a shield, and even pulled him, offering his friend the effect of the mobile rear wing (DRS) , to keep him between him and Russell, so tormented that he ended up against the wall on the last lap. A sample of the level of excellence that Sainz has reached, converted on its own merits into the main asset of the most universal symbol that exists in the world of racing.
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