Friday, September 29, 2023

F1: Carlos Sainz will start 1st in the Singapore GP, well ahead of Max Verstappen

SINGAPORE – Will the Singapore Grand Prix be the scene of the end of Verstappen and Red Bull’s hegemony in Formula 1? In difficulties since the beginning of the weekend, the solid championship leader Max Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Pérez will start well behind the leader Carlos Sainz, on Sunday at the Marina Bay street circuit.

The Dutchman will only start 11th, ahead of his Mexican teammate Pérez, only 13th.

“I just had a terrible time,” reacted the first double world champion, who was the subject of investigations for having hindered the drivers on the track and in the pit lane during qualifying. In the end he did not receive a penalty on the grid, but he did receive warnings for two of the three actions for which he was subjected.

It is the first time since the 2018 Russian GP that no Red Bull competes in the final qualifying session in which the lead is at stake, and that only the ten fastest from Q2 (where the Red Bulls were eliminated) can run.

Earlier this season, Verstappen started from 15th in Saudi Arabia, his worst performance in 2023, due to a problem with his car. However, he finished the race second behind Perez… A good omen for Sunday’s race?

The main interested party does not believe it: “We don’t expect much for tomorrow, we really can’t overtake on this circuit and normally we have a pace advantage, but here we won’t have it,” he lamented into the microphone of Canal+.

Sainz continues

Red Bull’s setbacks have made many happy, including Ferrari and its driver Carlos Sainz, who signed in the evening, and Horno, from Singapore, his second consecutive pole after the one achieved in Italy at the beginning of September.

Very comfortable behind the wheel of his Ferrari, he will start on Sunday ahead of the British George Russell (Mercedes) and his teammate, the Monegasque Charles Leclerc, 3rd.

The Austrian team was far behind, “this is the best chance we have had to beat them since the start of the season,” Leclerc rejoiced.

Since the beginning of the year, Red Bull has won each of the 14 rounds already contested, including 12 wins for Verstappen alone. During the last GP, he even set a new record of ten wins in a row after his success in Italy.

On Sunday, the team also has its first theoretical chance at a second consecutive constructors’ world championship title. But to achieve this, its drivers would need to finish in the first two places in the GP.

At the same time, if Mercedes, second in the championship, does not score any points (or only one if Red Bull also recovers the point for the best time), Red Bull will be declared champion for the sixth time in its history. However, this is an unlikely scenario.

Violent crash

The first part of qualifying (Q1) was marked by a violent exit from the track by Lance Stroll.

On his final flying lap to secure a place in the top 15, synonymous with passage to Q2, the Canadian crashed violently into the wall at full speed, tearing off a large part of the left front of his Aston Martin, before “failing in the race.” “. middle of the track.

The driver, who was nearly hit by Lando Norris’s McLaren that was following him, emerged from his car unharmed. On Sunday he will start 20th and last on the grid.

On a circuit shortened and modified for works, going from 23 to 19 corners with a longer straight, the New Zealander Liam Lawson, who replaces the Australian Daniel Ricciardo, still injured in a hand, once again shone at the wheel of his AlfaTauri, even allowing himself the luxury of removing Verstappen from the top 10 in Q2.

The young 21-year-old driver will start 10th, behind the Haas of German Nico Hulkenberg, 9th, and the Alpine of Frenchman Esteban Ocon, 8th.

Knowing that it is difficult to overtake in the race, the positions on the grid and the quality of the starts risk being crucial at the start of the race.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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