Carlos Sainz has ended Red Bull’s winning streak with victory at the Singapore Grand Prix, holding off late pressure from Lando Norris and the Mercedes drivers.
The Spaniard crossed the line ahead of Norris, while Lewis Hamilton secured the final spot on the podium as George Russell crashed out from third on the final lap.
Charles Leclerc struggled with well worn tyres in the closing stages, but had just enough to hold off Max Verstappen for fourth, as the reigning champion’s run of 10-straight wins came to an end.
Lance Stroll was already out of the race before the drivers headed to the grid, with Aston Martin reporting that the Canadian was feeling the after effects of his high speed crash in qualifying.
Yuki Tsunoda’s race lasted less than a lap, as the AlphaTauri driver’s car ground to a halt.
The early part of the race saw lots of tyre management, as Sainz set a steady pace at the front of the field, with Leclerc being told to manage the gap behind his teammate so he didn’t overheat his tyres.
The safety car was out on lap 20 when Logan Sargeant struck the wall, smashing his front wing. The Williams driver limped back to the pitlane with his damaged front wing trapped under his car, leaving chunks of carbon fibre around the circuit.
The incident triggered a round of pitstops for the leaders, with Leclerc missing out as he had to wait for traffic before he could be released from his pitbox, dropping him behind Russell and Norris.
Fernando Alonso was among those to come in for new tyres under the safety car, but the two-time champion locked up coming into the pitlane and crossed the white line at the entry, resulting in a five-second time penalty for the Spaniard.
Red Bull kept both drivers out as they attempted to gain track position following their disappointment in qualifying, but they were unable to defend against those behind them on newer tyres, with Max Verstappen soon losing out to Russell after the restart, while Sergio Perez also slipped back.
There was a disappointing end to the race for Esteban Ocon, who’d made a couple of good overtakes to leave him sixth, but his Alpine suffered a mechanical issue, leaving him stranded on track and resulting in a virtual safety car.
The Ferraris and Norris stayed out, but Mercedes stopped both of their drivers under the VSC, giving them fresh tyres for the final 16 laps of the race.
There was more pitlane woe for Alonso as he also made a second stop during the VSC, serving his five-second penalty in the process, but the Aston Martin crew had difficulties with one of their jacks, resulting in Alonso being stationary for more than 25 seconds.
Bottas’s didn’t make the chequered flag as his Alfa Romeo lost power, while Alex Albon’s hopes of points came to an end when he tangled with Perez, dropping the Williams driver down the order.
The Mercedes duo closed up to Norris and Sainz in the final laps, with just metres separating the top four.
Russell tried to lunge past Norris, but the McLaren driver defended well, while Hamilton eyed up a move past his teammate for the final spot on the podium, with the battle allowing Sainz to edge away at the front of the pack.
Russell’s hopes of holding onto the third came to a dramatic end when he carried too much speed into the corner looking to overtake Norris, sending him crashing into the barrier.
Verstappen closed up to the back of Leclerc’s Ferrari on the final lap, but the Monegasque driver did just enough to keep him behind.
Liam Lawson crossed the line ninth, giving him the first points of his career on just his third race as he continues to fill in for the injured Daniel Ricciardo.
1 Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
2. Lando Norris (McLaren)
3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
5. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
6. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)
7. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)
8. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
9. Liam Lawson (AlphaTauri)
10. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
11. Alex Albon (Williams)
12. Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo)
13. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)
14. Logan Sargeant (Williams)
15. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)
George Russell (Mercedes)
Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)