Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz won the Singapore Grand Prix for Ferrari on Sunday to end Redbull and Max Verstappen’s record run of 10 straight wins. Chinese racer Zhou Guanyu finished 12th for Alfa Romeo.
McLaren’s Lando Norris and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finished second and third, edging Formula One leader Redbull off of the podium for the first time since last November’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
Starting on pole, Sainz kept the field close enough to remove any pitstop window for others, managing his tires before helping former team mate Norris stave off the chasing Mercedes by letting him stay in DRS (drag reduction system) range.
Mercedes’ George Russell, pushing hard for the win on far fresher tires than the leaders, crashed on the last lap while in third place with Hamilton inheriting the podium position and also taking fastest lap.
“We nailed the race,” said Sainz, who finished 0.812 seconds clear at the checkered flag to clinch his second career win for Ferrari and first since Silverstone Grand Prix last year.
“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 to help him and in the end we made it P1,” he added.
The Spaniard eked out his hard tires 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 at a circuit where, like Monaco, overtaking is always a challenge.
Double world champion Verstappen started 11th under the floodlights and finished fifth, with Mexican team mate and closest rival Sergio Perez, last year’s winner in Singapore, eighth.
No team has ever won every race in a season of more than 10 rounds but Red Bull had looked capable of doing so until Singapore struck.
Verstappen stretched his overall lead to 151 points but the gap is not big enough for him to secure the title in Japan next weekend.
(With input from Reuters)