Singapore Grand Prix: Carlos Sainz on pole position as angry Max Verstappen qualifies 11th

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Carlos Sainz Claims Pole Position in Singapore Grand Prix; Max Verstappen Frustrated with 11th Place Qualification

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Carlos Sainz Secures Pole Position for Ferrari, Upsetting Max Verstappen’s Qualification at 11th in Singapore Grand Prix

In an electrifying qualifying session at the Singapore Grand Prix, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz claimed pole position, narrowly edging out George Russell in the Mercedes, while Max Verstappen faced unexpected struggles and qualified in the 11th position, putting his record-breaking win streak in jeopardy.

Verstappen’s frustration was palpable as he expressed his dissatisfaction over the team radio due to his Red Bull’s unanticipated lack of competitiveness, posing a significant challenge to his historic string of victories.

Sainz delivered a superb performance, surpassing Russell’s time by a mere 0.072 seconds, with Russell himself finishing just 0.007 seconds ahead of Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari. Lando Norris from McLaren secured the fourth spot, while Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes settled for fifth.

Verstappen has been on a record-breaking run of victories but he was unable to hide his frustration at his car’s struggles in qualifying

For Sainz, this pole marked his second consecutive front-row start after his recent pole position in Italy. He commented on Ferrari’s strength in specific conditions and tracks, emphasizing their one-lap speed. However, he acknowledged that the team still struggles with race pace, making it crucial for them to continue their efforts to understand the car and make improvements.

Kevin Magnussen from Haas impressively secured the sixth position, narrowly beating out Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin. Esteban Ocon from Alpine, Magnussen’s teammate Nico Hulkenberg, and Liam Lawson from Alpha Tauri completed the top 10.

The first qualifying session experienced an early halt due to Lance Stroll’s heavy crash in his Aston Martin at the final corner. Fortunately, Stroll emerged unharmed from the incident, which caused significant damage to his car.

Verstappen’s struggles throughout the weekend came as a surprise to many. Red Bull’s strength this season has been in tire management during races, but this advantage has translated to a challenge in qualifying, where they have trouble getting the tires into the ideal temperature range. In Singapore, Verstappen and Sergio Perez both grappled with a lack of rear grip, resulting in a subpar qualifying performance for the championship leader.

Verstappen’s fastest lap in the second session only placed him in the 10th position, leaving him vulnerable to elimination. Ultimately, it was Alpha Tauri’s rookie driver, Liam Lawson, who pushed Verstappen out of the top 10. Although Yuki Tsunoda, also from Alpha Tauri, had the potential to surpass Verstappen’s time, he aborted his lap and ended up in 15th place.

Verstappen also faced multiple stewards’ investigations during the session, including allegations of impeding Tsunoda and blocking the pit lane. He received two reprimands but did not face any grid position penalties.

Russell claimed his seventh career front-row start

Despite Verstappen’s dominance this season, he acknowledged the disappointing weekend and expressed doubts about his podium prospects in the race.

In the midst of Red Bull’s difficulties, Ferrari appeared to be the favorites for pole position. Carlos Sainz demonstrated remarkable comfort in the car throughout the weekend, even outperforming his teammate Charles Leclerc.

As Sainz secured pole position, Leclerc was still on his flying lap, and Russell was also on the charge. Russell managed to squeeze between the two Ferraris but couldn’t challenge Sainz’s time.

George Russell, in particular, was pleased with his weekend performance and expressed confidence in the car. Additionally, he highlighted an advantage of having a fresh set of medium tires for the race, which no other competitors around him possessed.

Stroll’s accident brought a premature end to Q1 and caused a lengthy delay while the track was cleared of debris and the barriers repaired

Lewis Hamilton struggled to match Russell’s pace throughout the weekend, citing balance issues during qualifying.

Kevin Magnussen’s surprising sixth-place finish ahead of Fernando Alonso marked a notable development in the midfield battle. Alonso acknowledged his satisfaction with his lap but recognized that the team was experiencing some challenges.

With pole position secured, Carlos Sainz and Ferrari have set the stage for an exciting race in Singapore, where tire management and strategy are likely to play pivotal roles.”

References

https://www.bbc.com/sport/formula1/66831787

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