Carlos Sainz wins Singapore GP to end Max Verstappen and Red Bull's run

Lewis Hamilton on podium as double world champion Verstappen finishes fifth

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz Jr. celebrates after winning the Singapore Grand Prix. Reuters
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Ferrari's Carlos Sainz led the Singapore Grand Prix from start to finish on Sunday to end Formula One leader Max Verstappen's record run of 10 wins in a row and crush Red Bull's dream of going through the season unbeaten.

McLaren's Lando Norris finished second and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton took third place as Red Bull ended up off the podium for the first time since last November's Brazilian GP.

Red Bull had won 15 successive races until this weekend but that looked set to end when they failed to qualify in the top 10.

Double world champion Verstappen started 11th and finished fifth, with team mate and closest rival Sergio Perez, last year's winner in Singapore, eighth.

Sainz controlled the pace of the night race from pole position to take only his second win, the first coming at the British GP at Silverstone last year.

Sainz seemed set for a comfortable win until a virtual safety car period 20 laps from the end gave the two Mercedes the chance to change to fresh medium compound tyres.

Russell and Hamilton soon passed the second Ferrari of Charles Lelerc, who finished fourth.

But when they got on the heels of the top two they could not get past as Sainz kept his former teammate Norris within DRS range so the Englishman could defend second place.

Russell was all over the back of Norris until his challenge ended in the wall at turn eight of the final lap, handing Hamilton the final podium place.

"We nailed the race," said Sainz after his second career win for the Italian team. "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.

Sainz admitted after the race he had slowed down to ensure Norris stay within the one-second window that allowed the McLaren driver access to the DRS straight-line speed boost - a valuable aid in holding off the two Mercedes.

"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 [drag reduction] to help him and in the end we made it P1."

After taking his 196th podium, Hamilton said: "We rolled the dice this weekend. I felt like it was a two-stop strategy and the team did an amazing job to get us up there.

"It was unfortunate for George but we were pushing so hard to catch these guys."

Updated: September 17, 2023, 2:44 PM