Sainz takes pole as Red Bulls falter in Singapore
Red Bull’s undefeated win streak in 2023 is under serious threat in Singapore after both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez failed to make Q3 in qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix.
Both cars will start out of the top 10 and look very likely to not be in the hunt for the win, with poor pace and mishandling cars being big issues for the Austrian team this weekend so far.
Their loss however was Ferrari’s gain, as Carlos Sainz took his second consecutive pole and his first around the streets of Marina Bay. Teammate Charles Leclerc will start third, giving great hope that the Scuderia will be the first team other than Red Bull to win a race in 2023.
(Photo by SkySportsF1)
Mercedes’ George Russell will start on the front row and split the two Ferraris in a strong performance by the British driver. Teammate Lewis Hamilton will start fifth, keeping up his 100% record of always starting in the top 5 in Singapore. Fellow Brit Lando Norris will start fourth for McLaren, while Aussie teammate Oscar Piastri was a victim of a chaotic end to Q1, and will start down in 17th.
It was a strong qualifying for Haas with both Kevin Magnuessen and Nico Hulkenberg making it into Q3. Magnussen will start an impressive sixth, with Hulkenberg in ninth. Fernando Alonso will start seventh for Aston Martin, while Esteban Ocon will start in eighth for Alpine.
But perhaps the star of qualifying was Kiwi Liam Lawson, who in only his third race made it through to Q3 for AlphaTauri. In doing so, it was he who kept Verstappen out of the final part of qualifying with his last ditch effort at the end of Q2.
With the Red Bulls languishing down in 11th and 13th on the grid for the race starting tonight at 10pm AEST, all eyes will be on just whether or not somebody else can finally break their undefeated streak in 2023, or if once again the Bulls will charge through to keep their goal of a 100 per cent season alive.
1 Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
2 George Russell, Mercedes
3 Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
4 Lando Norris, McLaren
5 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
6 Kevin Magnussen, Haas
7 Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin
8 Esteban Ocon, Alpine
9 Nico Hulkenberg, Haas
10 Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri
11 Max Verstappen, Red Bull
12 Pierre Gasly, Alpine
13 Sergio Perez, Red Bull
14 Alex Albon, Williams
15 Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
16 Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo
17 Oscar Piastri, McLaren
18 Logan Sargeant, Williams
19 Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo
20 Lance Stroll, Aston Martin
This article was originally written for The Roar. You can read the published version here