Carlos Sainz claims pole position in dramatic Singapore Grand Prix qualifying, Max Verstappen struggles
Posted : 16 September 2023
Carlos Sainz secured pole position at the Singapore Grand Prix, narrowly beating George Russell's Mercedes by 0.072 seconds. Charles Leclerc's Ferrari was close behind in third, just 0.007 seconds behind Russell. Lando Norris of McLaren took fourth place, while Lewis Hamilton, driving for Mercedes, rounded out the top five.
Max Verstappen, the championship leader, faced a difficult qualifying session and could only manage 11th place. He struggled with his Red Bull car's lack of competitiveness throughout the weekend, a departure from his usual strong performance. The Red Bull car's challenge in qualifying stemmed from difficulties in getting the tires into the right temperature window.
The session had an early halt when Lance Stroll crashed his Aston Martin at the final corner, causing significant damage to his car. Fortunately, Stroll was uninjured but was unable to continue in the session.
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen impressed by finishing in sixth place, while Fernando Alonso's Aston Martin took seventh. Esteban Ocon of Alpine secured eighth place, followed by Kevin Magnussen's Haas teammate Nico Hulkenberg in ninth. Alpha Tauri's Liam Lawson rounded out the top ten.
Verstappen faced three separate steward investigations for alleged offenses during the session, including impeding other drivers and driving unnecessarily slowly. He expressed disappointment with the weekend's performance and acknowledged that winning in Singapore would be a significant challenge.
Sainz, who secured his second consecutive pole position, recognized the strengths of the Ferrari car in certain conditions but noted that race pace remained a question mark, with Mercedes often having an edge on race day.
The Singapore Grand Prix promises to be a challenging race for Verstappen and Red Bull as they aim to recover from a difficult qualifying session and maintain their lead in the championship.