International Sports

Singapore Grand Prix

By: Owen Fugit

Editorial Editor

The Singapore Grand Prix on Sep. 17 was a delight for Formula 1 (F1) fans around the world, bringing excitement, drama, and a small but very strange break in routine. Over the weekend, F1 descended on the Marina Bay Street Circuit for what seemed to be a typical race weekend. Viewers expected Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to win, just as he had done in almost every other race this season. However, this race weekend would prove to be unusual. 

Red Bull Racing and Mercedes AMG Petronas, the two teams leading the constructors championship, understood that this race would be crucial. To win in Singapore, Red Bull would need a 1-2 victory and the fastest lap. Red Bull would also need Mercedes to score one point or less, which was unlikely, but possible. 

In qualifiers, tensions eased when Verstappen and teammate Sergio Perez placed outside the top ten to start the race, forcing them to work extra hard to make up lost places. Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz placed first in qualifiers and would start the race in pole position, followed by Mercedes’ George Russell and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. The race started normally, with a good fight brewing right off the line. Yuki Tsunoda of AlphaTauri collided with a Red Bull racing car, shearing off parts of Tsunoda’s back right wheel, taking Tsunoda out of the race. On lap 20, American driver Logan Sargeant hit a wall coming out of a sharp right turn and damaged the front wing of his car, causing a safety car to deploy.

The race results were devastating for Mercedes driver George Russell. The whole race, Russell stayed on the heels of the drivers in the lead, aggressively attacking and trying to find spaces to get closer to a coveted second-season podium finish, potentially even a victory. However, on the last lap of the race, when Russell was only a few feet away from McLaren’s Lando Norris, his back right tire smashed into a barrier, ruining his chance for success, and sending his car straight into a wall. When asked about the crash in an interview, Russell said, “The team did an amazing job, the car was great, the strategy was bang on, we were aggressive, we were bold and it was exciting, it was really exciting out there and it’s heartbreaking to be standing here with no points.”

After the checkered flag dropped, the final standings were: in first place, Carlos Sainz of Ferrari, followed by Lando Norris of McLaren, and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes. Verstappen and Perez finished fifth and eighth respectively, putting more pressure on the grid to step up their game for the next race at the Suzuka circuit in Japan on Sep. 23. 

(Sources: F1)

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