2023 Singapore Grand Prix: Sunday Tyre Analysis – Carlos Sainz has won the Singapore Grand Prix. It was the Spaniard’s second career victory, coming at the end of what was a far more exciting race than recent editions at this track, with four drivers all seemingly in the hunt for victory from start to finish. Also on the podium were second placed Lando Norris for McLaren and Lewis Hamilton, third for Mercedes. This was Ferrari’s 243rd win from 1067 Grands Prix entered and its fourth at this track.
It was therefore the first time this season that a Red Bull has not won, putting an end to a 15 race winning streak for the Milton Keynes squad and a 10 win run for Max Verstappen.
Most drivers (13 of the 19) chose to start on the Medium compound, with the remaining six divided equally between the Soft and Hard. However, the Soft proved to be a tactically sound choice for Zhou in the Alfa Romeo, as the Chinese driver, starting from pit lane, pitted immediately to then try and run the entire race on the Hard. The Safety Car came out on lap 20, triggering a rush for pit lane, with all the drivers who had started on the Medium coming in to switch to the Hard, while those who had started on the latter staying out on track before making their only pit stop at around two thirds race distance. Shortly after, on lap 44, another VSC produced another opportunity to mix things up. That is what the Mercedes pair did along with the Williams, coming in for Medium tyres, while Alonso and Magnussen pitted for Softs. In the closing stages of the race the C4 proved to be very quick for both Hamilton and Russell, who rapidly closed on the leaders (Sainz and Norris) and for Verstappen and Perez who used the extra pace to come from the back to finish in the points.
Mario Isola – Director Pirelli Motorsport
“Today’s Singapore Grand Prix was a great advert for Formula 1. I think that all the spectators, those at the track and those in front of their screens, must have been holding their breath right to the very end, seeing four drivers fighting for the honour of being the first to put an end to Red Bull’s dominance this season. Really well done to all four, but also to others in this race, not just the drivers, but those on the pit wall too, because they all helped to put on a great show with on-track duels and very intense tactical battles.
On the tyre side, I think the word that best describes the day is management. For almost the entire race, we saw drivers and teams managing their pace in order to be in the best possible shape, not just to achieve the goals they had set themselves, but also to be ready to exploit any opportunity that might come along later. One example of this Is Leclerc’s decision to start on the Soft to try and immediately pass Russell in order to build a gap between the Mercedes and Sainz, out in the lead. Or with Mercedes, who had an additional set of new Medium tyres available for both drivers and made the most of the VSC to change strategy and therefore go on the attack right to the very end, challenging Sainz for the win.
From a technical point of view, the three compounds performed as expected in terms of degradation. The one-stop proved to be the quickest strategy, with the two-stop only working when the race was neutralised. The Hard and the Medium saw the most use, which was also what was expected, but the Soft, which is generally considered mainly as a qualifying compound, also showed it had a part to play in the first stint.”