Carlos Sainz has described the moment that "saved" his Singapore Grand Prix victory, while under pressure from both Mercedes drivers in the final laps.
Mercedes elected to gamble on a tyre strategy when a late Virtual Safety Car came out for Esteban Ocon's retirement at Turn 2.
Ferrari kept both drivers out and while Charles Leclerc was easily passed by George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, the pair found it difficult when they encountered Sainz and Lando Norris with a handful of laps left.
Sainz reduced his pace to give Norris the DRS and attempt to create a 'train' effect, which makes it difficult for faster cars to overtake.
It worked but Sainz pointed out it was not without risk when speaking to media including RacingNews365: "It's always tricky. Because you always put yourself under extra pressure, no?," he said.
"Because then you know that then you cannot have a lock-up. You cannot have a single mistake or a snap because it means that Lando’s going to have a chance to overtake you if he's on DRS.
"At that point you decide to give him the DRS, hoping that that's going to be enough to keep the Mercs behind."
Viewed by others:
Sainz: I would have been dead meat
Sainz had a moment while defending from Norris in the closing stages of the race which nearly cost him the victory, as the McLaren driver had to defend from the charging Russell.
"There was one lap in particular that I think Lando defended into 16-17, and then I had to slow down a lot into T1-2-3 to give him DRS again.
"I think that move actually, saved my race. It saved also Lando’s P2 because I feel like if he was not there, I would have been also dead meat.
"If the Mercs would have passed Lando, I think they could have got passed me pretty easily."