Carlos Sainz says the driving tactics that he deployed during the Singapore Grand Prix “worked to perfection” as he claimed victory at the Marina Bay Circuit.
Sainz started the race from pole position and maintained the lead in the opening stages - however George Russell progressed up to second place during the pit stop phase under a Safety Car.
The Ferrari driver then drove at a purposely slower pace in order to avoid creating a bigger spread in the field, which would Russell the chance to pit later in the race.
However, an opportunity presented itself to Russell when a Virtual Safety Car was called.
As the Mercedes driver attacked for the lead later in the Grand Prix, Sainz once again backed himself up in order to give McLaren’s Lando Norris DRS which helped keep Russell at bay.
“Given our limitations with the tyre wear and degradation, it was all about managing the beginning of the stint to make sure I made it to the target lap that we wanted to do in each compound,” Sainz said.
“A Safety Car forced us to pit even earlier than we wanted and I knew it was going to be a long stint on the Hard.
“I had to keep slowing him down to [not] give him a Safety Car or a Medium tyre opportunity and it worked to perfection.
“It was just quite tight at the end, but we gave Lando a bit of DRS to help him and then, in the end, we made it to P1.”
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Sainz praises Ferrari
With the race victory, Red Bull’s consecutive win streak comes to an end as Ferrari becomes the first different team to win this year.
Sainz has hailed Ferrari’s efforts to turn around its form, having started the current season on the back foot.
“An incredible feeling, an incredible weekend,” Sainz said.
“I want to thank everyone in Ferrari for making this huge effort to turn around and manage to win this season after a tricky beginning but now we nailed the weekend.
“We nailed the race. We did everything that we had to do, we did it perfectly and we brought home a P1 that I'm sure all Italy and all of Ferrari is going to be proud and happy about.”