Sainz's risky tactic with the help of Norris paid off

Author of the article: , published September 17, 2023.

At the race in Singapore, Carlos Sainz defended his victory with smart tactics when he allowed Lando Norris to use DRS, with which the young Briton successfully defended himself against the faster Mercedes racers.

The Singapore Grand Prix came alive when the virtual safety car gave the Mercedes drivers the chance to change tires due to Esteban Ocon's stalled car.

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were faster on the new medium hard tires than the leader Sainz, who was directly behind him giving Norris the opportunity to use DRS by ensuring that the gap to the McLaren at the detection point was less than a second.

Norris was thus able to defend himself, but with three laps to go, Russell attacked him and Sainz even had to slow down to drag McLaren's rival behind him, who was inadvertently protecting his back from the onslaught of the Silver Arrows.

"You usually have such tactics in your head when the race takes place on a track like Singapore," said the Spaniard. "But imagining how such a tactic would work out and actually implementing it are completely different concepts, because you put yourself under additional pressure and risks. But I had the feeling that this was my only chance to win, which I really wanted very much. When he had to defend in the 16th corner, the gap grew to 1.3 or 1.4 seconds, so I had to slow down in the first and third corners. I hoped that the tactics would not backfire on me, and in the end it worked out."

Norris admitted after the race that he had no intention of attacking Sainz as he was concentrating on holding on to second place. "Carlos made a smart move. But there was no need to attack him, as each attack would make me more vulnerable to the attacks of the racers behind me. If I had done it differently, I probably wouldn't have been on the podium. When Carlos slowed down to catch the DRS again it helped me a lot. We drove a smart race together and got a good result."

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