Carlos Sainz claimed a second-consecutive pole position for Ferrari after a disastrous qualifying session for Red Bull ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.

With Red Bull unable to find their usual advantage, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso all fancied their chances to capitalise and snatch pole and disrupt the pecking order.

Read More: F1 2023 Singapore GP – Qualifying Results

Lance Stroll was involved in a huge crash moments before finishing his final lap in Q1. The Canadian driver lost control on the kerbs when rounding the final corner, before hitting the outside walls head on. Stroll escaped unscathed, but the same couldn’t be said about his AMR23. Aston Martin are left with extensive repairs ahead of the race.

Stroll’s crash brought out the red flags, meaning several drivers weren’t able to improve their lap times on a track that was growing rapidly faster. Both Haas and AlphaTauri drivers vaulted into the top ten moments before the stoppage, eliminating the McLaren of Oscar Piastri in 17th. Also eliminated were Valtteri Bottas, Logan Sargeant, Guanyu Zhou. Stroll did not set a time.

Marshals with the Aston Martin F1 Team AMR23 of Lance Stroll (CDN), who crashed in qualifying.
16.09.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 16, Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Qualifying Day.
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After a lengthy stoppage for barrier repairs, Q2 but there was plenty of dirt and dust on the circuit left over from the cleanup of Stroll’s crash.

The extent of Red Bull’s struggles this weekend was exposed after the first runs in Q2. With the first runs completed, Max Verstappen sat 10th, and Sergio Perez 11th over half-a-second adrift of George Russell’s benchmark.

Verstappen’s frustrations would be furthered as he found himself repeatedly attracting the attention of the stewards. He will be investigated after the session for a number of alleged instances of impeding.

The disaster continued for Red Bull as both drivers were knocked out of Q2. Perez suffered a spin in Sector 1 and would not improve, while Max Verstappen had struggled to find grip throughout his lap. Knocked out by Liam Lawson who earned himself a first Q3 appearance, there is a strong likelihood that the situation could worsen for Verstappen after his visit to the stewards later this evening.

The Dutchman was eliminated in 11th ahead of Pierre Gasly, Perez and Alex Albon. Yuki Tsunoda did not set a time after abandoning his run.

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing knocked out in Q2 of qualifying.
16.09.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 16, Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Qualifying Day.
–, EMail: © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

With Red Bull out of the picture, attention returned to who would claim pole. After the first runs, the advantage was held by Ferrari who provisionally locked out the front row. Carlos Sainz set the benchmark at a 1:31.170, 0.25s clear of team-mate and two-time Singapore GP pole sitter Charles Leclerc.

With his final lap, Sainz reduced the benchmark by a further two-tenths. Russell and Leclerc were the only two drivers who could provide a challenge, but were both unable to better the benchmark set by the Spaniard.

Sainz will start from pole for the second consecutive race and will share the front-row with the Mercedes of George Russell who was just 0.072s off the pace.

Charles Leclerc will line up third, 0.079s adrift of his team-mate. Lando Norris was fourth fastest but almost three-tenths away from the leading trio.

Lewis Hamilton completed the top five ahead of Kevin Magnussen, Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon. Nico Hulkenberg and Liam Lawson who was unable to make any further gains in Q3.

The Singapore Grand Prix gets underway at 20:00 local time on Sunday.

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