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Sainz saw victory briefly in danger: 'That surprised me quite a bit'

Sainz saw victory briefly in danger: 'That surprised me quite a bit'

17 September - 18:05 Last update: 18:42

Carlos Sainz won the Singapore Grand Prix, ending Red Bull Racing's winning streak. The Spaniard had to fight hard for it, but eventually dragged out the win. In the closing stages, Sainz was nevertheless a bit nervous because of the two lightning-fast Mercedes drivers.

Mercedes' choice made Sainz nervous

During the final virtual safety car, both Mercedes drivers were brought in for a new set of medium tyres. Ferrari decided to leave its drivers outside and George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were rapidly closing in. Charles Leclerc was quickly outsmarted by the Mercedes drivers, but then the advance ended.

After the race, Sainz commented on the exciting final phase: "At the beginning, not so nervous because I felt like I had a lot of pace in hand to push the last 12 to 15 laps. However, immediately, I felt like as soon as I started pushing, my tyre degradation started to kick in. I think Lando and I were sliding a lot. Then it surprised me quite a lot how quickly the Mercs managed to pass Charles and close the gap on Lando and me. At that point, I thought, ok, it's not going to be easy and these last five, six laps is going to be a fight."

Sainz slowed down to give Norris DRS

To ensure Sainz maintained the leading position, the Spaniard cleverly used the DRS system. "At that point, obviously, I had to change the strategy. I had to give Lando a cheeky DRS boost and that helped us to keep them behind and win the race and get the win for Ferrari, that feels great."

"There was, in particular, one lap that I think Lando defended into 16th or 17th. Then I had to slow down a lot in turn 1, 2, 3 to give him DRS again. I think that move actually saved my race, and also Lando's P2 because I feel I would have been also dead meat. If the Mercs would have passed Lando, I think they could have got past me pretty easily," Sainz concluded.

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