Carlos Sainz joked that he and Lando Norris will be ‘buying each other drinks’ after the pair worked together to fend off Mercedes at the Singapore Grand Prix.
The Spaniard sealed a masterful drive on the streets of Singapore in style, securing his second-ever Grand Prix victory despite a late onslaught from Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.
The two Mercedes drivers were approaching at a rate of knots after pitting during a late virtual safety car, but by dropping back to give second-placed Norris DRS, Sainz was able to fend off their advances.
Speaking to Sky Sports F1 about the victory, Sainz said: “It was that little bit of extra stress that I probably didn’t want or need. Wins never come easy.
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“We had a bit of everything and it didn’t come easy, so we had to fight for it, be strategic and nail everything, commit to our plans and we did. The win tastes very, very well.”
The Spaniard was then asked about his and Norris’ defensive tactics, responding: “I knew more or less my pace versus Lando and how difficult it is to overtake here.
“I knew he was on a hard and if George and Lewis was going to overtake me I would be ‘dead meat’ also, so I needed him to hold on for as long as possible.
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“A couple of laps I was 1.2 or 1.3s ahead of Lando, so I slowed down a bit to give him DRS into Turn 7, which was just enough for him to hold onto them and keep my race under control. [That was] not easy because you are putting yourself under risk and you cannot do any mistakes but it was my strategy and it worked.”
Sainz didn’t forget to honour Norris’ defensive performance either, adding: “I think we should buy each other a drink.”
Norris also offered his insight to Sky Sports F1, stating: “We worked together pretty well to help one another. If I got overtaken, he would have done.
“I had to play it tactical. If I attacked Carlos, I probably wouldn’t have finished on the podium. I had to play it smart, and Carlos played it smart. He was clever with it all. So congrats to him.”
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