Max Verstappen’s recent accomplishments and back-to-back victories have attracted significant interest, although not all of it has been favorable, particularly from the Mercedes team. Toto Wolff’s remark regarding Verstappen’s achievements being merely noteworthy for Wikipedia appeared to have an impact on Red Bull’s performance during the Singapore GP. However, F1 commentator David Croft pointed out the inconsistency in Wolff’s statements as Lewis Hamilton outperformed the Red Bulls in the race.
During the race, Hamilton finished in third place after a thrilling second half where Mercedes closed in on the leaders with fresh medium tires. At one point, it seemed like both Mercedes cars would finish in first and second place, with Hamilton looking like the fastest driver.
Following the race, Croft humorously implied that Wolff would need to refer to Wikipedia to learn about Mercedes’ victory. This witty statement was delivered on live television, adding an extra element of excitement to the situation.
Although Mercedes made an effort, it was Carlos Sainz who emerged victorious. It appears that Wolff will have to rely on Wikipedia to learn about Sainz’s remarkable defense against his two Mercedes drivers.
So how did Hamilton and George Russell lose the race to Sainz? When the Virtual Safety Car was deployed with a third of the race remaining, Mercedes took a gamble and pitted from second and fourth positions. After making several overtakes together, Russell and Hamilton found themselves behind Lando Norris in second place and Sainz in first place with only four laps to go. What happened next was a stroke of genius from Sainz.
Sainz asked his team to keep him updated on the gap to Norris behind him. He intentionally gave Norris the DRS (Drag Reduction System) advantage so that McLaren could act as a barrier between him and the Mercedes cars. This strategy worked perfectly, as Mercedes tried everything but couldn’t overtake Norris. In the end, Russell pushed too hard and crashed into the barriers.
In Singapore, Hamilton’s impressive performance emphasized Wolff’s previous statement about Verstappen’s achievements being merely a topic for Wikipedia, introducing an intriguing element to the race.