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GRANT

A refreshing grand prix from an a lternat ive F1 universe

Many have suggested that, without Red Bull, we’d have a tight and exciting battle at the front in Formula 1 this year. And last weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix proved it. Just 1.3 seconds covered the top three teams and the result was still in doubt on the final lap.

Congratulations to Ferrari and, in particular, Carlos Sainz for a beautifully managed race. As Jake Boxall-Legge explains in our report on page 20, Sainz’s tactic to keep Lando Norris in DRS range so that the McLaren acted as a buffer to the charging Mercedes was crucial – and smart in a way reminiscent of Jackie Stewart or Alain Prost.

There were some murmurings that the recent technical directives have hurt Red Bull (p4), but that seems rather unlikely. Singapore has often thrown up odd problems for otherwise dominant teams (remember 2015?), and Max Verstappen’s pace in the closing stages on Sunday suggests there’s not a lot wrong with the RB19. Expect normal service to resume at Suzuka this weekend…

Norris and George Russell were two of the stars in Singapore, despite the Mercedes driver’s late error, and this week we reveal the four young British drivers who will try to follow in their footsteps by winning the 2023 Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award. Turn to p13 to hear from the chosen four, who will be put through fitness, simulator and driving tests before the winner is revealed at the Autosport Awards on 3 December. At stake is an F1 test drive, £200,000 and the chance to join a list of winners that also includes Jenson Button, David Coulthard and Anthony Davidson.

Kevin Turner Chief Editor kevin.turner@autosport.com

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PIT & PADDOCK 4 Red Bull denies clampdowns impact 6 Pourchaire in limbo as Zhou keeps seat 8 Schumacher linked to Alpine WEC drive 10 Pirelli to leave WRC after 2024 13 Young Driver finalists revealed 15 Japanese Grand Prix preview 17 Opinion: Alex Kalinauckas 18 Opinion: Jake Boxall-Legge 19 Opinion: Marcus Simmons

RACE CENTRE 20 Singapore GP report and analysis 36 World of Sport: IMSA; Australian

Supercars; GT World Challenge Europe; Super GT; Formula Regional European

FEATURE 40 Toyota’s alternative paths for the future

CLUB AUTOSPORT 53 £50,000 prize drive for Mini Challenge 54 Lotus Emira makes its UK debut 56 Circuit des Remparts historics action 59 Castle Combe Autumn Classic preview 60 National reports: Anglesey; Croft;

Donington Park; Snetterton; Brands Hatch; Silverstone

FINISHING STRAIGHT 70 What’s on this week 72 From the archive: 1975 Dutch GP 74 My favourite team-mate: Christian Danner

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21 SEPTEMBER 2023 AUTOSPORT.COM 3

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