Sainz rocketed to his second successive F1 pole as Ferrari looked set to lock out the front row, before Mercedes' George Russell proved to be an interloper after splitting the pair to shuffle Leclerc down to third.
This follows Sainz and Leclerc's thrilling battle over third place at the Italian Grand Prix, as Sainz managed to absorb the heavy pressure levied upon him by his younger team-mate to secure a first rostrum visit of the year.
Asked by Autosport if they would be allowed to battle in a similar fashion if a potential win was on the table, or if they would be content with team orders, both drivers conceded that they would be willing to follow the team's instructions to cast victory beyond doubt.
Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, in the pit lane
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
Sainz suggested that a similar battle would be unlikely anyway at the Marina Bay circuit, owing to its tighter and traction-heavy nature.
"First of all, I'm sure that the characteristics of the track is not that it allows to have the nice battles and great wheel-to-wheel racing that we had in Monza, which again was a lot of fun and a great battle," Sainz explained.
"This track is very, very different. And of course, we will be looking into tomorrow to see everything that we can do to beat the Mercedes to get the cars into 1-2.
"I'm sure that the team will prioritise the overall team result and try to get the win."Read Also:Verstappen: Set-up changes made car "undriveable" in "shocking" Singapore F1 qualifyingRussell: Mercedes in "exciting place" with Singapore F1 tyre "advantage"
Leclerc concurred with his team-mate but hinted that, if the Ferrari duo was well ahead of the rest of the field, he hoped the team would allow them to settle it between themselves.
He expects team orders to come into play if Ferrari is forced onto the defensive by another team, pointing out Mercedes as they main challenger.
"I agree [with Sainz]. I think in Monza it's the track is helping also those fights," said Leclerc.
"But I believe the philosophy will be the same if we are under pressure of Mercedes, then I'm pretty sure that the positions will be fixed.
"If we have all the other cars quite far behind, which I hope it will be the case, then let's see what the team chooses. But at the end, we'll follow whatever we have been told."2023-09-16T16:22:07Z dg43tfdfdgfd