Max Verstappen says Red Bull Racing’s qualifying miscue was the catalyst for a frustrating Singapore Grand Prix for the championship leader, who finished seventh.
The Dutchman had appeared set for pole position when the team had to tell him to abort his final lap due to a lack of fuel, leaving him eighth on the grid. He took seventh place from Sebastian Vettel on the final lap of the incident-filled race, and although Verstappen has an even better chance to wrap up the title in Japan next weekend, he’s angry at how Singapore panned out.
“That is normally not the problem — I think we are still 104 (points) in the lead, but it is just a very frustrating weekend,” Verstappen said. “I can of course say it doesn’t matter, we have five races left and we have a big lead, but I want to have a good weekend every single time and we had a really terrible weekend. It started, of course, yesterday with the big f**k-up in qualifying.”
Verstappen lost positions at the start of the race after a slow start (pictured above), but had recovered to sixth when he tried to overtake Lando Norris after a safety car restart, locking up and running off-track.
“It was frustrating. Of course, at the start with the anti-stall I lost even more spots (on my grid position), so you then put yourself in an even more difficult position to have a good result. I got past a few cars, but then again I got stuck because it is impossible to pass around here.
“Once I was in a decent position I tried to go for a move on Lando but somehow I completely bottomed out as soon as I hit the brakes, so the front wheels went in the air and I must have really locked up because I had massive flat spots. So I had to pit again and put new tires on. I got back in the points, but it is of course not what we wanted and after yesterday we cannot ask for miracles.”
Verstappen left the track early on Saturday due to his anger at the way qualifying had panned out, and said he similarly doesn’t require a long debrief after the race either.
“Not today. I think we all know that it already kicked off yesterday and that’s why we put ourselves in that position. Then it can either go brilliantly today or it can go like we had today.
“I wasn’t in the mood to talk … It’s not about making a statement, it is just how I feel. It wouldn’t have been much use to talk.”