Just when Red Bull’s star driver, Max Verstappen was heading towards setting another record of claiming victory on all the scheduled races in the Formula 1 calendar, the Singapore Grand Prix of 2023 happened which sent shock waves among the drivers as well as fans.
That very weekend turned the tide and broke the winning streak Red Bull had maintained so far. While Carlos Sainz of Ferrari nabbed the victor’s trophy, Verstappen got hold of a much humble fifth spot.
As the grid is headed further eastward, for the Japanese Grand Prix at the highly anticipated Suzuka track, the Dutchman seems to have his hopes up even after a rough weekend in Singapore.
When the media questioned him regarding his plans for the upcoming race, Verstappen confidently said, “The goal is to win with a difference of at least 20 seconds after this.” It seems like Max is having a hard time accepting such a ruthless defeat and will leave no stone unturned at Suzuka.
“Do you think you can do well in Suzuka, or can they win easily?”
Max: “The goal is to win with a difference of at least 20 seconds after this.” https://t.co/pAsxu7cgva
— Ana 🦁 (@maxvcalloway) September 17, 2023
After the Italian Grand Prix where he broke Sebastian Vettel’s long-standing record, Max was at the peak in terms of performance and was termed to be invincible. But, unfortunately, the cards were not in his favor. Though Verstappen seems confident about the reinforcement of the team’s dominance over the sport, the guaranteed third-world championship win that was inevitable until last week appears to be slipping out of his hands.
Christian Horner and Max Verstappen gearing up for Suzuka
Red Bull’s trip to the Singapore Grand Prix turned out to be an eye-opener for them as they faced some startling challenges with their dependable RB19 car.
This very car was impassable for 15 consecutive races, making it a real beast among all the remaining cars on the grid. But that notion quickly changed when Max Verstappen and teammate Sergio Perez found themselves out of Q2, that too by a rookie like Liam Lawson which was something very new to witness.
🗣️ | 🇸🇬 Christian Horner on a tough weekend for Max
“It’s been a tough weekend for him and he’s kept his head, he’s kept his composure. He raced really hard today and fought all the way to that chequered flag.”
“It’s the end of a really successful run for the team and now we… pic.twitter.com/N7d8jkE9su
— RBR News 🇳🇱🇲🇽 (@redbulletin) September 18, 2023
The Dutch driver had never previously won at the Marina Bay track and it happened this time again. But he has quickly shifted his focus to the next thing in hand which is the Japanese Grand Prix which will be held between 22 September to 24 September. According to Verstappen, “I think we will be quick in Suzuka. This track [Singapore] is so different to Suzuka that you can’t really relate.”
With their car lagging on the track from the very beginning, team principal Christian Horner believes, “We just ended up in the wrong window and it exposed some of our weaknesses that the car has. It has actually been a very useful lesson for next year because it gives us a very useful insight on certain things that hopefully we can address in RB20.” He remains optimistic about their prospects at Suzuka and expects the team to bounce back to their former glory.