The World Championship leader announced that he would be quick again this weekend in Japan. The slip-up in Singapore is said to have happened once.
Max Verstappen and Red Bull are beatable – he has that Singapore Grand Prix shown. It was the race that Red Bull officials had long identified as the greatest threat to their winning streak. The winner Carlos Sainz came out of the house this time Ferrari. However, it is doubtful that the balance of power in Formula 1 has changed permanently. The Marina Bay Street Circuit is too unique to be able to derive a trend from it.
After 15 victories in a row across seasons and ten Grands Prix that Verstappen won in direct succession, the racing team did damage control after a completely botched qualifying on Sunday. The Dutchman drove from eleventh on the grid to fifth place, his teammate Sergio Perez climbed from starting position 13 to the eighth place. The strategy poker with the hard tires at the beginning didn’t bring Red Bull anywhere near the podium, but a lot of luck would have had to play a part. However, the race pace wasn’t that bad in the end. “Overall, the car was a little better in the race, which is probably the most important thing,” commented Verstappen.
The second victory
At the front of the field, Sainz kept an overview and took his second Formula 1 victory 14 months after his debut at Silverstone. At the finish he was happy about one Tacticsdie “rose perfectly“. Also because the Spaniard deliberately let himself fall back to become a McLaren driver Lando Norris DRS support again against the Mercedes duo George Russell and Lewis Hamilton to enable. “He showed a masterful performance,” praised team boss Frederic Vasseur.
The two longest winning streaks in Formula 1 history came to an end. “Let the trumpets sound, it’s a special Sunday,” wrote the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. The perfect season that Red Bull was aiming for is now “gone,” said the German Bild newspaper.
Trend reversal or coincidence? This question now arises. Vasseur and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff In any case, they represent the broad front of those who do not believe in a sudden end to the Red Bull era. The new technical guidelines issued by the FIA before the Singapore weekend are no reason for this. They target the flexibility of the wings and the underbody – loud Red-Bull-Teamchef Christian Horner Nothing has been changed on the current car.
It is also known that the street circuit in Singapore has its own laws, which have given outsiders wings in the past. This is explained, among other things, by the many slow corners, the narrowness of the track and the frequency of safety car phases, but also by the external conditions with heat and extremely high humidity. The tires’ optimal operating window is harder to hit than anywhere else. That would mean that the usual picture would emerge again in Japan next weekend.
“We will be quick in Suzuka,” Verstappen already emphasized. “We really need to understand this weekend, but Suzuka is of course a completely different track layout.” A year ago he won in Japan by almost half a minute and was crowned world champion for the second time. Another triumph there is not possible this time, he cannot achieve the necessary 180 points lead over Perez after the race with a maximum of 26 points to be gained. He leads the classification with a cushion of 151 points. Verstappen can only close the bag at the earliest at the race after next on October 8th in Qatar.