Max Verstappen explains why he chose to be less vocal during the 2023 F1 Singapore GP after his outbursts in qualifying

Singapore F1 GP Auto Racing
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands arrives before the first practices during the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at the Marina Bay circuit in Singapore, Friday, Sept. 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Max Verstappen recently said his calmness on the radio during the 2023 Singapore GP was due to the intensity of the race. Speaking to the media, including Sportskeeda, after the race, the Red Bull driver claimed he was focused on the task at hand, strategy, and tyre management.

Unlike his radio outbursts in practice and qualifying, Max Verstappen was more relaxed and calm during the race. The Dutch champion explained that given the eventful race, there were areas such as strategy and race management that he had to remain focused on to execute a decent result.

Starting 11th on the grid, Verstappen managed to make up six places to finish fifth. The bumpy nature of the Singapore circuit, coupled with its layout, did not quite suit the RB19.

Asked about his calmness over the radio during the race, Max Verstappen explained:

“Well, there was a lot going on. I was keeping my car under control. But also you know with the strategy, you don't want to make any mistakes because half-a-second here and a second there can make quite a big difference, at the end of the race, when you are in that pack.”

Asked about how much the qualifying problems had factored into the race, he said:

“I think there was still there a bit, but to a lesser extent. Normally, also of course, our car is better in the race. I think you could see that in the race, especially on the medium at the end, we had good pace. I was managing, of course, my tires in that last stint to have good tires to the end. But I was quite happy.”

In the second free practice session, where most drivers carry out race simulations, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez did have a strong race pace. However, their setup issues since the start of the Singapore GP weekend hampered their qualifying performance severely.

With the safety car not playing in their favor, the Red Bull duo were unable to surge through the pack on a circuit which does not have much room for overtaking.

The Dutchman claimed that the final stint on the medium tyres had a promising pace, but that most of his race involved tyre management. Content with his performance, he explained that their qualifying woes did not trouble them extensively during the race.


Max Verstappen reckons he could have been more competitive if it weren’t for the safety car

With a dominant streak of 10 consecutive victories coming to an end in Singapore, Max Verstappen was unable to finish in the top three, where he would’ve wished.

The Dutchman has not finished below P2 since the start of the 2023 season. He claimed that their car did have enough pace in the race to challenge the front runners towards the end, but were hampered by the untimely safety car.

Asked to summarise the race, Max Verstappen said:

“Yeah, I mean everything went against us in the race as well with safety cars, so it was possibly also the worst-case scenario. I really think that if the safety cars would have worked out a little bit more in our favour, I would have actually been fighting with the guys. 'Cause I think specially that last stint was quite easy.”

He added:

“Of course not what we wanted, but I think today was better, a little bit better. But still we were unlucky during the race, because of the safety cars going against us. But clearly we learnt, I think, quite a bit from today and maybe what we got wrong from yesterday. I cannot go into details of it. The problem is we can only show next year when we come back if it's better or not.”

Despite their slump in performance in Singapore and the winning streak being broken, Red Bull are expected to return strong and dominate the Japanese GP.

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat