Verstappen expects a “long, tough afternoon” at F1 Singapore GP after having no balance all weekend

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Championship leaders Red Bull have been uncharacteristically off the pace for this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix. The team’s pre-weekend statements showed how they were gearing up for a potentially difficult one, but nobody expected to see Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez out in Q2 during an eventful qualifying session.

Max Verstappen
Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool

After struggling on Friday, the team made a number of changes to the cars ahead of qualifying to try and curb their rear-end traction issue. However, the Dutchman claimed that these changes following a “not too bad” third practice session eventually prevented him from finishing higher than 11th.

In an interview with Sky F1, he expressed how he anticipated a tough session, but he didn’t see himself far away from the pole position saying: “Yeah, for sure. I knew that it was already going to be tough to put it on pole, but this I didn’t expect.

“A little bit worse than expected today; I just struggled a lot with the balance of the car.

“We tried quite a few things in FP2. Some worked, some didn’t but we never really got the car together, so quite a few things to figure out for tonight.

“Just a few things that we don’t understand, so that’s what we have to look into.”

Verstappen’s dominance has been the constant factor during this session, winning ten races in a row and twelve of the fourteen so far, but he dismissed any hopes of winning the Singapore Grand Prix for the first time due to his distrust in the car’s potential, adding: “No, for sure not.

“I think, anyway here is much less about actually having a good race car. It’s a bit like Monaco.

“You put it all on qualifying, and even with deg, it’s quite difficult for anyone to really pass you because the tyre wear is not that high.”

“So, it will be a long, tough afternoon. So, hopefully not too many safety cars and the race will be quite short.”