Verstappen lacks the "speed to attack" in Singapore

Max Verstappen has no answers for his Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team’s lack of pace in qualifying in Singapore – and is pessimistic about his chances of progressing in the race.

Verstappen lacks the "speed to attack" in Singapore

At a track where many expected Red Bull to shine, Verstappen earned fifth in Q1, fourth in Q2 and fourth in Q3, 0.6 seconds behind Ferrari's polesitter Charles Leclerc.

“Of course I’m disappointed with the result,” the Dutch driver said. “At the moment I don’t have a clear answer on why.

“Yesterday [Friday] felt alright, but not amazing. Some corners we were lacking and we couldn’t really explain why. Today [Saturday] we couldn’t make the gains like we wanted to compared to Mercedes and Ferrari.

"Clearly that hurt us in qualifying. If you ask me why, the balance was alright, but just not enough grip on some corners I guess.

“I think the last sector was pretty OK, but even when driving I felt there was more potential, but just couldn’t use it.

“I haven’t looked to the data yet where we were losing, but I can pretty much imagine where it was, and it’s been like that the whole weekend. We just didn’t have enough grip on four wheels.”

Read Also:

Verstappen downplayed his chances of progressing in Sunday’s race, in which he'll start behind Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari.

“I don’t know, to be honest starting fourth is not very promising of course to try and win the race, but let’s see what’s going to happen tomorrow," he said.

"I think we are more dependent on what happens in front of us. I don't think we really have the speed to attack. You actually saw yesterday that things didn't go that well with us during the long runs."

Albon deficit down to experience

Singapore was the first proper qualifying battle between Verstappen and his new teammate Alex Albon after the drivers took penalties in Spa and Monza.

The rookie, who admitted that he struggled on his first visit to the track, was 0.6s off Verstappen in Q3, ending up sixth, behind the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.

“It’s OK, it’s not great though, and I would want to be doing better than that,” Albon said. “The track’s not easy, it’s one of the tracks with the biggest gaps between drivers in a general sense.

“To be honest through qualifying it was a little bit of a lack of experience really, I think. The car went away from me a bit all through until the last run in Q3 and we did a couple of changes and it went a lot better.

"If I knew that before obviously I would have made that call earlier in the session in Q1 or Q2. So, kind of learning, if I did it again I would have made quite a few changes.

“It’s not easy, this track is bumpy and just the way to drive the car, it’s tricky out there. Confidence does take a while to build up, especially on this track.

"Even my [Friday] crash was a bump. It’s part of the learning experience. You can see it, the Mercedes are always bouncing around everywhere.”

Alexander Albon, Red Bull Racing RB15

Alexander Albon, Red Bull Racing RB15

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images

shares
comments
Bottas says unplanned Hamilton move hurt him in Q3

Previous article

Bottas says unplanned Hamilton move hurt him in Q3

Next article

Revealed: The changes that transformed Ferrari in Singapore

Revealed: The changes that transformed Ferrari in Singapore
Load comments
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021