Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Singapore, 2023

Red Bull’s slowest Friday pace of 2023 “way worse than we expected” – Verstappen

Formula 1

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Red Bull endured a tougher start to the Singapore Grand Prix than they expected, said Max Verstappen after today’s practice sessions.

The two RB19s ended the second practice session over seven-tenths of a second off the pace, which is the furthest away they have been all season. Ferrari were quickest in both sessions.

“Ferrari is very fast,” said Verstappen at the end of Friday’s running. “I think we’re just way worse than we expected.”

Red Bull have won every race so far this year, but arrived in Singapore expecting the Marina Bay circuit would be one of the more challenging venues for their car. Verstappen said he was “struggling a lot with the balance of the car,” during the session.

“We tried quite a few things in FP2 – some worked, some didn’t. Never really got the car together. So there’s quite a few things to figure out tonight.”

The championship leader said there are “a few things that we don’t understand” about their practice pace. “So that’s what we have to look into.”

Verstappen’s team mate Sergio Perez, who won last year’s Singapore Grand Prix, said the RB19’s rear end felt particularly weak this year. “I think there are some interesting bits going on that we need to figure out overnight, hopefully,” he said. “We seem to be struggling quite a bit with the rear end of the car, especially in FP2.

“So there’s plenty of things to look at and hopefully we can come up with the best possible set-up because we know qualifying is very, very important.”

“We didn’t expect the Ferrari to be very strong around here,” he added. “We’re just too far away. Hopefully tomorrow we are able to close the gap a bit more but I do expect quite a challenge.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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6 comments on “Red Bull’s slowest Friday pace of 2023 “way worse than we expected” – Verstappen”

  1. Still early in the weekend but if it continues is this the TD effect or is it a continuation of mercedes overall poor Singapore form during their best years. Going by pace they seemed to be fine last year though

    1. You said mercedes, which makes your comment strange, cause yes, they weren’t so strong in their dominant years, but now you must be probably talking about red bull, since mercedes actually did well in this practice session.

      I’d say it’s the directive, but we definitely have to wait for quali, and even if quali is competitive, I expect red bull to be ahead in the race.

  2. 2 seconds clear of p2 in Q3.

    1. Unrealistic, even if it’s quite a long track (no longer as long now) and even in the best case scenario for them, this red bull is not so dominant in quali, it is in the race, so the gap would be A LOT smaller.

  3. If the Red Bull has a difficult weekend, and it coincides with the more stringent checking of flexible bodywork, some will inevitably conlude that the two must be related and far too much mud will be slung.

  4. Their car has been slowing down for the last few races I believe. Ferrari’s time I suppose. Sainz will be harder to pass on this track, can Ferrari keep those tires for enough laps to not get jumped in the pits.

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