Max Verstappen gave a clear rebuttal on and off-track to those who suggested Red Bull’s poor showing in the Singapore Grand Prix had been due to a rules clarification.2023 F1 season came to an end in Singapore last weekend as Ferrari won from pole position.
The race followed a technical directive issued by the FIA which clarified the rules regarding flexible bodywork. It prompted claims Red Bull had been forced to sacrifice performance to comply with the revised regulations, but the team insisted no changes were made to its car as a result of the directive.
Verstappen has been consistently the quickest driver at Suzuka this weekend and took pole position by a dominant margin of more than half a second. Afterwards he said he always expected the Japanese track would suit the RB19 much better than Marina Bay had.
“I already felt from the preparation we had that this was going to be a good track,” said Verstappen. “But you never really know how good it’s going to be.
“But from lap one it’s been really, really nice and of course you try to find little improvements here and there and I think we did that. To be on pole here is fantastic.”
Red Bull strong performance in Japan should put an end to insinuations about the Singapore technical directive, Verstappen believes.
“We had a bad weekend,” he said. “Of course then people start talking about ‘it’s all because of the technical directives’. I think they can go suck on an egg.
“From my side I was just very fired-up to to have a good weekend here and make sure that we were strong.”
Verstappen’s pole position increases Red Bull’s chances of clinching the constructors’ championship tomorrow.
“That was the aim,” said Verstappen. “Especially coming from Singapore I wanted to have a really strong weekend. Of course we know that this is the first proper opportunity to win it so we also want to do that.”
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2023 Japanese Grand Prix
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