Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was full of praise for Max Verstappen ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, following an event to forget to Singapore.
Just as Red Bull predicted, the Austrians struggled massively last weekend at the Singapore Grand Prix, where their 15-race winning streak finally came to an end.
The low-speed Marina Bay Circuit worked against all of the RB19’s strengths, something which shockingly resulted in both Verstappen and Perez being eliminated in Q2.
It marked the first time since the 2018 Russian Grand Prix that Red Bull didn’t have a car progress to Q3, highlighting their struggles in Singapore.
Verstappen went onto finish the race in fifth whilst Perez salvaged eighth, in what was a positive recovery by both drivers.
Given how superior Verstappen and Red Bull have been this season, it was very odd to see someone different at the time, something which the reigning World Champion took surprisingly well.
Horner praised Verstappen for his “constructive” attitude in Singapore, whilst acknowledging that he “took his frustration out” by beating some of his engineers at padel tennis.
“Max was super clear last weekend, he was constructive in the debrief, he was constructive all week,” Horner said ahead of this weekend, as reported by the Daily Mail.
“He took his frustration out on the padel tennis courts with his engineers, beating GP [Gianpiero Lambiase, Verstappen’s chief engineer], which didn’t go down well!
“But he’s been very constructive in his approach and I think he knew it was always going to come to an end at some point, it was just a question of when.
“That tenth victory meant a lot to him, and certainly to the team so I’m glad Singapore wasn’t the 10th race in that succession of races.
“He has shown great leadership, great maturity in the way that he handled it. Of course, everybody was disappointed last weekend, you get used to winning and it is a good reminder of how much it hurts to lose and if it doesn’t hurt to lose, you’re in the wrong business.
“It was a good reminder of that. We took an awful lot of lessons last weekend.”
Just as Verstappen predicted after last weekend’s night race, the Austrians have immediately bounced back in Suzuka.
The championship leader comfortably topped both free practice session on Friday at Suzuka, with nobody getting within three-tenths of the 25-year-old.