Double F1 champion hits out at ’embarrassing’ Red Bull

Max Verstappen slipped up at his first opportunity to become a double World Champion last weekend.

Max Verstappen suffered one of his most challenging weekends of the season so far at the recent Singapore Grand Prix, after a qualifying error by his team essentially ruined his entire weekend.

Verstappen had as always, looked strong across Free Practice and was on track for a top four starting position at the Marina Bay Circuit; however, the Dutchman was forced to abort his final lap and enter the pits, which led to a lot of very non-PG shouting by the championship leader.

It was revealed after qualifying that the Austrians failed to put enough fuel into the reigning World Champion’s RB18, which meant he had to abort his final Q3 lap in order to have enough fuel to supply a necessary sample.

Had Verstappen not listened to his team and instead completed his final lap, then he would’ve been disqualified from the session and forced to start from last.

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As a result of Red Bull’s error, Verstappen started eighth but found himself in P12 by the end of the first lap.

The wet Grand Prix made starting in the midfield treacherous for the 25-year-old, who cut across Turn One to avoid a collision.

Verstappen’s race was filled with near-misses, an inability to overtake Lando Norris, and a huge lock-up, which resulted in a P7 finish for the soon-to-be two-time World Champion.

His seventh-place finish meant he failed to win the title at Singapore, but he wrapped it up at the following Japanese Grand Prix.

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1998 and 1999 F1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen wasn’t surprised to see a mistake in the “typical” wet conditions but was shocked for it to be Red Bull making the “embarrassing” error.

“This was so typical of the Grands Prix we have seen in Singapore and nearby Malaysia over the years, heavy rain affecting the race which meant it was so easy to make a mistake,” Hakkinen said in his column with Unibet.

“We started racing in this part of the world more than 20 years ago, and nothing prepares you for the amount of heavy rain. It can make racing impossible.

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“This was a weekend when Max could have won the World Championship, but the mistake by the team in qualifying on Saturday really cost him.

“It is quite unusual for a team to ask a driver to abort a qualifying lap, especially one which was actually looking pretty good, but to then discover you don’t have enough fuel to complete another lap was embarrassing.

“Red Bull has been operationally very strong all season, so this was pretty surprising.”