Lando Norris makes Max Verstappen prediction after blasting ‘real fans’

Despite a slip-up in Singapore slip-up, Red Bull is keen to secure Suzuka domination as Max Verstappen regains his confidence.

Red Bull Racing is determined to put its recent stumble in Singapore behind it and roar back to form as they hit the iconic Suzuka circuit in Japan. 

However, the mysteries of their Singapore dip continue to baffle engineers, leaving a lingering sense of uncertainty.

Sergio Perez, sharing insights ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix, admitted, “We don’t understand fully” what caused their struggles on the challenging Singapore streets. 

Despite this confusion, the Red Bull team’s highly efficient car should theoretically dominate the Suzuka circuit.

Lewis Hamilton, a rival from the Mercedes camp, expressed his expectations, saying, “I would think that if they’re not 30 seconds ahead, like in the past, then something’s up.”

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He dismissed the idea that Red Bull’s recent performance dip was solely due to the FIA’s clampdown on flexible bodywork.

George Russell concurred, suggesting that if this dip wasn’t an isolated incident, it would raise questions throughout the paddock.

Max Verstappen, who set the pace in Friday’s practice sessions at Suzuka, concurred with Perez’s uncertainty about the Singapore woes, saying, “The engineers have worked hard on it, but the most important thing is that it goes differently for us on that track next year. 

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“For here, I’m not worried.”

Verstappen also shared his optimism about the upcoming race, citing positive simulator data. 

“In the simulator it was good, and normally that’s a good sign, so I hope it’s the same in real life.”

Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin acknowledged the challenges of maintaining a car’s performance across various track types. 

He commented, “As Red Bull showed in Singapore, it is almost impossible to have a car that is good on all tracks and in all types of corners.”

While some in the Formula 1 community appreciated the end of Verstappen’s ten consecutive Grand Prix wins as a boost for the sport’s competitiveness, the reigning world champion himself disagreed. 

“We simply did better than the others,” he asserted, adding, “If people can’t appreciate that, they’re not real fans.”

Verstappen remained “relaxed” about the end of his winning streak, understanding that city circuits like Singapore are not Red Bull’s forte. 

He remained optimistic about the rest of the season, saying, “I still think we can win every race from now on, even if the others bring upgrades.”

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Mercedes’ Russell suggested that Lando Norris of McLaren might perform well on Suzuka’s fast corners. Verstappen concurred, applauding McLaren’s impressive progress this season. 

“Honestly, what McLaren have done this year is quite impressive. From where they started to where they are now,” he remarked.

However, Norris himself had no doubt about Verstappen’s resurgence in Japan, stating, “It’s pretty much a guarantee.”