Sky Sports commentator, Martin Brundle, is impressed by Max Verstappen’s commitment to the cause after his frustrating qualifying in Singapore.
The Dutchman had been competing at the top of the timesheets for most of the wet qualifying session on Saturday, and because of the ever-changing conditions, the drivers were out on track for most of the evening.
This meant using a lot of fuel, and Verstappen was aiming to try and take pole on his final run in Q3.
However, he did not have enough fuel in the tank to complete the lap and provide a fuel sample to the scrutineers, so he was told to pit.
It led to a flurry of expletives on the radio, and Verstappen later called the episode “incredibly frustrating,” adding that it “shouldn’t happen.”
The 25-year-old left the racetrack early on Saturday night to calm himself down, and his frustration was a sign of his and his team’s unwavering desire to win.
“Max Verstappen should have been on pole position but staying out on track for most of the final Q3 12 minutes meant that he was forced to abandon his final pole lap two corners from home in order to have enough fuel for the mandatory scrutineering checks,” Brundle explained in his Sky Sports column.
“Cue an extremely unhappy championship leader, and he let the team know in no uncertain terms.
“Barely underneath the surface of the calm and serene 2022 Max 2.0 is still quite a temper, but actually my take on that, as he heads to an inevitable second championship, is just how much pain a lost pole position and potential victory means to him despite his and the team’s current dominance.”
Verstappen started eighth as a result of his woes, while Charles Leclerc claimed pole position, but the Monegasque lost the lead to Verstappen’s team-mate, Sergio Perez, at the start.
The Dutchman himself fell back outside the points on the opening lap, but he eventually recovered to fourth after Sir Lewis Hamilton hit the wall.
Verstappen himself locked up at the tricky braking zone in his haste to pass Lando Norris, necessitating a pit stop due to a flat spot.
Another recovery drive ensued, and Verstappen would come home for six points in seventh place.
It constituted only the second time this season that the reigning champion has finished a race outside of the podium places, the other being in Silverstone, where he also finished P7.
A win with the fastest lap this weekend in Suzuka guarantees Verstappen his second world championship.