Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has stood by his criticism of his team following their mistake at the Singapore Grand Prix last weekend.
Verstappen headed into the race at Marina Bay aiming to claim his second world championship, but he knew he would need a perfect weekend to achieve it.
He also knew he needed Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez to encounter issues, but it was the reigning champion who suffered woes in qualifying.
It was wet through the first two sessions, but the track was drying significantly, so the transition onto Slicks was going to require the drivers to be out on track for the majority of the shootout.
Verstappen, however, did not have enough fuel to complete his final run and then provide a fuel sample to the stewards, so he needed to pit early.
This saw him start eighth, leading to a series of expletives over the radio, and some criticism in the media pen.
The 25-year-old left the circuit early to calm down in his hotel, and further hardship in the race saw him lose places off the start.
Verstappen recovered to fifth, but as he tried to pass Lando Norris for P4, he locked up into Turn Seven, flat spotting his tyres as a legacy.
A pit stop saw the Red Bull star drop back outside the points, but he climbed back up to seventh, passing Sir Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel late on.
Perez won the race ahead of Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, but such has been the dominance of Verstappen this season, that he still walked away with a 104-point lead over the Monegasque in the Drivers’ Standings.
All is not quite forgotten from the events of last weekend, with Verstappen calling for a little more attention to detail from his crew.
“It’s not rocket science, I mean just pay attention to the fuel level. So there is not much to really change,” he said, per Planet F1.
“When you fuel the car for five laps you can do five laps – you’re not going to be able to do six laps. You can talk about it for hours but it’s not going to suddenly change anything.”
However, the fuel-related drama was not the only factor that contributed to a tough weekend on the 31-time race winner’s side of the garage.
“But it’s not only that, we had a very poor Friday in terms of amount of laps so also there, I think a few things went wrong because when we made changes to the car we couldn’t really test, of course, because it was wet,” explained Verstappen.
“Carried that on into the race. So just a very messy weekend and I think that was just a prime example of how you don’t want a weekend to go, so you learn from that.”
However, the Hasselt-born racer is not concerned by one bad outing, as the Austrian side have walked away from 13 races with the victory in the bag in 2022.
“There’s nothing like it suddenly needs to change in the team,” added Verstappen.
“We all know it was a bad weekend but we also have shown this year we’ve had a lot of very good weekends, so we know how to do it.”
A win with the fastest lap in Suzuka this weekend guarantees Verstappen his second consecutive drivers’ crown.