Max Verstappen’s title celebrations delayed after Red Bull intervene

Max Verstappen is all but certain to win the 2023 Formula 1 world championship.

Sergio Perez’s second-place finish at the Belgian GP has led to Red Bull stalling Max Verstappen’s title celebrations for the 2023 season.

The Dutchman was expected to celebrate his third consecutive world championship at the Singapore Grand Prix.

However, his teammate Perez’s strong showing at the Spa-Francorchamps has put these plans on hold.

It is expected that the Dutchman will be allowed to uncork the champagne at the Japan Grand Prix, on September 24th, instead.

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Verstappen could have clinched the title last weekend but had a tricky start to the race that his Mexican teammate capitalised on.

The Dutchman had to start in P6 thanks to a five-place grid penalty following a gearbox change.

This was an unfamiliar starting position for the two-time world champion and he had to battle his way through the field to claim his eighth straight victory this year.

He cruised past his teammate on lap 17 and never looked back.

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However, Perez held his position in second to make it a perfect weekend for Red Bull.

Perez continued to demonstrate an uptick in his personal form, securing 18 points for himself. 

It means he now sits on 189 points, compared to Verstappen’s grand tally of 314 points.

Perez recently opened up on how his crash at the Monaco Grand Prix cracked a huge dent in his confidence.

The Mexican driver saw a strong start to the season, winning two of the first four of 2023’s races – in Australia and Saudi Arabia.

After this blistering start, many thought that Perez could challenge Verstappen for the 2023 world championship.

However, things spectacularly derailed for the Mexican driver after a fateful crash during qualifying at the Monaco GP in May.

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The 16th-placed finish in Monaco marked the first of five consecutive weekends that he failed to qualify in the top ten.

Things look brighter for Perez recently, after he secured podium finishes at the Austrian and Hungarian GP in July.

Although Verstappen’s procession to a third world championship is still a mere formality, Perez’s performance means he will not be able to celebrate in Singapore, as expected.