Red Bull fire ‘scary’ warning over budget concerns in Qatar

Max Verstappen is on the cusp of a third Drivers’ championship with Red Bull Racing.

Red Bull Racing Max Verstappen is inching ever closer to securing his third consecutive drivers’ championship title. 

The anticipation has been building, with Verstappen’s dominance throughout the 2023 season signalling an impending triumph. The eagerly awaited moment could come to fruition next weekend in Qatar.

Dutch Grand Prix organiser Jan Lammers voiced his realisation of the impending milestone, stating, “It actually dawns on me that Red Bull is not only the constructors’ champion now, but also the drivers’ world champion.” 

The only challenger left in contention to mathematically overtake Verstappen is none other than his teammate at Red Bull, Sergio Perez.

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Even if Mexican driver Perez manages to secure victory in the sprint race in Qatar next Saturday, Verstappen’s path to the championship remains clear. 

A mere sixth-place finish for Verstappen would suffice to clinch the coveted drivers’ title. 

Furthermore, should Verstappen fall short of this mark on Saturday, a victory by Perez in the main race the following day would only require Max to secure an eighth-place finish.

Verstappen himself expressed his determination to seize the title opportunity, stating, “I will of course try to have it decided on Saturday. 

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“I think we should be good there.”

His confidence reflects the dominant form that Red Bull Racing has displayed throughout the season, with only sporadic hiccups disrupting their campaign.

In contrast to the previous year when Verstappen sealed his second title in Japan, the prolonged nature of this year’s championship battle has made the Qatar Grand Prix a potential championship decider. 

Max acknowledged the extended journey, remarking, “It has taken longer this year because there are so many races. 

“The whole year has been very dominant, except for Singapore of course.”

With the constructors’ championship already secured by Red Bull, preparations are underway for a grand celebration in Qatar if Verstappen secures the drivers’ title as well. 

Team principal Christian Horner revealed, “If we also have the drivers’ title, we will celebrate as a team. 

“We had a few beers (in Japan) but the job isn’t done yet.”

Notably, Dr. Helmut Marko, the team advisor, was absent from the small celebration in Japan, having left Suzuka immediately after the race. 

He explained, “We had a pretty tight schedule. 

“The engineers and mechanics had to be in Tokyo at ten o’clock, so they had to get out of Suzuka by five. 

“We still have some work to do before we go to Doha (Qatar) anyway.”

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Marko, however, hinted at the prospect of a substantial team celebration in Qatar, acknowledging the unique challenges posed by alcohol prices in the country. 

“Hopefully yes,” he quipped, “It will be an expensive party because while there is alcohol in Qatar, the prices are scary. 

“We’ll have to be careful with the budget limit.”