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Verstappen botches early World Cup party in Singapore: "I'm not here for that"

2022-10-02T18:25:41.410Z

Max Verstappen, who was so sovereign recently, had a frustrating weekend in Singapore – also because he lost patience. His teammate could cheer, but Sergio Pérez had to tremble for a long time.



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Max Verstappen experienced a setback in Singapore, partly because he became too impatient

Photo:

LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA / AFP

Straight ahead:

Max Verstappen is known for his tremendous car control, in Singapore he caught his Red Bull in the run-off zone at full speed and turned the car 180 degrees on the spot without hitting the track barrier.

It was the most elegant scene at the Singapore Grand Prix, hands down.

However, Verstappen had started in the best case to defend his world title prematurely.

The Dutchman would have had to win the race for that.

The chances were not good given his poor starting position and a meager start, but with his braking error on lap 40, after which he shot into the emergency exit with stationary tires, Verstappen finally lost the World Cup party.

The result:

Instead, Verstappen's teammate Sergio Pérez cheered - initially with reservations.

The Red Bull driver drove to his fourth Grand Prix victory, ahead of Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

However, Pérez still has to speak to the race stewards because he may not have kept the prescribed minimum distance of ten car lengths behind the safety car.

Although the world motorsport association Fia punished him with a five-second penalty, he was able to keep his victory: Perez' lead over Leclerc at the finish was 7.5 seconds.

Read the race report here.

The deluge:

The start had been postponed by more than an hour due to heavy rain.

Heavy rain began in the Asian city-state a little over an hour before the scheduled start of the race, and lightning was also seen later.

The water couldn't drain away and stood on the track while it continued to rain heavily.

After an hour, the rain subsided, marshals attempted to remove accumulations of water from the course with brooms.

The start (finally):

Also went to Pérez: The Red Bull driver, who had started from second place, immediately grabbed the lead from Leclerc in the Ferrari.

Behind them were several drivers off the track, including Verstappen, who also got off badly, losing four places and dropping out of the top ten.

The world champion had to abandon qualifying prematurely due to lack of fuel and only started the race from eighth place.

There was contact between Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Sainz, the Ferrari driver pushed past the Brit in third place.

No one dares to pit:

Pérez then gained a lead of around a second up to the fourth lap, Sainz was already six seconds behind at that point.

However, a safety car phase (crash between Latifi and Zhou on lap seven) narrowed the gaps again.

Verstappen had meanwhile (lap 13) worked his way back to his starting position, eight seconds behind the leader.

Despite several virtual safety car phases, none of the drivers in the leading group came to change tires - only George Russell dared to change to medium dry tires (22), with sobering results.

The cursed turn seven:

A little later, Hamilton braked too late in fourth before turn seven and hit the barriers (33).

However, he was able to continue and suddenly found himself with a defective front wing right in front of Verstappen, who was chasing Lando Norris in the McLaren in front of him at the time.

The leading group then switched to medium, Hamilton also needed a new wing and lined up again in ninth place.

When the race was restarted on lap 40 after another safety car phase, Verstappen, who was now fifth behind Norris, lost patience.

Frustration instead of party:

after his braking error, he had to pit again and fell back to 13th place.

From there he worked his way up to seventh place with fresh soft tires.

"I didn't even brake late," Verstappen said afterwards on the Sky broadcaster.

The problem was that the car touched down.

The race was "very frustrating".

"Seventh is better than eighth, but that's not what I'm here for," said Verstappen, who already messed up the start, at Sky: "Then I'm in the points from behind, but that's not where I want to be."

The record man:

Fernando Alonso became the driver with the most starts in Formula 1 history on Sunday.

The two-time world champion climbed into the cockpit for the 350th time, overtaking Finland's Kimi Raikkonen (349).

In Singapore, however, the party was canceled for him too.

After initially defending his sixth place against Verstappen, the 41-year-old Spaniard retired early due to engine failure.

Things were going better for Vettel

: Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel, the record winner with five victories on the Asian circuit, quickly moved up from 14th to eighth place.

The last time he competed on the city circuit, which he particularly likes, was before he retired in November.

In the end it was enough for eighth place.

What's next:

Next Sunday in Japan, Verstappen will have the next opportunity, then he can even win his second world title for the first time on his own.

Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2022-10-02

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