Max Verstappen has claimed that the Red Bull package is “not as competitive” as it has been at other times this season ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix. The Milton Keynes-based team remain unbeaten in Grands Prix and sprint races in 2023.
The Dutch driver will be hoping to end his Singapore hoodoo when the chequered flag waves on Sunday. Verstappen has never won at this venue and this race ended his five-race victory streak last season following a messy weekend.
When Verstappen faltered here in 2022, team-mate Sergio Perez was there to pick up the pieces, but the Mexican driver is now without a Grand Prix victory in ten races and will hope that his penchant for street circuits brings an end to his baron run.
Discussing his concerns ahead of the Singapore GP, Verstappen explained: “I think we just are not as competitive as other tracks. I think the street circuits are a little bit tougher for our car. I still think we can do a good job, but it will be very tight.”
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The Dutchman then touched on his chances of extending his winning streak further. He said: “I never really looked at number eight, nine, ten, I just always want to do the best I can.
“Naturally, every single weekend it’s basically the same amount of pressure you put on yourself to try to get the best result out of it. Nothing really changes, actually, from that side.”
Verstappen is not the only member of the Red Bull team to express some concern about the team’s chances of winning in Singapore. Chief advisor Helmut Marko previously stated that he believes Ferrari could pose a serious threat when the cars take to the streets on Sunday.
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Speaking to Autosport, he said: “Like every race, we have had a competitive car everywhere so why should that not be the case in Singapore? But I have to say Ferrari and especially Leclerc is a specialist around there.
“If they are faster in qualifying, then it could become a problem for us because overtaking in Singapore is very difficult. But I’m still optimistic that the package we are bringing to Singapore is good enough to win.”
Despite these fears, Ferrari themselves are not hopeful with Charles Leclerc responding by telling Sky Sports F1: “It’s nice to read that, but I’m not buying it at all. I mean I really think that they will be the strongest this weekend, especially come race day.”
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