Max ahead of Singapore: 'You could get away with it here'
Published on 29 September 2022 by Stefan Meens
This weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix is seen as one of toughest events on the Formula 1 calendar due to the high temperatures and humidity. Oracle Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen is prepared for the challenge. “I’ve prepared like I always do. I haven’t changed the way I train. It will be a tough race, but I’m fit and I know what to expect.”
After five consecutive wins, it looks like Max will be one of the drivers fighting at the front, but the Dutchman remains realistic. “It’s hard to predict. It’s been a few years (2019) since we’ve raced here, so there are some unknowns. Of course, we’ve done well the last few races, but we still need a good preparation during this weekend. The weather can also play a part with potential rain. I think we’ll have to focus on our one-lap pace, which hasn’t been our strong point this year. We’ve always been quick in the race, but around here, qualifying is really important.”
Usually, prioritising the car’s pace in qualifying can take away from its race pace. Max explains: “On most tracks, you’ll struggle in the race if you focus on qualifying, but in Singapore you could maybe get away with it.”
The reigning champion is enjoying an extensive lead in the standings. If Max were to win in Singapore and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Red Bull colleague Sergio Perez struggle to get a result, Max could secure his second title this weekend. “I don’t think about those calculations. We always want to be competitive and I will just try to win the race. I don’t think it’s likely we’ll get the job done here. That would require a lot of luck and that isn’t something I’m counting on. I’ll try to enjoy the weekend and see what comes of it.”
Nevertheless, Max agrees that the team have achieved a remarkable turnaround since a shakey start to the 2022 campaign. “We have a good car at the moment and as a team we do a lot of things perfectly. That certainly helps. It’s a special season and I’m enjoying it, but after the season I’ll review it all. At the start of the year, we had a lot of problems, but we’ve managed to turn it around. Everyone has worked hard on the car to get the weight down and make the RB18 competitive. It’s fantastic. It’s great to work with everyone at Red Bull.