Share this article

Max Verstappen Threatens Resurgent Lando Norris & Co. as Bitter Loss Triggers Vengeful Instinct

Published 09/22/2023, 12:15 PM EDT

Follow Us

via Imago

Max Verstappen and Red Bull’s run finally came to an end at the Singapore GP. 10 wins in a row for the Dutchman and 15 wins in a row for the Milton-Keynes squad. Unprecedented records through and through. Although Ferrari and Carlos Sainz were the pairing to snatch Red Bull’s chance of further writing history, it wouldn’t have been possible without Lando Norris. Sainz’s genius employed Norris to ensure a ‘Carlando’ 1-2—a best-friend reunion on the podium. With a resurgent McLaren just hitting its stride, Norris must be wary of his other best friend at the Japanese GP.

America’s Favorite Video Today

McLaren started the season as one of the slowest teams on the grid. The RB19 and MCL60 were miles apart in performance. But almost as the first half of 2023 was coming to a close, a significant upgrade overhaul sowed the seeds for a resurgence. Since then, McLaren has been much closer to Red Bull, but now that it’s entering Red Bull territory, Verstappen is ready to unleash his fighter to stay ahead.

The Japanese GP is set for a Red Bull-McLaren battle


Article continues below this ad

Suzuka is very similar to Silverstone with its fast corners and reasonably long straights. This means the British GP is usually a good form guide for the Japanese GP. Remember what happened in Silverstone? Verstappen narrowly edged out Norris for pole, but then the Brit overtook Verstappen off the line. Although it was only a matter of time before the Dutchman retook the lead, it was enough to conclude that McLaren had the pace to compete. Since then, the Woking squad has made improvements to its race pace, which should pay dividends in Suzuka.

In the build-up to the Japanese GP, Verstappen was featured on the BBC’s Chequered Flag Podcast. He was told that George Russell placed his bet on Lando Norris to be one of the favorites at Suzuka. When asked what he feels about McLaren’s chances, Verstappen said, “Honestly, what they’ve done this year is quite impressive. From where they started to where they are now. I for sure expect them to be strong, but of course, I want to be ahead.


Get instantly notified of the hottest F1 stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

Red Bull knew Singapore would be a tough race. It went in with half a mind that there were chances it could lose. That’s precisely what happened. His best friend Norris got the better of him, and while McLaren might pose a challenge again this weekend, Verstappen is ready to go in all guns blazing. That was Marina Bay, and this is Sukuza, a track suited to the RB19. If FP1 and FP2 results are anything to go by (which they are), McLaren is right up there with Red Bull. What does that point to? An impending Red Bull-McLaren battle. 

Considering Singapore was a letdown for Verstappen, you would think spirits would be at an all-time low in the Red Bull garage. Well, that’s not the case, and Verstappen & Co. are ready to exact revenge. 

Max Verstappen is all fired up for his Suzuka outing

Verstappen achieved a monumental feat at the Italian GP. No driver had ever won 10 races in a row, but Verstappen did it. And there’s no doubt it’ll go down as one of the best runs in history. Like all streaks, this was meant to end as well. While this may have been a massive blow to motivation for some, Verstappen and Red Bull are using it as fuel. To be fair, though, maintaining that streak must’ve been quite stressful for him and Red Bull. Now that that’s off their shoulders, they have just one aim— to get back to the front.


Article continues below this ad

After the race in Singapore, Verstappen was asked on the F1 Nation Podcast if he was relieved that the streak had ended. He said, “Won’t say I’m relieved, but I’m relaxed. I’m motivated to do even better at Suzuka.” He then talked about his Suzuka prospects, saying, “Suzuka is so different [compared to Marina Bay] in the way you set up the car. So, I don’t expect any trouble there. I was defeated [in Singapore] by 20 seconds. I’ll win in Suzuka by 20 seconds.”


Article continues below this ad

Is Lando Norris a favorite for you for the Japanese GP? Or will Max Verstappen sweep the floor with him and everyone else on the grid?

WATCH THIS STORY | Lando Norris’s Innocent Mistake in Referring to Lewis Hamilton May not Please Max Verstappen & Red Bull

Providing feedback will help us make your experience better.

The Fan's Perspective

Enjoyed Your Read? Let us know how likely you are to recommend EssentiallySports to your friends!

Least Likely

Most Likely



Written by:

Aditi Krishnan


One take at a time

Aditi is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports and is essentially a sportsperson. She fell in love with F1 in 2020. It happened when her brother tuned into that first race weekend in Austria, and she knew right then and there that she had to learn everything she could about the sport.
Show More>

Edited by:

Aishwary Gaonkar