Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix was an all-Ferrari affair and featured the redemption of Sebastian Vettel. However, it begged the question, ‘Where were Mercedes and Red Bull at a track that suits them?’.
While Mercedes were undone by poor strategy calls, Red Bull has a different problem. According to Dr Helmut Marko, a “mistake” in the simulator ahead of the Singapore GP weekend was to blame.
The team’s only consolation was Max Verstappen finishing third behind the Ferrari 1-2. When asked about the possibility of a better result, the curt answer was, no.
“I could make it a huge story, but no. The problem was in the simulator. We were totally misled there,” he told Austrian broadcaster ORF.
“The simulator is the basis of our setup for the race weekend, so if it is not right from there then you are in trouble.
“The problem is that we set up our chassis much too stiffly, which meant we lacked stability. We also had too little downforce.”
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner even admitted that they lucked out when Mercedes made their strategy blunder. Or else, it could have ended up a whole lot worse for them and the fans would have been denied a second ever non-Mercedes podium.
Verstappen even confessed that although he was ahead of Lewis Hamilton, the latter had a faster car.
“From Austrian onwards, it’s maybe our worst race in terms of performance, where we expected to be really good,” divulged the disappointed Dutchman to Sky F1.
“I have a few ideas why it went wrong so we will analyse all of them. I think here, clearly, in too many corners the car was not working like I wanted it to. We’ll go home and see what we can do better.”
The only positives that Christian Horner found were Verstappen’s podium and Albon’s improved performance.