Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has said that securing second on the grid for the Singapore Grand Prix feels “like a victory”. This was following complaints about the performance of his Renault engine.
There were multiple radio messages throughout practice and qualifying relayed between the driver and team. This suggested that Verstappen had frustrations with the drivability of his Renault power unit. The Red Bull driver believes that qualifying second on the grid behind Lewis Hamilton was an “unbelievable” result.
“Honestly, this feels like a victory,” says Verstappen.
“The amount of problems I’ve had today, and even in qualifying, with the engine. Just not having a smooth run. Cutting in torque. To be second is unbelievable. It just shows that we have an amazing car.”
Despite being three tenths off Hamilton’s blistering pole position time, the Dutchman isn’t playing down Red Bull’s chances of potentially challenging for the victory in tomorrow’s race.
“We just have to make sure that we get a clean start and from there onwards, anything is possible,” Verstappen says. “We do have to sort out the engine for tomorrow, but at least I’m very happy with the car.”
Meanwhile, on the other end of the garage, Daniel Ricciardo had to make do with 6th on the grid. It was quite disappointing for the Aussie driver, who has had a spate of reliability issues in the past couple of races.
However, heading into Sunday’s race will be interesting for the Big 3 teams. Last year’s race had plenty of drama, and if that’s anything to go by, this year’s edition should be fun. The gloves will be off between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. In the meantime, Verstappen will be hoping to pick up the pieces, as will Bottas, Raikkonen and Ricciardo.