Max Verstappen was highly critical of his and his team’s performance at the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix, as he missed out on a chance to wrap up the Drivers’ Championship with five races to go.
The Dutchman was going for his sixth win in succession, but his task was made all the more difficult when a near-certain pole position was lost through no fault of his own after Red Bull underfuelled him for what was a more action-packed Q3 session.
Lining up eighth, Verstappen‘s misery was compounded when he made a woeful start that dropped him down the order and into even more traffic, and despite recovering into the points, the championship leader was in no mood to take the positives.
“Frustrating,” was Verstappen’s blunt assessment when quizzed by reporters. “It started with the anti-stall so we lost more spots and was in an even more difficult position to have a good result.
“I got past a few cars but then I got stuck, just impossible to pass around here. I got back into the points but it’s of course not what we wanted.
“We have five races left and we have a big lead, but I want to have a good weekend every single time and this has just been a really terrible weekend.”
Verstappen explains Norris lock-up
Verstappen found himself 12th after his poor getaway but worked his way back up to fifth when the race restarted on Lap 40 after Yuki Tsunoda‘s crash brought out the safety car.
With the leaders in sight and the chance of an unlikely victory alive, he misjudged a move up the inside of Lando Norris into Turn 7, taking to the escape road and locking his front tyres so badly he was forced to pit.
It was a lunge reminiscent of the younger, more tempestuous Verstappen, however he sought to clear himself of any wrongdoing in the aftermath.
He added: “I was struggling already on the normal racing line with bottoming on the braking but then when I went alongside him, I hit the brakes and it is a bit more bumpy offline.
“I didn’t even brake that late, the tyre pressures were maybe a little bit low. So my wheels came up in the air and I massively locked up and had massive flat spots.”
Lewis Hamilton endured an equally scruffy Sunday, but while the seven-time champion regularly expresses how he prefers the thrill of racing through the field, those sentiments are not shared by Verstappen.
“This is not what I enjoy. I just want to win. We need to be competitively fighting at the front. It is just frustrating being stuck behind cars, having a problem at the start and then of course having a big lock-up and being again at the back.
“It’s just super messy.”