Verstappen plays down ‘favourite’ tag

max-verstappen-red-bull_3776939.jpgDutch charger Max Verstappen believes it is too early to suggest Red Bull will be favourites for the Singapore Grand Prix victory.

Verstappen has come under criticism lately for his overly aggressive defending style, will have a Renault engine upgrade at his disposal for this weekends race under the Marina Bay lights.

As with any upgrade, the new unit for this race is expected to provide a boost to track performance, which has strengthened the opinion that Red Bull will indeed be favourites. Both Red Bull drivers will have the new spec Renault power units, whilst Renault works drivers Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen will have to make do with the older spec units due to engine life cycle.

 “Hopefully the upgrade will be very positive, but we will have to wait and see,” he explained. “I’m just very happy to be here, we know that we have a chance here to score some good points.”

Red Bull performed strongly in Monaco qualifying this year with Dani Ricciardo taking pole positon, but Max was unable to set a time due to clipping the barriers at turn 15 which effectively ruined the chance of a Red Bull lock out. Marina Bay has many characteristics similar to Monaco, so the favourite tag has been placed on the Milton Keynes squad before a wheel has even turned in anger.

Another factor in this weekends race, is the unknown quantity that Mercedes bring to the track. Last year Mercedes were well and truly beaten in qualifying for the first time since 2013, as Vettel took pole for Ferrari nearly 1.5 seconds up the road from Lewis Hamilton. Red Bull will be quietly hoping that Merc’s Singapore woes somewhat return, which would leave them in a straight fight with Ferrari for the coveted grid slots.

Mindful of all the off track speculation, Max wants to wait for Friday practice to start before taking to much notice of what is happening in the media.

“We just focus on our own thing, people can write what they want,” he said. “We have a good chance.

“If you look at last year we improved a lot from our side. Wait and see. It’s difficult for me to say we’ll be the number one team because we haven’t driven. We know more about how good we are tomorrow.

“At the moment we have good hopes that we can be very competitive, but how well we don’t know yet. Hopefully we are very competitive, like for example in Monaco.”

This could prove to be one of the closest races of the season.

7 responses to “Verstappen plays down ‘favourite’ tag

  1. Well, he’s the first one that’s clipt them barriers again =oP

    It might be a very good thing downplaying expectations. He keeps mentioning he likes the streetcircuits, but If you look closer to the statistics prior, and in Formula 1, there have been more non finishes than finishes on streetcircuits.

    • Agreed. If Max can stay level-headed, then he’s got a chance, especially if he gets a good start. If he has to make up positions, I wager he’ll make an error that might be terminal at The Bay.

      • I wouldn’t wager to much when it comes to F1. The hero or zero driving attitude can most certainly get you ended in the wall, but their is bound to be a day that it will stick. He’s proven already that overtaking can be done.

  2. Even with Verstappen running the upgraded engine, which DR isn’t, the two Red Bull drivers posted nearly identical times in P2. And they are nearly half a second off Rosberg. I think Ferrari are a greater threat to M-B than Red Bull are.

  3. Off topic but need help. How are people in USA getting their F1 races fed to their TVs? We’re paying $15 more per month for f1 on Directv and kind of not worth it these days. Live stream? What other options? Please help.

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