‘It’s incredibly frustrating’ – Verstappen rues aborted final lap after going ‘2.7 seconds’ quicker
Max Verstappen expressed his frustration at missing out on a potential shot at pole position during qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix, having been forced to abandon his final attempt after “running out of fuel”.
Verstappen was on a much-improved lap in the dying moments of a wet-dry qualifying session at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, with the timing screens showing him as being almost a second up on eventual pole-sitter Charles Leclerc through the middle sector.
However, an unexpected radio message from his engineer urged Verstappen to back out and return to the pits, leading to an angry response from the reigning world champion, who had to settle for eighth on the grid.
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Asked how much he was improving before the call to abort his lap, Verstappen replied: “Two-point-seven [seconds]. It’s incredibly frustrating. Finding out it was the fuel… Basically, we ran out of fuel, but these things you can track throughout Q3, and they should have let me finish the lap before, where we were already on a pole position lap.
“At the end of the day, I can make mistakes, the team can make mistakes, but I think it’s always important that we can be critical to each other when people make mistakes, because these things, they shouldn’t happen.”
Reminded of his recovery drives to victory from 10th on the grid in Hungary and 14th on the grid in Belgium, Verstappen added: “But around here it’s like Monaco, almost. It’s really hard to pass, so I’m expecting a really frustrating race, where I’m just stuck behind people.”
In Verstappen’s absence, Sergio Perez led Red Bull’s charge with a run to second position, just 0.022s behind Leclerc – leaving the Mexican with mixed emotions after he stepped out of the car.
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“I think it’s a good opportunity tomorrow already from the start to attack Charles and go for the win. I’m quite disappointed to miss out on pole by two-hundredths, but at the end of the day, it’s a great team result. My team did a fantastic job, [we made the] right calls at the end, so [I’m] pretty happy and [it’s a] solid job,” Perez commented.
“It was so tricky to learn the conditions today and tomorrow it can be wet at any time, so it will be so important and crucial just not to make any mistakes and progress with the race – that would be pretty good for us.”