RACE DEBRIEF

    Singapore was supposed to be a race where Red Bull felt they could challenge for victory, but ultimately they had no answer to Ferrari’s surprise race-winning pace around the streets of Marina Bay…

    The RB15’s greatest strength is recognised as its downforce, which is why Red Bull expected to challenge for victory in Singapore. But Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon could only manage fourth and sixth respectively in qualifying and then in the race, while good strategy helped Verstappen up into third, they were never in the fight for victory.

    “[It was] not good enough,” said Verstappen. “We came here to win and clearly didn’t. Saturday was worse than today but I would say it’s a little wake-up call.

    READ MORE: Binotto explains how Red Bull inadvertently cost Leclerc Singapore victory

    Max Verstappen: Red Bull pace 'wasn't anything special'

    “From Austria onwards, it’s maybe our worst race in terms of performance, where we expected to be really good. I have a few ideas why it went wrong so we will analyse all of them and see if we can already be better in Sochi.

    “The layout is not that amazing for us but you can clearly see if the car is working through corners or not. 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.”

    However, the Dutchman was still pleased to get back on the podium – his sixth of the season and first since the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    Formula One World Championship

    “I was not in a position to attack [the Ferraris] but at least I could follow the cars ahead of me,” he said. “They never really pulled away but of course initially it was all about tyre management anyway, so we were driving really slowly.

    “We pitted at the right time, I undercut Lewis [Hamilton] and that was very positive but from there onwards it was just about staying in the race. But we managed everything quite well. For us, after the difficulties we had in qualifying, it is still good to be on the podium.”

    READ MORE: Ferrari hungrier than us, says Hamilton as he urges Mercedes to ‘step it up’

    Max Verstappen: 'We didn't have the pace to challenge for first'

    Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner reckons their hopes of the win were lost in qualifying, when they failed to get on terms with the Ferraris and Mercedes.

    “I think we missed out on Saturday,” he said. “Our qualifying pace is something we need to look at to understand where we went wrong. In the race pace we were as quick as the Ferraris today, it’s just where you were on track.”

    Verstappen now drops to fourth in the drivers’ standings, although he’s level on 200 points with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. In the constructors’ championship, Red Bull have fallen further behind Ferrari, with the gap now 105 with 258 remaining.

    2019

    Drivers' standings after Singapore

    POSITION POINTS
    3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 200
    4 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 200
    5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 194