Max Verstappen described Red Bull’s Singapore GP as “not good enough” and a “wake-up call” after the team failed to live up to expectations.
Red Bull have long highlighted Singapore as a winnable race – even taking engine penalties in Belgium and Italy to give them a better chance – but while Verstappen secured a podium, he was never in contention for victory and team-mate Alex Albon finished sixth.
It was the first time Red Bull finished the race, which favours downforce and suits their chassis-reliant package, outside the top two since 2009.
“Not good enough,” said Verstappen when asked about his weekend. “We came here to win and clearly didn’t. I would say it’s a little wake-up call.”
Verstappen benefited from Mercedes’ strategy in Sunday’s race with the Dutchman, who claimed unexpected F1 2019 victories in Germany and Austria, finishing ahead of Lewis Hamilton but admitting he had the faster car.
“From Austrian onwards, it’s maybe our worst race in terms of performance, where we expected to be really good,” added Verstappen.
“I have a few ideas why it went wrong so we will analyse all of them. I think 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.”
He continued to Sky F1: “It was maybe a little bit of an off weekend. We just have to keep pushing and there is still work to do, we know that.”
Red Bull boss Christian Horner admitted that, after a disappointing qualifying that left Verstappen fourth, the race turned into “damage limitation”.
He did, however, find positives from the podium and Albon’s performance in just his third race in the Red Bull, and first in Singapore.