Max Verstappen F1 Singapore Grand Prix

Red Bull Racing’s Dutch driver Max Verstappen drives in the pit lane during the qualifying session ahead of the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix night race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore on October 1, 2022. (Photo by MOHD RASFAN / POOL / AFP)

SINGAPORE – Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen gave Red Bull a blast of radio rage after the team told him to abort his final qualifying lap at the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday and he ended up eighth.

“Why? Why?,” screamed the Dutch 25-year-old as he was told to pit instead of going for pole position at a race he needs to win if he is to secure a second championship with five rounds to spare.

“What the…what are you guys saying? Unbelievable, mate. I don’t get it. What the…is this about?,” Verstappen raged, with the expletives bleeped out on the television broadcast.

His race engineer replied that they would explain all privately.

Verstappen was still frustrated afterward, telling Sky Sports television there would have been insufficient fuel in the car to provide a mandatory post-qualifying sample had he not aborted the lap.

“On the final lap they told me to box and then I realized what was going to happen and we ran out of fuel. That’s just incredibly frustrating and shouldn’t happen,” he said.

“We should have seen that way earlier. I’m not happy at all at the moment. I know of course it’s always a team effort and I can make mistakes and the team can make mistakes but it’s never acceptable.

“Of course you learn from it but this is really bad, to be honest. It shouldn’t happen.”

Verstappen has his first chance to clinch the title in Sunday’s race but he must score 22 points more than Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who starts on pole at a circuit where overtaking is difficult.

He must also score 13 points more than Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, who starts on the front row with victory in mind.

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