Illustration photo – Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix, August 27, 2023. Dutch driver Max Verstappen on the race track.
Singapore – Dutch driver Max Verstappen can extend his record winning streak to an eleventh victory in this weekend's Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix and move closer to a third consecutive championship. The 25-year-old Red Bull driver is 145 points ahead of team-mate Sergio Pérez, and in the event of a larger increase in the lead, he could celebrate ahead of schedule already at the next Grand Prix of Japan. For now, the championship leader will try to get the first victory of his career at the Marina Bay circuit.
Photo gallery: Formula 1 World Championship in the 2023 season
“I'm looking forward to the night race in Singapore. Marina Bay is a great circuit and this year it will be interesting to see how the track changes affect the overall behavior and set-up of the car. I think the lap times will be a lot faster,” said Verstappen.
The native of Hasselt has no competition in F1 this year. He has won 12 of 14 races and the last ten in a row. Thanks to his triumph in the recent Italian Grand Prix, he surpassed Sebastian Vettel's 2013 streak (9) and can now extend the record streak even further. “Singapore will probably be the toughest weekend for us of all the upcoming events. The races here are usually close, not to mention the heat and humidity,” said Verstappen, whose best finish there was second in 2018. He finished seventh last year.
In Singapore, Pérez defends his victory, who is waiting for his jubilee 250th start in F1. The Mexican driver is already one of the few drivers who can try to delay Verstappen's championship celebrations. The Dutchman can mathematically secure his third title next week after the race in Japan. At that time, a lead of 180 or more points would be enough for him to win overall.
The Red Bull team also wants to continue the record series, having won all 14 races this year and, including last year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, failed to win 15 events in a row. It can become the first team in history to dominate all races in one year. If Red Bull were to take the first two places in Singapore and rival Mercedes did not score, they would also celebrate winning the Constructors' Cup in advance.
“Singapore is an urban circuit and one of the most demanding tracks on the calendar. We saw last year how dangerous it can be, so now we will do everything in our power to maintain the pace,” said team boss Christian Horner.
< p>The track underwent a number of modifications compared to last year. Due to the construction works, the number of turns has been reduced from 23 to 19. On the other hand, there will be a longer straight, which should contribute to a faster race. “We want to stay at the top. One day, of course, someone will beat us, that's inevitable, but we'll try to delay it as much as possible,” Horner added.
Ferrari wants to build on the good result from Italy, whose drivers Carlos Sainz Jr. and Charles Leclerc took third and fourth place less than two weeks ago. Sainz then won qualifying. “As in all urban circuits, a lot depends on the drivers. It will be important that Carlos and Charles drive as many laps as possible in practice and fulfill the potential of our car,” added team boss Frédéric Vasseur.
The Singapore Grand Prix begins traditionally with two training sessions on Friday. Saturday's third round will be followed by the qualification from 15:00 CEST. The race will take place one hour earlier on Sunday.