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Max Verstappen

How Verstappen has failed to win the Singapore GP

Max Verstappen has never won the Singapore Grand Prix in his Formula 1 career - but can he change that this coming weekend.

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The Singapore Grand Prix is one of the toughest physical and mental tests Formula 1 drivers are put through in the entire season.

Located just 150 miles from the equator, the heat and humidity, coupled with the bumpy, twisty street circuit make it an endurance mission for the drivers.

Is it therefore any wonder that between its inception in 2008 and the 2019 race, the only drivers to win were World Champions - although Nico Rosberg won the '16 race before clinching his title.

Sergio Perez snapped the streak in 2022 by becoming the first non-World Champion to win, going one better than team-mate Max Verstappen has ever been able to.

Marina Bay is one of seven tracks Verstappen has not won at in his career, and is unlikely to win at most of the other six which include Sochi (which is not coming back anytime soon), Istanbul Park, Mugello, Portimao and the Nurburgring.

He has also yet to win at Lusail for the Qatar Grand Prix, but, as far as he is concerned, he can rectify those wrongs over the next three races, starting with Singapore - a track where his best finish is second in 2018.

Eighth on 2015 debut

In 2015, Verstappen had a flashpoint with team-mate Carlos Sainz on his way to an eighth place finish.

His car failed to fire up on the formation lap, leaving him to start from the pit-lane, and being a lap down.

However, he got lucky with a Safety Car for Nico Hulkenberg colliding with Felipe Massa which got him back on the lead lap.

He ignored requests from the team to let Sainz through in the closing stages to attack Perez in the Force India, leading the Spaniard home for a double points finish for the team.

Face to face with Godzilla?

By the next visit to Marina Bay, Verstappen was now a Grand Prix winner and had stepped up to Red Bull to replace Danill Kvyat.

It was a quiet weekend with fourth on the grid and sixth in the race, with the highlight being during practice when a giant lizard ran across the track as he was passing by.

The most famous Singapore moment?

For the first time in the near decade of the event, rain fell before the 2017 race, leading to some drivers taking Intermediates and others Wets.

Verstappen started P2 on the grid next to Sebastian Vettel with Kimi Raikkonen in fourth.

Of the trio, Raikkonen got the best start and was set to slip up the inside of the pair of front-row starters, but a slow-starting Vettel moved across to squeeze Verstappen.

The Red Bull glided left, into Raikkonen's path, who then smashed into the side of Vettel, destroying the sidepod.

An out of control Raikkonen slid down to Turn 1, taking Verstappen out with him and the innocent Fernando Alonso, while Vettel dropped it out of Turn 2 on fluid from the car, putting him out and allowing Lewis Hamilton to take charge of the title-race after his easy win.

The best result to date

Verstappen started second at the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix behind Lewis Hamilton, but the Dutchman struggled on the opening lap due of Vettel's Ferrari.

On the opening lap, Esteban Ocon in his Force India was pushed into the wall by his teammate Sergio Perez.

Perez was able to continue, but Ocon dropped out. Later in the race, Perez fell back after an incident that left him with a flat tyre.

Halfway through the race, Verstappen seemed to have a chance on Hamilton's Mercedes, but traffic threw a spanner in the works. The race was again won by Hamilton, increasing his lead in the championship over Vettel's Ferrari.

2019 - behind the Ferraris

Verstappen started third behind the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel - who then proceeded to drive rather slowly to conserve the tyres.

On Lap 19, Verstappen and Vettel pitted, giving the Ferrari the undercut on Leclerc, who narrowly emerged behind the German after his stop.

It was a comfortable one-two for the Scuderia as Verstappen banked third in what turned out to be the 53rd and final win of Vettel's career.

Equal worst result of 2022

Singapore then went on a three-year hiatus, only returning in 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling the '20 and '21 races.

Despite a record 15 wins and second world title falling his way, Verstappen actually recorded his worst finish of the season with seventh place.

He did not have enough fuel on-board in Q3 and so had to abort his final lap and come race day, found progress tricky in wet conditions.

It was a treacherous track with Hamilton sliding off into the barrier as Verstappen ruined his slick tyres on a Safety Car restart by massively locking up, also at Turn 5.

He eventually passed Hamilton and Vettel in the closing stages to record seventh - a place he finished more often (twice, along with Britain) than second (once, in Austria).

F1 2023 Singapore Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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