Max Verstappen hits back with ‘not real fans’ claim after Red Bull streak snapped

Jamie Woodhouse
Singapore: Red Bull's Max Verstappen engages with the media at Marina Bay.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen engages with the media.

Max Verstappen issued a clear opinion that anyone who welcomed the end of Red Bull’s winning streak in Singapore is not a “real fan”.

With Verstappen having set a new Formula 1 benchmark with a remarkable 10 grand prix wins in a row, while his Red Bull team reeled off 15 on the trot, it was looking like nobody would find an answer to stop this irresistible force in F1 2023. Then Singapore happened.

Shock one-lap struggles for Red Bull, causing Verstappen and Sergio Perez to be eliminated in Q2, left Verstappen with too much damage to undo in the race, with the timing of the Safety Car also not helping his cause, as Verstappen was forced to settle for P5 and Perez P8 as both winning streaks came to an end.

Max Verstappen hits out at “not real fans”

Red Bull’s absence left a four-way battle for the victory, with Carlos Sainz, Lando Norris, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton all scrapping for the win in a thrilling conclusion to the Singapore Grand Prix, with Sainz claiming the honour of being the one to end Red Bull’s dominance.

But, for anyone who has happy to see a different winner and felt it was good for Formula 1, Verstappen has a verdict of his own in return.

“Honestly, I have zero interest in that,” said Verstappen, as per The Race, on the theory that Singapore was a good race in the interests of Formula 1. “For me, it was just we got beaten, in a very clear way. I don’t think about what is good for Formula 1.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily bad what was happening to Formula 1 because we were just better than everyone else. And if people can’t appreciate that, then you’re not a real fan.

“But that’s how it goes. That’s why I was also super relaxed about it, because we didn’t perform and other people did a better job than us.

“Then of course they deserved to win.

“They shouldn’t win because people say it’s boring that we are winning.”

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Max Verstappen on winning run ending: “S*** happens”

Verstappen was then asked to sum up his emotions as he tasted defeat for the first time since April’s Azerbaijan GP, and for Red Bull, Sao Paulo 2022.

As it turns out though, he has no emotions at all in regards to the ending of those streaks.

“I have no emotion,” Verstappen stated.

“Yeah, we stopped winning for one race. S*** happens! We won 10 in a row before that.

“So, of course I would have liked to win there as well. But I also know that there is always going to be a day where you have done that weekend where then you’re not winning or things go wrong. And yeah, unfortunately, it was that weekend.

“We just move on and try again.”

Verstappen heads into the Japanese Grand Prix as not only the overwhelming favourite for victory, but also as the defending victor having won the 2022 staging of this event at Suzuka.

Read more: Lewis Hamilton details scenario which would confirm ‘something’s up’ with Red Bull