Max Verstappen tells Singapore doubters to ‘go suck on an egg’ with Japan pole

Henry Valantine
Max Verstappen, Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris after qualifying.

Max Verstappen with Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris after qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen told those who were doubting Red Bull’s dominance after Singapore to “go suck on an egg” after taking an emphatic pole for the Japanese Grand Prix on Saturday.

The Red Bull driver was almost six tenths clear of the rest of the field with his best effort in qualifying at Suzuka in a phenomenal performance on Saturday, ahead of the McLaren duo of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris.

While the blip in form Red Bull suffered in Singapore coincided with the introduction of two Technical Directives from the FIA aimed at more closely policing flexible bodywork, both Verstappen and Red Bull have maintained throughout they would not impact on their car – and Saturday’s pace was proof of that.

Max Verstappen has definitive message for doubters after Singapore struggles

Verstappen recovered from a Q2 exit in Singapore to make it back into the top five come the chequered flag, but it was the first time all season that the runaway World Championship leader had not finished in the top two places.

He admitted after qualifying that he was “fired up” to prove a point, and when he was asked about the last race, he initially joked that “Singapore didn’t happen for us” before adding that those to doubt his team should be silenced now.

“Honestly, yeah, we had a bad weekend of course, then people start talking about, ‘yeah, it’s all because of the Technical Directives’ – I think they can go suck on an egg,” Verstappen said after qualifying.

“But from my side, I was just very fired up to have a good weekend here and make sure that we were strong.”

Verstappen has been in flying form throughout the Japanese Grand Prix weekend so far, taking top spot in all three practice sessions before doing the same in qualifying, and he remains hot favourite for victory on Sunday.

Given how his RB19 has handled, he is thrilled with how his car has felt underneath him.

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“To be honest, the whole weekend has been really good,” he said.

“As soon as we put the car on the track, it’s been very enjoyable to drive, very predictable, which I think is the most important thing.

“Lap after lap in qualifying as well it was getting better. I mean, I only had three new sets of tyres so I had to be a bit careful when using them basically, so in Q2, I had to run the scrubbed.

“But then once I put on a new set again in the first run in Q3, it was just super nice.

“I mean, these high-speed corners with the car is very well balanced and you can really push it to the limit. It’s just really enjoyable to drive.”

Read next: Japanese Grand Prix: Max Verstappen decimates opposition to take pole at Suzuka