Max Verstappen has played down suggestions that Red Bull could be the leading candidates for victory at this weekend’s Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix.

Red Bull arrives in Singapore hopeful of challenging for its third win of the season at the tight and twisty Marina Bay Street Circuit, which, on paper at least, should favour the team’s RB15 package.

Mercedes is also expected to fare well given its strong performances so far this season at high-downforce tracks with slow-speed corners, while Ferrari is braced for a more difficult weekend following consecutive victories at Spa and Monza.

“Sometimes you think a track is not ideal and then you win a race,” Verstappen explained.

“Sometimes you have to be a bit lucky for that. Sometimes you are just very quick. I expect to have a good weekend, but still, there are no guarantees.

“There are a lot of things you need to get right in qualifying as well, but in general throughout the whole weekend, to find a good set-up.

“Around here, with day practice and back into the night, you can’t get caught out with the settings.

“There are still a lot of things to get right before we can talk about having a really good result.”

Red Bull has appeared to close the gap to its rivals following Honda’s latest power unit upgrade, though Verstappen feels both Ferrari and Mercedes remain the engine benchmark.

“It’s difficult to say as they always run more downforce,” Verstappen said.

“I think they are still ahead. Whatever Ferrari is doing at the moment, I don’t know, they are it looks like miles ahead but I don’t know if that’s just pure engine power.

“Drivability has always been very positive, I think all the engines now have pretty good drivability. Pretty much the same.”

The Dutchman also hopes Red Bull have successfully managed to iron out launch issues which have resulted in Verstappen bogging down at the start of a number of races this season.

“We always try to do the best we can as a team, within Red Bull and of course Honda, we work well together to get better at it,” he explained.

“It’s something we know we have to improve. It’s also not an easy fix, at the moment…but… it’s not always been bad.

“We’ve had a few starts which haven’t been ideal and they have been highlighted but sometimes you have had starts which are good enough.

“I don’t put too much pressure on it. We know we have to improve, but if you start stressing about it, it will only work in reverse.”

 

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