Formula 1: Verstappen's winning run in doubt after qualifying 11th in Singapore, Sainz on pole

AP , Saturday 16 Sep 2023

Max Verstappen's historic run of 10 Formula One wins in a row looks set to end after he qualified down in 11th place on Saturday for the Singapore Grand Prix.

Red Bull Racing s Dutch driver Max Verstappen drives during the qualifying session of the Singapore
Red Bull Racing s Dutch driver Max Verstappen drives during the qualifying session of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix night race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore on September 16, 2023. AFP


Carlos Sainz Jr. took pole for the race on Sunday ahead of George Russell and Charles Leclerc as Verstappen's Red Bull team had its worst qualifying results of the season.

Verstappen, the runaway championship leader, was eliminated by .007 seconds in the second session by rookie Liam Lawson of sister team AlphaTauri.

Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez was 13th after a spin. The two drivers have won every race this season between them.

Verstappen told his team over the radio that it was an “absolutely shocking experience”.

There could be worse to come for him. The Dutch driver is under investigation for two incidents in which he appeared to impede others.

Verstappen stopped at the exit of the pit lane in the first part of qualifying and held up AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda while driving slowly in the second.

Verstappen has won races this season from sixth on the grid in Belgium and ninth in Miami, but the Red Bull car performed better on those tracks than it has so far in Singapore. He and Perez complained that their cars felt unbalanced during practice.

The first qualifying session was red-flagged when Lance Stroll lost control of his Aston Martin and speared into the wall on the final corner. The Canadian was able to walk away and said he was unhurt.

The crash caused a lengthy delay as crews worked to clear away the debris and repair the barrier.

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