Emotionless Verstappen ready to bounce back in Japan

Emotionless Verstappen ready to bounce back in Japan

Runaway Formula One leader Max Verstappen said Thursday he felt "no emotion" at seeing his record winning streak end as he looks to bounce back at this week's Japanese Grand Prix.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen wins Canada Formula One Grand Prix

Verstappen failed to extend his run of 10 straight wins at last weekend's Singapore Grand Prix, finishing fifth behind winner Carlos Sainz of Ferrari.

The flying Dutchman, who has won 12 of 15 races this season, is still a nailed-on certainty to win his third straight championship even though he can't seal the deal this week in Suzuka.

Verstappen was in no mood to dwell on last weekend's rare failure, telling reporters he was ready to "move on and try again".

"No emotion, we stopped winning for one race -– shit happens, we won 10 in a row before that," he said.

"Of course, I would have liked to have won there as well but we also know that there is always going to be a day where you have that weekend where you are not winning or things go wrong."

Verstappen holds a whopping 151-point lead over Red Bull teammate and nearest championship challenger Sergio Perez with seven races to go.

Verstappen clinched last season's title at Suzuka after a chaotic race shortened by rain.

He will have to keep this year's champagne on ice for a little longer but Red Bull can still wrap up the constructors' championship in Japan.

Sainz's win in Singapore ruined Red Bull's perfect record this season but Verstappen believes it could be the team's only blemish.

"I still think that from now onwards we can win every single race, even with people getting upgrades," he said.

"Maybe here and there they might have the opportunity of winning, but I still think that our car is capable of winning every race."


- Red Bull dominance -

Sainz finished first in Singapore ahead of McLaren's Lando Norris and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton's teammate George Russell was pushing hard for the victory until he crashed on the final lap.

The last time neither Verstappen nor Perez, who finished eighth, stood on the top step of the podium was in Brazil in November 2022.

The race was hailed as a Formula One return to competitiveness after Red Bull's dominance this season but Verstappen said he had "zero interest in that".

"For me, it was just that we got beaten, and in a very clear way," he said.

"I don't think about what is good for Formula One -- I don't think it's necessarily bad what was happening to Formula One, because we were just better than everyone else.

"If people can't appreciate that, then you're not a real fan."

Verstappen has talked in the past of his love for the Suzuka circuit and for the passion of the Japanese fans.

The race returned last year after a three-year absence because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's almost like they're driving the car themselves," he said.

"It's very different and very cool to see. They love motorsport."

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