On the first race weekend of the 2022 campaign where he could mathematically secure the 2022 title, Verstappen’s time on the track at the Marina Bay Circuit was far from smooth as his wait rolls on into Japan.
After seeing his Friday running interrupted by setup changes on his RB18, Verstappen come qualifying was forced to abandon his push lap in Q3 twice, when he was very much on to at least challenge for pole position.
The second and final abort call from Red Bull particularly sent Verstappen over the edge as he went into a sweary rant, confused as to why Red Bull had pulled the plug.
As it turned out, they were worried that if he finished the lap then he may not have enough fuel left to provide a sample for the FIA. That would have resulted in exclusion from the qualifying results.
So, while ex-F1 driver turned pundit Brundle describes this current version of Max as ‘Max Verstappen 2.0’, he noted that this version still comes with a temper.
Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Brundle stated: “Max Verstappen should have been on pole position but staying out on track for most of the final Q3 12 minutes, meant that he was forced to abandon his final pole lap two corners from home in order to have enough fuel for the mandatory scrutineering checks.
“Cue an extremely unhappy championship leader, and he let the team know in no uncertain terms.
“Barely underneath the surface of the calm and serene 2022 Max 2.0 is still quite a temper, but actually my take on that, as he heads to an inevitable second championship, is just how much pain a lost pole position and potential victory means to him despite his and the team’s current dominance.”
As Max Verstappen says, he wants perfection
The Dutchman is not one for talk of ifs, buts and maybes, that can be seen this season in how he has continuously resisted bait to comment on where and how he plans to seal his second World Championship.
Brundle used the right word in “serene” to describe how Verstappen has gone about his work in 2022, but as history has shown, he is never shy to voice his opinion, or shut a reporter down when he gets fed up of repetitive questions.
It was a little bit surprising to hear him lash out so strongly at his Red Bull team though, who after bringing Verstappen back into the pits to offer a private explanation, publicly accepted responsibility for the error.
But as Verstappen was quizzed on his reaction, he stated that he and Red Bull strive for perfection and he likes the critical way in a bid to achieve this.
Singapore was a frustrating weekend no doubt for Verstappen, but as long as he continues to limit such rants, it is hard really to criticize the results of his approach this season.