Charles Leclerc strikes fear into Red Bull bosses as historic feat in jeopardy

Helmut Marko has revealed that Red Bull are worried about the pace of Charles Leclerc and Ferrari ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend. The team are now eight victories away from completing an unprecedented clean sweep of race wins.

The reigning Constructors’ Championship victors have been nothing short of unstoppable in 2023, winning all 14 races thus far and opening up a 310-point lead over nearest rivals Mercedes. 

Even more impressive has been the form of Max Verstappen, who has won each of the last ten Grands Prix on his own, breaking Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine successive race wins from the team’s immense 2013 campaign. 

The Milton Keynes-based team have already broken the record for the most consecutive team victories this year, and they are now looking to do the unthinkable and extend their winning streak across an entire season. 

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Speaking to Autosport about the potential threats to Red Bull’s record, Marko said: “Like every race, we have had a competitive car everywhere so why should that not be the case in Singapore? But I have to say Ferrari and especially Leclerc is a specialist around there.

“If they are faster in qualifying, then it could become a problem for us because overtaking in Singapore is very difficult. But I’m still optimistic that the package we are bringing to Singapore is good enough to win.”

Marko is right to fear the pace of the Ferrari drivers. Carlos Sainz took a historic pole position in front of the Tifosi at Monza last time out and frustrated Verstappen throughout the opening stint, while Leclerc has taken pole on two occasions already in 2023.

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Singapore is one of the hardest circuits to pass on due to its short start-finish straight, lack of lengthy DRS zones and abundance of 90-degree corners, meaning if Ferrari were to lock out the front row, Red Bull would have a hard time getting to the head of the field even if their race pace was stronger.

Team principal Christian Horner pointed out how the record could slip away from Red Bull, suggesting: “There are so many elements, whether it’s reliability, whether it’s luck, whether it’s strategy, whether it’s a pitstop, whether it’s pace, weather – there are so many elements.

“You’ve got to stay on top of your game, and I think that’s what, for me, that’s the most remarkable achievement this year so far is that we haven’t dropped the ball.”

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