Red Bull admit F1 calendar change has dealt title blow – ‘Singapore suited us very much’
Red Bull’s senior advisor Helmut Marko says losing Singapore on the calendar is a big blow for the team, as it’s a track ‘suits’ them in Formula One.
The Marina Bay Street Circuit was the latest casualty on the F1 calendar that was dropped due to COVID-19 uncertainty, with various others still in limbo as to whether or not they’ll be going ahead with F1 targeting 23 races this season.
It’s the second year in a row the race won’t be taking place in Singapore, with last year’s event cancelled due to “continuing nationwide restrictions on construction and business activities” brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite not winning since 2013 with Sebastian Vettel, it’s a track that lends itself to Red Bull historically, with Max Verstappen grabbing a podium in both 2019 and 2018 respectively.
It’s been an impressive start for Red Bull at street circuits, with victory for Verstappen in Monaco and a win for his teammate Sergio Perez in Azerbaijan ahead of Paul Ricard in just over a weeks’ time.
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It means that Red Bull have put themselves in a strong position by moving 26 points clear of Mercedes in the Constructors’ Championship standings, with Verstappen still leading the way out front in the driver’s.
“We are fast. Singapore is dropped. This is a very crucial step in development,” the 78-year-old Austrian told Auto Motor und Sport.
“Singapore requires something completely different from the rest.
“There is only one slow course left, that’s Budapest. But it is not as extremely slow as Singapore.”
But, not specifying exactly what he meant, Marko did conclude that the cancellation came earlier enough to make plans for Red Bull’s development programme.
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“Singapore would, of course, have been a track that suited us very much. But that’s the way it is.”
F1 heads to France next, with Mercedes hoping to reclaim the top of the driver’s standings after two disastrous weekends.
But Marko says he has no interest in focusing on other’s performance with Red Bull sitting top.
He added: “France is again a typical course with a surface that does not exist anywhere else and with special curve sequences.
“We go there with the attitude that we have to be the fastest everywhere.”
Singapore follows in the footsteps of the Canadian, Turkish, and Chinese Grand Prix as F1 still targets a full 23 races on the calendar. Brazil and the United Arab Emirates are still on the UK’s red list, with Japan and Mexico still uncertain.
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