Max Verstappen faces fight to keep run going after qualifying 11th in Singapore
Max Verstappen will start Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix from a shock 11th place after Lance Stroll crashed out at 110mph and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz took pole position.
On a wild night at the Marina Bay Circuit, both Red Bull drivers were eliminated in Q2 leaving the world champions facing an enormous task to retain their unbeaten record this season.
George Russell qualified second, missing out on pole by just 0.072 seconds with Charles Leclerc third for Ferrari, one place ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris. Lewis Hamilton finished fifth, half-a-second back.
Verstappen was eliminated in Q2 after he bemoaned the handling of the Red Bull machine which has carried him to a record 10 consecutive wins, but has struggled under the bulbs that light up this unique 3.07-mile high-downforce track.
Verstappen missed out on Q3 by 0.007 sec, and then took aim at his team over the radio.
“I don’t know if you saw that, but it was an absolutely shocking experience,” he said amid of flurry of expletives.
Verstappen is also facing three stewards’ investigations for separate incidents of impeding during qualifying.
His team-mate Sergio Perez, who spun, also failed to progress to Q3. He will start 13th following a miserable night for the team from Milton Keynes in the city-state.
Red Bull’s demise allowed Sainz to capture his second consecutive pole with Russell narrowly missing out.
Earlier, Stroll survived a staggering crash. The Canadian driver lost control of his Aston Martin through the final left-hander before he slammed into the barrier.
The force of the high-speed impact sent Stroll’s head rocking from side-to-side. He catapulted back across the track with Norris forced to take evasive action – dodging a flying wheel and Stroll’s out-of-control machine.
“Is the driver alright?” asked Norris on the radio. “That must have been quite a big one.”
Stroll pirouetted to a standstill in the middle of the track before his race engineer Ben Michell came on the radio.
“Lance, car is safe,” said Michell. “Are you OK?” Stroll, 24, replied: “Yeah, I am OK.”
The Aston Martin driver emerged from his wrecked car unaided before being taken off to the medical centre.
Aston Martin confirmed Stroll had been given the all-clear by the on-site medical team and was allowed to return to the paddock.
Stroll’s accident brought a premature end to a frenetic conclusion to Q1 and left the marshals with a significant barrier repair job at the final corner, with fluid from his car also on the track.
The session was delayed for 34 minutes before Q2 started at 9.53pm local time.
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