FURIOUS Max Verstappen launched an X-rated blast at Red Bull during qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion, who turned 25 on Friday, was aiming to secure pole position for Sunday’s race.
As he went around his flying lap in the hope of catching provisional pole-setter Charles Leclerc, Verstappen looked well on course to set the best time of Q3.
After crushing the second sector, the Dutchman – who knows he can secure the world title tomorrow – would have been confident of starting the race at the front of the grid.
But his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase suddenly came on to the radio and said: “Box, Max, box, box, box, box.”
Verstappen obeyed the order by aborting his lap with just one corner to go and headed back into the pits as he was forced to settle for eighth in qualifying with Leclerc first, Sergio Perez second and Lewis Hamilton third.
But the fiery driver was fuming with his team – and let his feelings be known with an expletive-laden rant.
Verstappen raged back on the radio: “Why? What the f*** why? What the f***? What the f***?
“What the f*** are you guys saying? Unbelievable, mate. I don’t get it, what the f*** is this about?”
Lambiase kept his cool and replied: “We’ll talk about it and I’ll explain when you’re out [of the car], Max.”
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Sky Sports commentator Martin Brundle immediately suggested the Red Bull order could have been to do with fuel levels in the tank – if too low he would have been sent to the back of the grid.
And the reigning world champion confirmed that was indeed the problem as he hit out at the “really bad” mistake by the garage crew.
Verstappen explained: “I already felt the lap before as well, but then they told me to abort, says ‘okay’, we do that.
“But then on the final lap they told me to box, then I realised I think what was gonna happen and we ran out of fuel.
“So it’s just incredibly frustrating and shouldn’t happen. When you under-fuel it or don’t plan to do that sixth lap, then at least you track that throughout the session that you know you’re not going to make it and we should have seen that way earlier.
“So I’m not happy at all at the moment. I know of course it’s always a team effort and I can make mistakes and the team can make mistakes but it’s never acceptable.
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“Of course you learn from it, but this is really bad, to be honest – it shouldn’t happen.”
Vertsappen has won the last five Grand Prix races as he dominates this F1 season and is well on course to defend his title.
That included victory from starting tenth on the grid in Hungary.
On repeating that on race day in Singapore, the Red Bull ace added: “It’s a bit like Monaco, just super-hard to pass.
“You can maybe do a little bit of strategy, but at the moment I’m not really in the mood to think about the race tomorrow.
“Once I jump in the car I will always give it my very best, but at the moment I’m super-frustrated with what just happened.”
However, the race weekend has been overshadowed by the controversy over accusations Red Bull have breached cost-cap spending limits.
If found guilty, Verstappen could in theory be stripped of the dramatic world championship he infamously pipped Hamilton to in Abu Dhabi in December 2021.
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