Max Verstappen says he and his team hoped to be able to fight to win in the Singapore GP after a strong form at the last low speed circuit in Hungary, but reckons the podium is still a good result for the third placed team after the difficult races in Belgium and Italy.

Red Bull won a pole position with Verstappen in Hungary after two wins in Austria and Germany and although they did not win the race, they were Mercedes’ main challenger on the track that requires maximum downforce from the cars.

This year Ferrari surprised themselves and their opponents and sealed 1-2 victory on the streets of Singapore while Red Bull was only third fastest in qualifying before beating Mercedes in the race thanks to a better strategy.

“Of course we always want to win but finishing on the podium and gaining one place on a track where you can’t really overtake is positive,” said Verstappen who registered his sixth podium finish in 2019.

“It’s true that we came here hoping for more but this is still a good result for us, especially with the pace that the others had yesterday in qualifying. Most of the race was about managing the pace to keep the tyres alive and luckily that worked out for me.”

“Charles was managing his tyres out front and the pace was pretty slow but that kept everyone really close and allowed me to get the undercut on Lewis.”

Verstappen and Leclerc after the race 2019 Singapore GP F1 2019 Photo Red Bull

“We had good pace after the pit stop and I was comfortable in third even with all the safety car re-starts until the last few laps when Lewis was pushing hard to overtake me on newer tyres, but luckily we were able to hold on.”

“I wouldn’t say that today was that exciting from a racing perspective but Singapore has a lot of plus points being a street circuit, really tough on the body and just being a cool track to drive on.”

“This wasn’t exactly the weekend we hoped for but we will keep pushing before next weekend.”

Verstappen is fourth in the standings with the same number of points as Leclerc, but he is placed behind him because he has one second place less (both have two wins so the number of second places determines the order).

LEADING FIVE AFTER 15/21 RACES

1 Lewis Hamilton 296   18 25 25 18 26 25 25 25 10 26 2 25 18 16 12
2 Valtteri Bottas 231   26 18 18 25 18 15 13 18 15 18 4 15 18 10
3 Charles Leclerc 200   10 16 10 11 10 15 15 18 15 12 25 25 18
4 Max Verstappen 200   15 12 12 12 15 12 10 12 26 10 26 19 4 15
5 Sebastian Vettel 194   12 10 15 15 12 18 18 11 12 18 15 13 25

Vettel and Verstappen Singapore GP F1 2019 champagne on the podium Photo Red Bull

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