'Why? Why?' Max Verstappen fumes at Red Bull in Singapore GP qualifying

World champion is eighth on grid after being ordered to stop final qualifying lap

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Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen gave Red Bull a blast of radio rage after the team told him to abort his final qualifying lap at the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday and he ended up eighth.

"Why? Why?," screamed the Dutch 25-year-old as he was told to pit instead of going for pole position at a race he needs to win if he is to secure a second championship with five rounds to spare.

"What the... what are you guys saying? Unbelievable, mate. I don't get it. What is this about?," Verstappen fumed, with the expletives bleeped out on the television broadcast.

His race engineer replied that they would explain all privately.

Verstappen was still frustrated afterwards, telling Sky Sports there would have been insufficient fuel in the car to provide a mandatory post-qualifying sample had he not aborted the lap.

"On the final lap they told me to box and then I realised what was going to happen and we ran out of fuel. That's just incredibly frustrating and shouldn't happen," he said.

"We should have seen that way earlier. 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.

"Of course you learn from it but this is really bad, to be honest. It shouldn't happen."

Verstappen has his first chance to clinch the title in Sunday's race but he must score 22 points more than Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who starts on pole at a circuit where overtaking is difficult.

He must also score 13 points more than Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, who also starts on the front row.

Lewis Hamilton missed out on pole by just 0.054 seconds but the seven-time world champion is set to face further action from the stewards for taking part in qualifying with his nose stud in.

Hamilton wore the offending item of jewellery during practice and was summoned to see the stewards ahead of qualifying.

But the 37-year-old could be seen wearing the piercing as he conducted his post-qualifying interview moments after stepping out of his Mercedes.

Hamilton, a four-time winner in Singapore, said: “I was pushing so hard. It was so, so close. I thought we could be fighting for first place but I didn’t have grip on that last lap.

“I am grateful to be on the second row and the team for continuing to push. We keep our head down and hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

“We knew the car would be stronger here than in Monza, but to lose out by just a small bit is OK, we get up and fight again.”

The Briton, who wore his nose piercing during qualifying, said: “I am not trying to make a statement. I have had my jewellery and my nose stud for years."

Updated: October 01, 2022, 3:59 PM