'No emotion' for Max Verstappen as he looks to bounce back in Japan

Red Bull champion saw his winning run come to an end in Singapore

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in the team's garage in Suzuka ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix. EPA
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Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen said he felt "no emotion" after his record-winning streak came to an end.

Verstappen failed to extend his run of 10 straight wins at last weekend's Singapore GP, finishing fifth behind winner Carlos Sainz of Ferrari, and will now look to bounce back at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Dutchman, who has won 12 of 15 races this season, is still significantly ahead of the competition and a near certainty to win his third straight championship.

"No emotion, we stopped winning for one race, we won 10 in a row before that," he said.

"Of course, I would have liked to have won there as well but we also know that there is always going to be a day where you have that weekend where you are not winning or things go wrong."

Verstappen enjoys a massive 151-point lead over Red Bull teammate and closest championship challenger Sergio Perez with seven races to go.

Red Bull's difficulties in Singapore opened the field up for a thrilling race as Ferrari's Sainz and McLaren's Lando Norris held off the charging Mercedes pair of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.

"For me, we got beaten in a very clear way," said Verstappen, who insisted he is not bothered if fans believe his dominance is bad for the sport.

"I don't think about what is good for Formula One and I don't think it was necessarily bad for Formula One because we were just better than everyone else.

"If people cannot appreciate that then you are not a real fan. If people did a better job than us then they deserved to win. They shouldn't win because people say it is boring that we are winning."

Meanwhile, Mercedes driver Russell expects Red Bull to get "back to their winning ways".

Singapore was a rare off-day for the dominant Red Bulls, who were eyeing an unprecedented undefeated season. Red Bull, who could clinch the constructors' title in Japan, lead Mercedes by 308 points with seven races remaining.

Russell had his own heartbreak in Singapore, crashing on the last lap as he attempted a late victory charge on fresher tyres.

However, the British driver expects Red Bull to come back strongly in Japan and said he believes their troubles in Singapore were "purely a one-off".

"I expect them to be back to their winning ways, or at least to be back to the top of the field," said Russell. "If they're not, that would be a lot of question marks being raised if they have another weekend like last week - but I don't expect it."

Russell said it had taken him "24 to 36 hours" to get over the disappointment of crashing on the final lap in Singapore, as he hunted down leaders Sainz and Norris.

But he said he would learn from the experience and was "not going to let a mistake of 2cm cloud my whole weekend".

"Throughout everybody's career you have ups and you have downs," Russell said. "I'm very thankful for having some very difficult situations in the past to bounce back from - it helped me deal with these situations better."

Updated: September 21, 2023, 11:30 AM