The Red Bull's podium finishes streak in Singapore doesn't come to an end thanks to the third place secured by Max Verstappen. But that was definetly not what the team was aiming for coming into the weekend: Ferrari's expected struggles in the twisty corners of the track and usual confidence of the Red Bull's car in this particular circuit set high goals for the austrian team, possibly even contemplating a win.
But the cards on the table quickly shuffled when new aero pieces were sent to Singapore straight out of the Maranello's factories: Ferrari gained massively in front-end stability making the red-painted car the winning one on the sunday's night.
"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" stated after the race Max Verstappen, while trying to clean up the pieces of a shattered victory hope: “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."
Verstappen indeed started the race in P4 and -despite a quite anonymous performance- managed to undercut Lewis Hamilton thanks to the strategy to secure a podium finish.
The #33's race can be split in two halves; the first stint in particular was all about tyre and fuel management, as the Dutchman himself explained: "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."
On the other hand, the second half saw the drivers pushing a bit more, with Verstappen in some kind of 'no man's land': too slow to threaten the Ferraris, too quick to be overtaken back by Hamilton. At least until the final laps tyres drop: "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."
In the end, to sum up his overall weekend, an half-satisfyed Verstappen stated: "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.”