Formula 1: Birthday to forget for Red Bull's Verstappen as he finishes seventh in S'pore

Max Verstappen was forced to abandon his final fastest lap during the qualifying after his car ran low on fuel. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Max Verstappen had a birthday weekend to forget at the Formula One Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix, after the Red Bull driver missed out on clinching his second world title here on Sunday - two days after turning 25.

The Dutchman, who led the championship race by a whopping 116 points ahead of the Singapore night race, finished seventh to end his five-race winning streak.

An annoyed Verstappen, who started the race eighth, said on BBC: "It's not what I'm here for, not with a car like that.

"I tried to pass a few people. Some worked, others were behind a train. It was really hard to follow. I got a bit lucky at the time, some people made mistakes.

"It's better than eighth but it's not what I'm here for. Not with a car like that. It was incredibly messy."

His woes began on Saturday during qualifying when he was forced to abandon his final fastest lap after the team discovered that his car was running low on fuel, sparking an expletive-laden outburst from the Dutchman over the team radio.

With few overtaking opportunities at the 23-turn, 5.063km street circuit, Verstappen faced an uphill task from the fourth row on Sunday.

A poor start saw him drop to 12th and while he managed to climb his way up the grid to fifth with 33 minutes remaining, an attempt to overtake McLaren's Lando Norris saw him go off the track at Turn 7 instead, dropping him to the back of the field.

But displaying the tenacity and grit that has seen him charge to the top of the drivers' standings this season, he slowly made his way back up and a late charge saw him pass Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel to take seventh and claim six points.

He is now 104 points clear of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and 106 ahead of teammate Sergio Perez with five races to go.

The title chase moves to Suzuka next week, where Verstappen can wrap up the title at the Japanese Grand Prix if he finishes ahead of both drivers by 112 points.

The day also saw plenty of drama in the support races with Singaporean Yuey Tan making his return on home soil.

Racing in his SLK Racing Porsche 991, Tan finished fifth in the Thailand Super Series - a huge improvement from his opening race the day before, when he dropped to 14th after hitting the Turn 15 barrier.

Thailand's pole-sitter Kantasak Kusiri, racing for YK Motorsports Billionaire Boy by Sunoco, won the race, while Australian driver Yasser Shahin and Audi Sport Asia Team Absolute teammate Haryanto closed out the podium positions.

In the all-women W Series' Asian debut, championship leader Jamie Chadwick retired from a race for the first time after crashing towards the end of the race.

She was running sixth for most of the race after starting eighth, and needed to finish ahead of rivals Alice Powell, Beitske Visser - who earned her second W Series win on Sunday - and Abbi Pulling to clinch her third straight title.

Chadwick will get her next title chance in Austin on Oct 22.

Briton Chadwick was frustrated with the result, saying: "It was a tough race. I was running sixth for majority of it and couldn't make progress so I made a desperate move.

"Unfortunately, I ended up in the wall. I would say that's uncharacteristic (of me) so that's more frustrating but I will bounce back stronger."

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