Singapore (September 15, 2023) – On their return to Singapore, Oracle Red Bull Racing champions, Max Verstappen and Sergio “Checo” Perez, embraced a uniquely fun challenge. They hopped on motorized cleaning carts, racing on a specially constructed indoor track, in the cleanest race ever, all within the stunning Jewel Changi Airport.
The first part, a mock sprint race, began with an electrifying "Le Mans" style start. Max gained an early advantage by firing up his cleaning cart first. He maintained a solid lead until Checo attempted to take a shortcut that violated track limits, securing Max's victory.
In the subsequent Cleaning Challenge, the drivers navigated an expanded track with obstacles like muddy footprints, dirt, rubbish, and leaves. Max, starting in pole position, maintained his lead throughout the race until an exciting head-to-head battle emerged in the back section of the course. Despite Checo's attempts to overtake him, Max held his ground. During the pit stop, it was clear that Max's vehicle had cleaned more debris. With a significant lead, Max sprinted (albeit slowly) to the finish line, clinching first place in the inaugural World’s Cleanest Race. He was presented with a pre-broken trophy in recognition of his victory by Oracle Red Bull Racing ambassador, Josh Denzel, sparing him the effort of breaking it himself.
“It was great,” stated Checo when asked about the challenge. “When I got to see the cart for the first time, I was shocked with it.”
When asked about the unique nature of today’s event, Max laughed stating, “At this stage, being with the team, I’m quite used to it. They come up with quite a lot of things so this was another one."
Supported by Jewel Changi Airport and the Singapore Tourism Board, there was no better venue to host the event than at the world's best airport, renowned for its autonomous fleet of cleaning robots, offering a stunning backdrop featuring the world's tallest indoor waterfall nestled within the lush indoor forest.
With Singapore as a vibrant backdrop, a city renowned for its diverse culinary culture, captivating attractions, and lush gardens, the beauty of the Lion City and FORMULA 1’s first night street race has always been an attraction for avid racing fans and the Oracle Red Bull Racing drivers, as well.
It’s always good to be in Singapore. It’s an incredible track and the fact that it’s a night race makes it even more special. It is of course a very warm race which can be challenging, so it’s definitely one of the toughest races on the calendar,” said Max.
Checo echoed similar sentiments, adding, “It’s a track that’s really hard on us and the cars. We just have to deliver to the maximum.”
The one-of-a-kind World’s Cleanest challenge, held ahead of the highly anticipated Singapore Grand Prix (15 to 17 September), was just the warm-up the racers favoured before tackling the big one. It’s at the forthcoming night race that Checo hopes to repeat his incredible performance from last year.
“That would be really nice to repeat what we did last year,” said Checo. “I look forward to it, and hopefully we are able to have a tremendous race.”
Max, in particular, is focused on extending his record-breaking streak with a potential first-time victory in Singapore.
“Street circuits always bring a few more challenges but we’ll definitely try,” declared Max. “We have a quick car, but we know that on a street circuit there are a lot of other cars that can be quick as well and the gaps will be very tight. We of course want to win so let’s see what we can do.”
To catch the epic action and the infectious laughter of Max Verstappen and Checo Perez, zoom over to Oracle Red Bull Racing's YouTube channel to watch the World's Cleanest Race in its entirety.