After Departure of “Kiss Me Trophies”, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez Leave Japanese GP Disappointed

After the departure of "Kiss Me Trophies", Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez left Japanese GP Disappointed
Credits: IMAGO / Xinhua

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez seemed elated at finishing 1-2 in Suzuka last weekend. It resumed the dominant Red Bull run that came to a pause briefly in Melbourne, but there was one aspect of their Japanese GP win that Verstappen and Perez didn’t like. It was how the trophies changed in 2024.


In 2023, the organizers of the Japanese GP organizers came up with a new design, where if a driver kissed the trophy, it would light up. The trophies, dubbed as “kiss me” trophies, became big news and drivers were excited to celebrate with it on the podium.

Verstappen and the McLaren duo of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri were the recipients of this unique memorabilia, which is probably why the former was expecting something similar after winning the outing in 2024.


However, the 3-time champion felt disappointed. After the race, as per video clips circulated on social media, Verstappen was checking his trophy out with his foot. Perez said, “The trophies used to be really nice.” Verstappen replied, “Yeah, I don’t know what happened.” 

Verstappen was visibly disappointed with the changes to the trophy. But it doesn’t take anything away from the 26-year-old’s performance. He suffered a DNF in Melbourne which is why many questioned Red Bull’s reliability moving forward. But, the Dutchman didn’t seem very worried and dominated proceedings to win his 3rd race of 2024.

Max Verstappen and Red Bull’s Japan win shows Ferrari still has work to do

After their 1-2 finish in Melbourne, the F1 community wondered if Ferrari has what it takes to give Red Bull a run for its money this season. As it turns out, they don’t. At least, not yet.

The Maranello-based outfit was fast in Suzuka, with Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc showing exceptional race pace. Unfortunately, Verstappen and Perez were just too fast. The Red Bull duo did not get any threat from behind at any point during the race, with Perez finishing 8 seconds ahead of Sainz, who ended up in third.


Ferrari, however, did not bring upgrades to Suzuka as Red Bull did. The team is planning on bringing planned improvements to the car in Imola, which is when Ferrari’s progress can actually start to show. Until then, Red Bull and Verstappen remain the firm favorites.

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