Max Verstappen Suggests an Easy Fix for F1’s Tire Problems

Published 01/15/2021, 5:53 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after qualifying in third position Pool via REUTERS/Tolga Bozoglu


Amidst all the talk of the new regulations coming in for 2022 and the aero design of the cars improving, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen believes there is another issue with the cars that F1 needs to address.

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This issue pertains to the weight of the current generation of F1 cars. The usual weight of the current crop of F1 cars is 746kg. These cars are about 100kg heavier than the last generation of cars equipped with the V8 engine.

With the increase in weight and the fact that the fuel tank is pretty small with no fueling in the pit stops allowed, teams have resorted to a 1 stop strategy. Verstappen believes the weight of the car is the crucial element to sort out if F1 wants to be competitive again.

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He said (translated via Google), “You know what the problem is. You can’t get close to the front with these vehicles on most tracks. That’s why you always prefer one-stop races.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – November 29, 2020 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during a press conference after the race FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

“On some tracks you sometimes have to take our feet off the gas to save fuel, because the fuel tank is not the size you need to go full throttle.”

Max Verstappen cites Eifel Grand Prix as an example to support his point

The Red Bull ace said, “The race at the Nürburgring was a good example in this regard. In the last episode, we had 12 laps ahead of us, the fuel load on the car was low and we were all on new tires.

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“We all really pushed it. It was evident from the laps we took. We were only 2-2.5 seconds slower from the qualifying laps. I wish the vehicles were lighter. That would be better even for tires.”

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

F1 plans to introduce a new generation of cars in 2025. It’ll be interesting to see if Max’s concerns are taken into account. For now, however, the Dutchman will have to be content with the incumbent regulations.

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Perhaps with a title-winning machine under his belt, his irritation with the weight of the cars would be eased. But it’s difficult to envision that happening this year. Nevertheless, you wouldn’t want to bet against Verstappen from doing something really special in 2021.

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Ronan Carvalho

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Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

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