Verstappen expecting 2015 grip levels next season


Max Verstappen believes that next year's rules overhaul will see cars running at 2015 grip levels.

Of course, 2015 was the year in which the youngster made his debut with Toro Rosso - at 17 years 166 days the youngest ever driver to start a world championship race, a move which led to the FIA changing the rules.

Next season witnesses the biggest overhaul of the regulations in living memory, as the sport continues to try and find ways to level the playing field.

One of the main aims of the new rules is to allow drivers to follow one another more closely - thereby aiding overtaking - something which is almost impossible in F1's current guise, as witnessed as recently as last week's race at Imola.

Writing on his website, Verstappen believes the grip levels witnessed next season will be comparable to those of 2015.

"Of course I haven't driven the new car yet, so I can't answer that yet," says the Dutch youngster. "But we do know that the cars will be a lot slower.

"I understand that it will also have very different driving characteristics," he adds. "The engines will be the same, so with the same or more power and less grip, it will not be easy.

"We will see... I think it will go back to the 2014 or 2015 grip levels, so that's a big change.

"They will look very different," he says of the futuristic design. "But the most important thing... and we all hope this, is that the racing will improve. That's what the fans will like."

However, Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, believes that at a time the playing field already appears to be converging, the 2022 rule changes could have the opposite effect.

"If you keep the rules, the field converges," says the Austrian. "For those in front, the gains get smaller and smaller, even with more effort. And at some point, the teams that are behind will also continue this steep form curve, and then there's the convergence.

"If you look at qualifying, today it's tip-top... the way I felt that was the direction we should go.

"I promise you that next year, we’ll have another situation where we'll have a totally disjointed field," he warns. "Maybe not with Mercedes in front, but certainly back to square one."

While increasingly more teams are now switching focus to 2022, Red Bull, which is locked in battle with Mercedes for the 2021 titles, is likely to hold off a while longer.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 26/04/2021
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