Verstappen: F1's 2017 cars could be "easier" for drivers

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Max Verstappen has dismissed talk that Formula 1's 2017 cars will deliver an extra challenge for drivers, as he thinks the extra downforce coming will make corners simply 'eye closed flat.'

F1 is facing its biggest regulations overhaul for years next season as bigger wings, wider cars and fatter tyres are expected to drop laptimes by up to five seconds.

Although there is hope that the improved speed will put the onus back on driving talent – as opposed to the current focus on tyre management – Verstappen is not so convinced that things will change that dramatically.

Having tried the 2017 car on Red Bull's simulator, he thinks the biggest difference will simply be that drivers need to be stronger, rather than need to be braver when it comes to finding the limits.

"I wouldn't directly say it's more ballsy, because you have much more grip and that can make it easier," said Verstappen in an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com.

"Sometimes with the cars now, they are like really on the edge in some high speeds corners that are just not flat. Next year they will be eyes closed flat.

"So that is not balls out any more, because you just have to be physically very strong. So I think, in general, from what I've driven on the simulator, it makes it more easy to drive."

Verstappen believes that one aspect that still needs proving out about the 2017 plans is how Pirelli's 2017 rubber shapes up, because the Italian company has been asked to move away from the thermal degradation characteristic of the current tyres.

"I hope the tyres don't overheat that much," he said. "But you never know because the loads are bigger as well. Of course the tyres are wider, but maybe you have the same thing again. So we have to wait and see."

Looking good

One thing Verstappen does like, though, is the look of the cars which he thinks will appeal to fans.

Having seen concept images of Red Bull's 2017 car, Verstappen said: "I haven't seen too much, because it's all of course still in progress.

"But it looks interesting. Even the designs some people put up on the internet. I'm definitely for it. So now it's up to to us, you know, to get strong."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Max Verstappen
Teams Red Bull Racing
Article type Breaking news