Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, Circuito de Jerez, 2015

Verstappen “the best I’ve seen so far” – engineer

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Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, Circuito de Jerez, 2015In the round-up: Max Verstappen’s race engineer Xevi Pujolar has high expectations of F1’s youngest ever driver.


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Engineer: Verstappen the best I've seen (GP Update)

"He's the best I've seen so far. You can see the potential is there."

Verstappen: Special or too much too young? (ESPN)

"You also have to take advantage, especially at the beginning of the season when everybody wants to score points. Sometimes they can make mistakes and we have to take advantage of it."


Comment of the day

Why those who are hoping F1’s rules overhaul will mean an end to DRS may be disappointed:

This is F1 – they stick to their guns. DRS is here to stay and they won’t budge on that (it’s even been drip fed to GP2).

They don’t like getting to the root of the problem, they have a reputation for pasting over the cracks, and this will be no exception.

DRS is here to stay, so let’s at least bolt some downforce back on and make these cars look a little more reasonable!

There’s still time for you to join in this weekend’s Caption Competition:

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On this day in F1

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  • 112 comments on “Verstappen “the best I’ve seen so far” – engineer”

    1. Wow Hoping Max lives up to this hype

    2. Living close to Verstappen, I know there has been a buzz around Max from the very beginning. He is very very good. I expect a lot from him. We just need to give him some time as he is been catapulted into f1. But he just might be ready from the get go.

      1. Wasn’t there a similar buzz about his Dad ?

        1. kind of hard to go against the party line at red bull/STR. What’s good for the goose is good for the sponsors.

        2. I still don’t believe it. Call it.

        3. Yes, and we all know how that lack of junior experience turned out. Yet as before, it is better to be an F1 driver on a salary rather than paying to drive in the lower categories. Unlike many of the recent crop of F1 drivers the Verstappen’s are of more humble origins. Whatever transpires, big kudos to Sr. for getting Red Bull so hyped up!

          1. @HoHum @beejis60, Fast From what I recall there was quite a buzz about his dad too, but of course, a different time, where Senna and Prost, Mansell, were the legends, Schumacher was exciting and pretty amazing, but not yet a 7 times WDC.

            I tend to think that the biggest problem for Jos was ending up in a Benetton that had other priorities than helping him develop, while Max is in a STR car where the team are supportive and excited about having him and seeing him grow. And he and his dad knows how it went for his dad, and have learned from that, I think. But you probably know that better than me @solidg! Looking forward to seeing him shine.

            1. @bosyber But I’m saying I don’t believe Max will amount to much unless he can get a few spins in the RBR team.

            2. @beejis60 I don’t agree that unless he gets a chance in RBR soon he’s not a good driver – there are too many other factors to influence that. But, you are of course free to be sceptical, wouldn’t be the first promising driver not to be great in F1.

        4. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
          15th February 2015, 21:45

          Who got ruined by Schumacher lol.

      2. @solidg – I think we can reasonably expect great things from Verstappen since the junior categories are becoming such a reliably excellent barometer for talent. In the past five years I can think of only three drivers who have failed to live up to their junior category form in the past ten years: Heikki Kovalainen, Nelson Piquet Jr and Jaime Alguersuari, and in the case of the later Jaime’s F1 was arguably vastly compromised by premature promotion. Equally the pleasant surprises of guys like Sergio Perez, Kamui Kobayashi, Daniel Ricciardo and even Sebastian Vettel, i.e. those that outperformed their junior category form, vastly outnumber the disappointments.

        That said we must manage our expectations of Max versus Sainz. Whilst Carlos is in the same boat, an F1 rookie, he is a completely different case. Whilst Verstappen is to the eyes of most being promoted somewhat prematurely, Sainz is as ready as he will ever be. The FR3.5 champions has an impressive tally of F1 mileage under his belt, and even in his first go in an F1 car at the 2013 Silverstone test, showed impressive consistency and speed. Sainz has taken to F1 machinery like a duck to water, and for me it will be impressive if Max can be consistently within a quarter of a second of the Spaniard.

        1. If he can not get consistently within a quarter of a sec than that is poor. They are both rookies 2 tenths is huge in todays f1. If you are going to be WC material you do not lose by a quarter of a sec to a fellow rookie.

        2. Actually,… I think Max will turn out to be faster than Carlos at the end of the year. I’ve written on some other sites that my expectations are that Carlos will be able to keep up or even beat Max the first three races,… after that Max will be consistently faster. But I won’t be surprised if Max is faster from the get go. At the other hand, I do expect Max will make a few more mistakes and be a little to optimistic in some overtakes.

      3. The amount of pressure on Max is huge. He’s already been touted as the next Ayrton Senna, a sure race winner, etc etc. This can hardly be good for what, at the end of the day, is a 17-year-old!!

    3. From their time together so far, Pujolar – who has previously worked with the likes of Mark Webber, Juan Pablo Montoya and Eddie Irvine – says 17-year-old Verstappen sits at the top of the list.

      Does anyone know if Xevi has worked with some bigger names than that listed above? I can’t find any bio’s of Xevi Pujolar. While that list may impress some outside Formula 1, those of us that know better, wouldn’t rate those drivers as particularly outstanding, hence the article becomes a little redundant.

      1. He’s worked with Alonso at a test with Jaguar in 2002.

        1. Alonso tested for Jaguar in 2002?

        2. You probably mean Webber. Alonso never had anything to do with Jaguar.

            1. Now that car has more sponsors that they do now!

          1. Yes, Alonso had a test with Jaguar. Look it up.

      2. He’s been with Bruno Senna, Maldonado and Vergne recently. All fast certainly, but not top level.

      3. @dragoll
        Verstappen is better than Montoya if we take his word for it, and that’s already pretty impressive for a 17 year old, to be better than JPM was.

        1. @kingshark I don’t rate JPM… But that is my personal opinion, however, your point is noted, because I take it from your point of view that JPM is up there for you in your list of fastest drivers.

          1. @dragoll
            Had Montoya’s car not failed him when he was leading in Suzuka 2003, he would have finished on level points with Schumacher (92), and only lost the championship by countback.

            Something to think about…

          2. Yeah, from what I remember about the hype around JPM in his first couple of years was that he would blossom into a great champion. This was forged on the basis he was a little ragged round the edge but certainly super quick. I always saw him as being a man who would be absolutely rapid in short-stint high downforce F1 of the early 2000s but would struggle under different rules. His problem was of course Schumacher, dominating 2002 and 2004. His 2001 season was a great rookie year but it appeared he was nearly at his potential from the second he sat in the car. He put on a lot of weight on in the Williams years and I can’t believe that didn’t slow him. At McLaren he was well beaten by Kimi and he was probably right to leave in 2006. But his career is definitely shorter than it should have been. Having hot and cold Ralf Schumacher and a red hot Kimi Raikkonen are hardly concrete bench marks. I feel if he raced in the late 1990s through to 2006 then he would have been more fondly remembered.

            But, if Pujolar thinks he has the potential of JPM then we could be on for a top, top driver.

            1. JPM’s career is not over, he is racing Indycar and did very well last year for being out of the game so long.

            2. Montoya’s problem is and always has been his fitness. It is a surprise he has done as much as he has. Way too many cheeseburgers!

            3. @rbalonso He could have driven 99, 00 or even 98 for Williams, but did a JV with two years stateside, winning CART/Indy 500.

              Basically, a swap with Zanardi, plus delaying Jenson’s debut. Maybe JPM might have won Nurbs 99?

              But indeed, no one else managed 8 podiums in a row in 2003, until he got penalised out of title contention at Indianapolis.

          3. @dragoll, I think Montoya had some clear failings as an F1 driver, but lacking speed wasn’t one of them.

      4. I’m sure the 20 race wins between those three count for something!

    4. ColdFly F1 (@)
      15th February 2015, 0:20

      For now it should probably be Verstappen against Sainz. Logic/Experience would say that Sainz is expected to have the upper hand.
      But if Max shows some spectacular driving, like he did at times in F3, then I hope he could be the next in this line Senna/Schumacher/Alonso/Vettel/… (maybe commenters will now strike down upon (me) with great vengeance and furious anger!).

      I wish him all the best, and hopefully we’ll have some great racing over the next couple of years.

      1. Verstappen is the real deal, the best talent I’ve seen for the last 25 years. He’s got the speed, he’s got the technical understanding, he’s great at overtaking, he’s level headed and he’s just seventeen..

        But that doesn’t automatically mean he’ll be a superstar i F1. The job starts now, it’s all about success and confidence.

        Personally I think Verstappen will become one of the most successful F1 drivers ever. He’ll be in a top team before he’s 20 and will go on to dominate. He just has that unshakeable confidence and will to win combined with all that talent. Those of you that watched his damage limitation run at Macau know what I mean. What a brave, mature and skillful performance that was on a road course. That really reminded me of Ayrton Senna.

        1. Rumour is he can replace Kvyat in the summer, maybe if Kvyat is slower without a weight advantage in 2015, and brings his sim form to the track. Signs are that he won’t disappoint so far..

          @coldfly I dunno about vengeance/furious anger :P, but I’d say Hamilton, then ?? At the moment Ricciardo is looking a good bet, then Max.

          To clarify.. Hakkinen, Montoya, Raikkonen, Vettel.. They are just below Schumi, Alonso, Lewis.. Mostly through length of time at peak form. Maybe Bottas with Ricciardo, Ocon with Max?

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            16th February 2015, 8:39

            @fastiesty, fair point. I certainly rate Hamilton today as a better racer than Vettel.

            Not sure why I left him out.
            Maybe, it is because Hamilton has been a bit here & there over the past seasons. But he proved in 2014 that he is still talented and can manage the pressure.
            Vettel is ‘on probation’ to remain at the top as far as I’m concerned. He has been very strong all the previous years; and that was more than just driving a good car.

    5. There once was a boy named Max,
      in talent, there’s nothing he lacks.
      But there might be one thing,
      to stop him racing,
      A road license to get to the tracks.

      1. 12/10 with rice.

      2. There is far more than one thing that max lacks…

        Actually, his name should be MAX LAX

        1. Obviously not a fan of Max V.

      3. I applaud you sir, that made me smile :)

      4. There was a boy before him called Max, and speed is what he does lack. But he did have the cash, to get to the bash, through the bank of mum & dad.

        1. @fastiesty, then you are very mistaken, Max did not got into F1 for his money but for his talent. You are comparing him to Nasr now which I dont think is fair to the boy. Talents like Ocon and Verstappen are the real deal.

          1. Ah my jingle was clearly for Max Chilton. Why do you not think Nasr is the real deal either? He beat Magnussen in British F3..

    6. I have not doubt that Max is one of the greatest talents to arrive on the grid since 2000, but I’m still struggling to like the fact his debut is coming this year. What would be the harm in putting him in GP2? He’d still be the youngest driver in F1 history and he’d more experienced, lowering the chance he’ll be washed up by the time he’s 20.

      1. Because being offered an F1 drive is what tipped the scales for him to sign with RB and not stay with Mercedes in a junior development program. And when you are offered an F1 drive (especially these days) you take it.

      2. One of the problems I have with what happened to Verstappen, and I say that because this isn’t about him, it is about anyone who has gone straight from a lowly rated racing series to F1, and that is there are a lot of parents and friends and sponsors of a GP2 driver who have spent a lot of time and money getting them to races, sponsoring them, trying to get the best parts for their car, etc, and for what?
        See, GP2 and, as I understand it, the Renault 3.5 racing series are supposed to be F1 feeder series, so drivers will go down this path in preference to another path, and have turned down other offers to race in other series to race in one of these series, all in the hope of getting an F1 seat, but racing in these series costs you money, so your parents have to believe you have F1 potential. So one would expect a driver in these series to actually have F1 capability, but what is the point? Even the GP2 champion hasn’t got an F1 seat in a car this year.
        If Verstappen is as good as some of the people here say he is, then he would have won the GP2 championship in his first year, progressed to F1, and no one could complain. But that isn’t what happened, Verstappen’s didn’t race in GP2, and his results for F3 show he wasn’t consistently getting good results.
        So a driver with inconsistent results is suddenly elevated to a coveted F1 seat, and the current GP2 champion (paid for by his parents and sponsors) is left sitting on the reserve bench.
        I think if the parents of a GP2 or Renault 3.5 series driver feels their son or daughter is better than Verstappen, then I won’t argue with them because they proved it by racing in a higher series (at least until Melbourne) than he did.

        1. @drycryst The problem is, GP2 is now won by a driver, which has the most experience. Recent GP2 champions won the series in their 3rd/4th season. I don’t think that shows the talent.

          If the guy is talented, he will show his potential straight away. Consistency comes with experience, so it’s not the problema to worry too much about, but if you don’t have enough talent, experience and consistency will count for nothing.

          Max came to the single seaters like a storm, he showed remarkable speed and his inconcistent results were due to the lack of experience and also quite big unreliability. This can be fixed, but you won’t add the talent if there’s none of it.

        2. @drycrust like @osvaldas31 is saying, there are a few problems with GP2 that have resulted in their drivers not flowing on to F1 easily the last few years. First of all, GP2 is expensive. By far the most expensive feeder series of them all, I think a season costs at least 2 but rather 3 times more than FR3.5.
          Because of it being so expensive, it’s favoring those with a lot of money. They can afford to stay in the series for years and build experience, making it hard for rookies to shine in their first year.

          I’ve made various posts about this on F1F, but I’ll just use Palmer again as an example: he needed 3 seasons to even break the top 10 in GP2, and a fourth to finally become champion. Palmer’s earlier junior record shows pretty much the same pattern: very mediocre rookie seasons.
          And THAT’s why he’s not in F1. Winning GP2 shouldn’t automatically propel you into F1, not while the series is heavily influenced by experience and drivers stay in it for four, sometimes five seasons. If you can’t make an impression in the first two seasons then that should really be it.

          And drivers being propelled into F1 without having competed in GP2 or FR3.5, that’s not exactly something new. Sure, it’s hard for those who are in GP2 or FR3.5, but that’s the name of the game. It has simply always been this way. Bottas, Kvyat, Button, Raikkönen, and before this generation there are numerous examples as well. When the next new potential superstar is spotted, things can go fast.

          Lastly, about Verstappens F3 results: you might call them “inconsistent”, I call them seriously impressive as far as car racing debut seasons go. Can’t remember a debut that was more impressive than his. Once he really got the hang of it he outscored Ocon until the end of the season. And what do you call inconsistent, anyway? When he didn’t retire (he had a few mechanical issues as well, btw) he only finished out of the top six two times. That’s actually very consistent in my book.

          1. I thought he was very impressive last year. Particularly when you consider he wasn’t running with prema,mucke or carlin that have tended to dominate in recent years.

          2. @mattds @osvaldas31 : Just because a person takes 4 years to win a series doesn’t mean they are a bad driver, nor that they lacked ability, it means it took 4 years to beat 20 or so other similarly skilled drivers, and for 2 years anyway, better experienced drivers.
            Yes, they are winning because they have more experience, but that is entirely the point: Experience makes you a better driver. Why is being a more experienced driver bad for F1? If it is bad, why are people like JB, Alonso, Hamilton, etc, still there? Surely if experience was bad then they’d have been given the boot by now, so experience makes even an F1 driver better, at least until age catches up with them.
            Looking at the 2014 European F3 results, Verstappen had 5 retirements from the first 10 races of that series. I don’t know why these happened, maybe they were the fault of others, maybe they were his own fault, all I know is this doesn’t look like a consistently good driver. In addition most of his wins happened in Spa and Norisring. Again, I don’t know why he got such good results there and not for the remainder of the year, but again, they just suggest he has inconsistent form.
            To me, looking at those EF3 results, both Estaban Ocan and Tom Blomqvist, who came first and second respectively, had much more consistent results.

            1. My apologies to Esteban Ocon for misspelling his name.

            2. Because F1 is a whole different matter. If you need 4 years to get up to speed, then that’s fine in GP2, if you have loads of money. But if is proffesional sports. Drivers get booted only after one or two years. If you can’t deliver, you’re waste of time and money. F1 needs best of the best. JB got into F1 very young because he impressed with his speed. Experience just made him even better. Combination of speed and experience is perfect match.

              Meanwhile Palmer just outmatched others with his experience. For example, van Doorne was in his first season in GP2 and he impressed already, while Palmer took couple of years to just break into the top 10.

            3. Well, just looking at the numbers doesn’t tell the whole story. But if you are a racing fan take a seat and watch race 29 of the Fia F3 championship.


              Verstappen had 3 races in a row where has was put 10 places back on the starting grid because the had to replace a engine a time to many. In this race he started 11th. In this race he also won the Fia Action of the Year.

              I think if you watch this race you’ll begin to understand the hype. I have to say that I also expect a lot of Ocon in the coming years.

            4. @drycrust I’d reply more in-depth but others have said a lot so I’m not going to repeat all of it.

              About Palmer I’d like to add that feeder series are not supposed to revolve around experience. They’re there to gauge drivers in one, maximum two years. I’m not saying he is a bad driver per se, but honestly, if I had to pick a driver to graduate to F1 from last year, it would always be Vandoorne who, in his rookie year, did admirably. That’s the difference for me: Palmer did awful in his first year (last placed of those that did the entire year!).

              Yes, Verstappen got 6 wins in two weekends. But then again, Ocon had 5 wins in two weekends. Both scored at least one race win in six different weekends (Verstappen just scored one win more). So the distribution of races won isn’t really different for both of those. Same goes for Blomqvist by the way, who scored six wins, all in different weekends.

              Sure he had a few teething issues in the beginning of the year, but once again: he debuted in car racing at Euro F3 level (which is much higher than most) and once he got used to it he outscored everyone wich only 2 finishes outside of the top 6. For me that’s consistency when that isn’t even expected from a total rookie to car racing. I ask you: who, in recent years, had a more promising debut than that?

      3. You can ask Palmer, Leimer or Valsecchi what being GP2 champions did for them.

      4. @jmc200 True, but F1 should have the best 25 drivers, even if one of them has the potential to break the mould. Schumi could have had the longest ever career if he didn’t have a break..

        @drycrust Talent trumps experience; speed of improvement is the barometer for potential champions, not who can afford 5 years of GP2 or has 10m to dump on a racing career. Hence the report of MV’s promising sim-work. Experience only prolongs careers when testing is banned.. And pay drivers over talent when teams are in the red.. This is the current situation! Hence we see Chilton not Frijns, etc.

    7. Sainz Junior vs Verstappen is one of the intra-team battles I’m really looking forward to watch. My money is on Sainz Jr.

      1. I’ll take that bet. :)

    8. I think he will perform right.

    9. Thanks for the COTD, Keith.

      I think my wording could have been better on ‘F1 sticks to their guns’ – I more meant with DRS and their ‘solutions’ for gaping issues.

      It’s a given that DRS is here to stay, so I just feel we may as well make the driving more physically demanding again and pump up the horsepower and downforce. The drivers should feel like warriors on top of their game taming their machinery beneath them.

      Currently we have highway passes with the DRS. Who knows, maybe with the high downforce, it’ll make it a little trickier to get within that 1 second…

      1. Dan,

        it’ll make it a little trickier to get within that 1 second

        Surely that will not improve the racing, if drivers cannot get within a second (as you say) of the driver in front there will be no passing DRS or otherwise, the only way to increase passing is to reduce the role of wings .

        1. That’s a valid point, but one thing to remember is the role of the tires, too.

          Increased downforce may mean increased wear.

          1. I think you mean decreased downforce. And that’s the point isn’t it? At least tires are something you can manage, but you can’t do anything about dirty air.

        2. Or allow DRS from 1.5sec back as it will be dumping so much more downforce if the rear wings are modified, that the extra speed would still allow the chasing car to catch and overtake, especially if the engines are made to produce even more power too.

          In 2009 the cars did actually have a manual adjustment for the front wing in the cockpit, so drivers could add a little extra downforce when following close. But, the double Decker defuser ended up causing so much more wake than the regs intended that the adjustment just wasn’t enough to cope with the turbulent air and was dropped for 2010.

          1. If they go that direction & rely purely on DRS for the passing that will be the final straw & I’ll just turn F1 off for good.

            As much as I hate DRS (Won’t be watching GP2 this year in protest of them implementing it) at the very least right now (Well last year) there was still plenty of proper overtaking to keep the DRS haters happy.
            If they start throwing more downforce on & the proper overtaking becomes much harder with the majority of passing been done via DRS I just don’t see anything positive about that because I just don’t find anything exciting about that sort of easy, push of a button highway passing.

            Every poll I have seen since 2011 shows that most fans do not like DRS (Especially the way its been implemented), Maybe they should look at that when trying to figure out reasons why people are turning off?

            1. I’ll tell you a secret. Without DRS, F1 would be 20 Monaco GPs.

            2. @austus 2010 didn’t feature DRS & we didn’t get 20 Monaco Gp’s, We got the most amount of overtaking than any season since 1989 with overtaking figures up on every circuit (Including Monaco).

              I’d also hardly qualify what DRS produces as been overtaking, Its so boring to watch it may as well not have happened.

              Ban it before it kills the racing completely & spreads its awfulness across all categories!

          2. @thebullwhipper, the main reason why the adjustable front wings were dropped was because the FIA noted that the driver were subverting the premise of the idea.

            In practise, it turned out that most of the drivers were using the adjustable front wing to adjust the balance of the car during a stint as the fuel load burned off and the tyres wore down. This was in part because Bridgestone’s 2009 spec compounds were rather unusual and lead to the cars often being front traction limited, so generally a driver would tend to add more wing during a stint to compensate for that.

            It was therefore not uncommon for a driver to then end up coming up behind another driver and to have already hit the limits of the wing adjustment mechanism, rendering the adjustable mechanism pointless.

            1. Button and Alonso both shone in 2009.. Let’s see how McLaren-Honda can do in China!

    10. Unfortunately the COTD is based on a false premise, F1 do not stick to their guns, going back to pre98 dimensions is the latest in slippery guns being dropped.

      1. Yes, apologies, HoHum. My post above was semi in response to your comment in the previous thread. I didn’t really use the right terminology.

        1. Not at all Dan , sorry I have jumped on you again.

    11. Let’s wait until he turns his first wheel in anger before showering him with praise.

      1. Or shooting him down.

    12. Nice Nike ad Fernando!

      1. haha I thought the same thing – Sponsor watch!!!

    13. Someone needs to do a Photoshop of that Alonso tweet with a Red Bull flexi wing.

    14. I don’t get the logic as to why DRS is turning away new fans. In fact, some of my friends and family members are starting to get more into F1 due to the number of overtakes happening. I mean, if a new viewer came, what he wants to see is excitement and wheel to wheel racing, and not having to wait twenty minutes to see his first overtake. And DRS is even more over-hated due to the fact that it came at the same time as Pirelli. Just imagine, if we had DRS Pre-2011, would it be as powerful as today? The answer is no. Just look at Monza and Spa 2013. Everybody was close to each other, yet despite having DRS, they couldn’t overtake at all. Most overtakes happen due to tyres, and not entirely due to DRS. In most circuits, the driver behind loses so much front downforce as a result of the turbulent air, that come the straight, unless he has a huge tyre life advantage, he won’t be close enough. DRS helps with that. We’ve seen the best wheel to wheel racing battles as a result of it. Think of Webber vs. Hamilton in Germany 2011, Vettel vs. Webber in Malaysia 2013, Button vs. Perez in Bahrain 2013, Rosberg vs. Hamilton in Bahrain 2014, Alonso vs. Vettel in Silverstone 2014 & Alonso vs. Ricciardo in Germany 2014 etc. None of those would’ve even happened without DRS, because the car behind would probably spend the entire race behind the slower car ahead. Now I understand why this might make the avid F1 fans frustrated. But F1 is losing views for a number of reasons, but I doubt DRS is one of them.

      1. +1 I couldn’t have said it better myself!

      2. I don’t mind DRS as much as some people do, but I’d rather it were implemented more like Indycar’s push-to-pass. You have a set number of times you can use it per race, AND you can use it defensively (to prevent someone passing you)

      3. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        15th February 2015, 5:39

        Yep, totally agree.
        Also, another fantastic battle was the Hamilton-Schumacher @ Monza 2011.
        It took a Lewis 27 laps to get past Schumi.

        That I think was the best battle of the Pirelli era.

      4. Well it is certainly a valid argument due to the tyres being so susceptible to wearing out if there is insufficient downforce to stop the fronts slideing around in dirty air, ideally we need tyres that can take sideslip and retain good grip and longevity so DRS would not be necessarry as draughting would be advantage enough.

      5. Mashiat Lam Gofran
        15th February 2015, 7:10

        Also another point I wanted to touch on was that there is no easy solution to aid the overtaking besides DRS. People have put up the option of reducing the downforce levels, and although that will help drivers to follow a car in its turbulent air, it does also mean that the slipstream effect is colossally reduced, thus making us go back to races in which there are barely any overtakes.

      6. DRS gets the hate it does because its a stupid artificial gimmick which most of the time generates boringly easy push of a button highway passing.

        Myself & many other RACING fans want to see good, competitive & hard fought racing with REAL exciting & competitive overtaking. Watching 1 driver cruise up behind someone, Get to a DRS zone, Push a button & then cruise easily past well before they get to the braking zone just isn’t exciting.

        I’d rather less quality overtakes than a dozen boringly easy highway passes.

        #BanDRS, Dumb Racing Solution!

        1. RogerA Well said. I will never agree with DRS. DRS only dumbs down the show and is a bandaid solution to addiction to downforce. Removing DRS does not have to mean processions as there are a hundred degrees of possibility between DRS and processions if they work with combinations of appropriate tires and reduced downforce n the right ways, including using skirts for downforce if they must rather than so much wing.

          Numbers of passes at any cost, namely the quality of racing, simply for the sake of quantity, is a shallow approach without meaning. I’d take one quality hard-fought pass over a hundred fake meaningless DRS passes any day. DRS passes will never be discussed ad-infinitum like so many other amazing and memorable passes that have been made and remembered throughout the decades, and live on. DRS for me equates to selling out for the sake of share value…yet viewership is down nonetheless. Not saying that can be blamed solely on DRS, but it obviously has not helped.

          Some have opined lately that F1 needs heroes to worship again…gladiators out there on the track wrestling beasts for cars into submission, doing seemingly miraculous things in the blink of an eye, making us look up to them in wonder and amazement at their ability. DRS removes that, and we’re still left with any mentionable passes being the non-DRS ones anyway. So why have it at all and risk dumbing down what is supposed to be the pinnacle. I for one gladly point out to folks around here, when they speak of someone making a great pass, that it was not great with DRS used.

          Just to add…some are trying to compare Max to Jos. Jos didn’t have DRS, for one thing. I hope Max has some opportunities to show us brilliance away from the DRS button, because that is the risk F1 takes with DRS…no longer having the ability to elevate a driver into the category of being a Great, when most of his passes will be because of a button. Drivers actually waiting for a DRS zone to make the easy pass…not even having to really risk anything. No risk equals sterile boring F1 with nothing heroic to observe.

          1. Totally agree with RogerA & @robbie.

            I wasn’t in favor of DRS when it was 1st announced but was willing to give it a chance & very early on into 2011 I quickly became firmly opposed to it because I just didn’t like what it was doing to the racing.
            I remember the 2011 Turkish Gp, Over 80 passes, Over 70 of them DRS assisted/generated & none of them were memorable because most (If not all) of them were far too easy & looking back does anyone even remember anything about that race despite the record number of passes?
            No because DRS made those passes too easy & I even remember on here in the live chat at the time people were turning off because of it!

            Now obviously not every race is as absurd as that was when it comes to DRS & its true that not every pass is done via DRS & that not every DRS pass is too easy, But it is still true that DRS all too often does make passing too easy & every time I see one of those easy DRS passes I cringe & lose a little bit of interest in that race.

            For me watching that sort of highway passing (As others have dubbed it) just isn’t all that exciting & i’d argue is just as dull as there been no pass at all. And at times when the car infront moves offline to defend with the DRS-ing car just cruising past anyway it just looks absurd, Like the car infront had just moved out the way & let the car behind past & that is utterly wrong as far as I am concerned.

            Both the art of defending & the art of overtaking are been lost thanks to DRS & its frankly criminal that GP2, A series that for a decade has had some of the best racing, Some of the best racers & some of the best overtaking anywhere in the world now feels the need to introduce DRS just to be like F1!
            And sadly the longer DRS sticks around the more categories down the ranks I can see going the same route even if they don’t need to (Which GP2 certainly doesn’t).

    15. With all the hype around Max Verstappen, I almost forgot that Carlos Sainz Jnr will also be making his debut this season. The hype over Verstappen can actually play into Carlos’ hands because no one is really focussing on him, so if he starts well and does a solid job this year his stock will rise far further than Max’s may fall.

      1. Agree, however uber-talented Max may be the lack of junior formula experience will play straight into Sainz’s favor.

        1. The problem for Carlos,… he is much more experienced and older, so if he doesn’t win or wins with a very small margin it reflects bad on him. I do expect Carlos to be more consistent but Max to be the faster especially after a few race weekends.

    16. I personally preferred the way the cars looked from 2002-2008 over any other era, probably because that’s when I started watching. Nostalgia is a powerful thing.

      1. @kingshark Same here! Contrary to most F1 fans, I really dislike the look of the late 80s and early 90s cars. But I also didn’t mind the 2010, 2011 and 2013 cars as well. Just my opinion.

        1. Of the current generation, I agree with those years: 2010 (loved the F-duct look), 11 (high noses) and 13 (similar to 11). I agree with Kingshark also, that era of cars looked mighty and kind of futuristic by 2007 and 2008. The wide cars of 1996 and 1997 in particular are also amongst my favourites. If I had to pick one year it would be 2008.

      2. Yes, V10 cars both looked and sounded awesome. If F1 is going to use old regs, I’d rather it were these!

      3. Like everybody’s favorite cast of Saturday Night Live

    17. Comments like this on Verstappen really aren’t helpful. Even if you believe he really is the next best thing since sliced bread, why say it in public? Where’s the upside? All it does it create even more pressure on a pair of very young shoulders. Though i really hope i’m wrong, I can’t help but feel he’s been set up for failure.

    18. I’m fed up of seeing story after story about how talented and quick Max Verstappen is. I’m a firm believer in giving the kid a good chance at F1 and letting the results do the talking. Because if he is as quick as everyone is saying, the hype will be gone and I will be able to objectively judge his ability as one of the greatest racing drivers who ever lived. I feel it’s a bit too early to be making such proclamations about his greatness!

    19. Give it a rest STR. Every new driver that comes on the grid gets the ‘He’s better than Senna, better than Clarke’ treatment. It’s tiresome copy and puts unnecessary pressure on a young driver. Max will have a so-so season and be better next year.

      1. Well……It’s good to know that Max don’t read ore is interested in what the social media has to say about him. He is just focus on his job ahead of him.

      2. Ah yes, the all-knowing @f1bobby, able to see into the future and blessing us with his opinions. /sarcasm.

        1. Let me correct that for you: f1bobby, voicing an opinion on STR hyperbole.

      3. @f1bobby He isn’t every new driver.. He’s 2 years better already! The only thing that could hold him back is if he gets the adult transition yips while in F1, that could be a severe setback.

        1. Arguably Sainz had these in 2012/13.

    20. Pujolar was among few people fired by Williams at the end of 2013. His personal judgment is not something convincing for me.

      1. Well RB has no problem with that. The put him in the junior developed program as engineer. And i do trust the opinions of RB. By the way, who says that Pujolar be fired because a lack of skill’s?

    21. One thing I’d point out about DRS, You often hear its defenders talk about it making the racing better, Yet F1’s TV figures have still been in decline since 2011 even though we supposedly have all this extra entertainment.

      The reply to that will then be that F1 has gone to PayTV in various country’s & that is true, However the TV figures have still been declining when it comes to F1 on FreeTV & in regions where the TV situation has remained unchanged (As it has in Germany) so clearly there is more to the declining Tv figures since 2011 than the move to PayTV alone.

      The poll’s done on here have shown quite clearly that MOST fans are not keen on DRS, Poll’s I have seen on other sites back that opinion up & I have seen it posted in a few places that internal viewer surveys done by some broadcasters (Including German broadcasters RTL & Sky Germany) have shown the same.

      So perhaps it is time for a rethink & for F1 to do some sort of poll/survey to get a proper idea on what fans really think of DRS & make regulation changes from there?
      If most fans are against DRS as the polling/survey’s I have seen here & elsewhere suggests then clearly sticking with it & making rule changes that may well increase reliance on it is not the way to go & will do nothing to bring fans who have turned off because of it (As several of my friends/family have) back.

      You can have the fastest, best looking & most spectacular cars in the world but if the racing isn’t that good then who really cares?

      Speaking personally, If F1 does decide to stick with DRS long term & also decides to increase reliance on it then I’m getting to the point where that will turn me off & there not going to win me back for as long as that is the philosophy there taking regardless of how fast & spectacular F1 becomes.

    22. It seems that Torro Rosso isn’t only a team for childish drivers, but also for childish engineers …

    23. A certain Kimi R came to Sauber with very little open wheel experience and he did just fine. I think Max will do the same.
      Looking at some old karting videos of Hamilton and Verstappen they seem like karting twins.

    24. It’s really nice Xevi Pujolar has such believe in Max Verstappen. I think Xevi is impressed and can not hide his enthusiasm. But what really impresses me is that someone like Trevor Carlin said on Sky Sport that Max is the best he’s ever seen. If someone with the knowledge and experience of Trevor Carlin makes a remark like that bearing in mind all the drivers he has seen during his career,…. it’s time to take notice.

    25. It will be too much expectation…

    26. Wow, what high praise! Lets give the bloke a couple of races prior to such accolades. With such praise comes high expectations on such young shoulders please hold off on this premature pressure on the fellow.

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