Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Paul Ricard, 2019

Verstappen: Poor racing in F1 due to tyres as well as cars

2019 Austrian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Max Verstappen says the poor quality of racing in Formula 1 is not just due to car design but also tyre performance.

Fresh questions over the quality of racing in F1 have been raised after the French Grand Prix was widely criticised for being processional.

A drastic overhaul of F1 car design is planned for the 2021 season in order to help drivers follow each other more closely. But Verstappen believes F1 needs to examine tyre performance as well.

“Of course it’s great to set lap records and stuff. But [if] maybe only going one or two seconds slower we can at least follow each other a bit closer that would be great.

“But I think that’s also not purely car-related. Also the tyres, if you are really close to someone for two or three laps they overheat too much and you start sliding too much. So most of the time you also just back out. Which anyway you know if you stay there you [will] have to pit earlier so it compromises your whole race.

“So it’s a combination of both the car where we need to find a different way of creating the downforce but then running closer to each other, and then the tyres, we need to do a better job on that so hopefully we can support Pirelli in that.”

Verstappen also thinks the performance of F1’s four power units needs to converge further. “At the moment still the differences between the engines are too big. If we can also close that up a little bit by making it not that complex. I understand we have to stay with hybrid engines but I think it can be done in a better way.”

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Hulkenberg attended an FIA meeting over the 2021 regulations before the French Grand Prix. Verstappen says his rivals in the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association are all behind similar changes to improve the quality of racing.

“In the GPDA now all the drivers are together anyway, we do talk about it already. I think it’s not necessary that all 20 drivers go in there because at the end of the day if we all share the same ideas maybe we only need two or three to be there.

“But also like Ross [Brawn] said with Lewis if he can represent all 20 drivers together, maybe with two other drivers together, then it’s a good thing because at the end of the day we are driving the cars so we actually feel what’s going on while racing so the engineers of course they design everything but they don’t get to feel what we feel while driving.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2019 F1 season

Browse all2019 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

23 comments on “Verstappen: Poor racing in F1 due to tyres as well as cars”

  1. Neil (@neilosjames)
    27th June 2019, 15:19

    “At the moment still the differences between the engines are too big. If we can also close that up a little bit by making it not that complex. I understand we have to stay with hybrid engines but I think it can be done in a better way.”

    Not even half a season with Honda and he’s already deploying Horner’s ‘too complex’ moan…

    1. Of course, it’s not like Otmar from racing point ( who actually use the best pu there is) hadn’t said the same.
      (And basically every race fan with him)

      And let us just ignore the fact that previous to these engines, the engine development was actually frozen and we were treated with a lot of interesting races and championships.

      5,5 seasons, say 110 races, 330 podium spots and we had like 8 of those spots taken by a different team than merc, ferrari or red bull.

      1. F1 should absolutely include engine development. The only reason why they froze those and simple v8s was because they were spending hundreds of millions of dollars for miniscule improvement.

        F1 should never have simple powerplants or engine freezes ever again. If you want to watch spec engines there are plenty of open seats at all the spec series all over the world for you FREE OF CHARGE since they are not very popular.

  2. Large chunk of the issue is tyre related. Just Horrible.

  3. I’d advocate bringing back refueling as well.

    1. the racing was much, much worse with bore-fueling as nothing happened on track. it was all about fuel strategy and passing in the pits with boring 7-10 second stops, the focus was always on the pit lane and strategy decided on saturday and no room to change it. drivers had no input, if they started with 20 laps of fuel they pitted on lap 20. it’s much better with just tyre strategy was its more dynamic, more reactive with more driver input & more room to adapt strategies on the fly.

      teams actually looked into the effect bore-fueling would have on the racing a few years ago and unanimously concluded it would make the on track product worse for the same reasons it did last time. overtaking halved from 1993>1994 when refueling was introduced & more than doubled from 2009>2010 when it was banned (refuel ban was the only change for 2010).

      1. But at least we got to see drivers running 15 quali laps in a row, stint after stint, race after race instead of cruising around 5 to 10 seconds a lap slower.
        At least we got to see different strategies and multiple pitstops opposed to the generic one stop races we’re watching now.

        Atleast we gotta see some fires, or a fuel hose dragged through the pitlane opposed to the mind numbing, sterile crap we are watching now.

    2. Refuelling requires more pit staff and the extra cost of buying, maintaining and transporting the equipment. It ain’t never going to happen.

      Time to stop repeating this nonsense.

  4. The rest of the field have had as long as Mercedes to make the tyres work for them but have failed. So now they want to change the tyres.

    So if the change the tyres will that help them? If not, what is the next excuse?

    Why don’t they just knuckle down and get on with matching Merc. The the top four teams certainly have enough resources.

    1. How are they to do that without on-track testing? The rules as they currently are, seem to be designed specifically to ensure that the team that comes out of the gate fastest maintains their advantage over the course of the season.

    2. Mercedes make their tyres work by being out in front, not every team can be there.

      1. Hamilton didnt have any problems following Vettel in Canada. You must have missed that. He also didnt have any issues in Bahrain either

        1. Exactly, and that is clear proof that the 2019 tires are better than the 2018 ones.

          1. Devils advocate ‘At least for Mercedes’, but I do think they probably are.

            Also, let’s not forget to add that pinch of salt, due to Verstappen possibly towing the team line, or more charitably, is in a team that strongly feels they don’t understand the Tyres well (and has the chassis not quite where they thought it would be) @hohum,@megatron (are you as intimidating as the G1 bot?)

  5. You know I also wonder if a part of the issue is that what fans want to see has changed on top of social media giving that instant feedback with post race ‘rate the race’ & such allowing both the positive & negative’s to snowball.

    I ask this because last weekend the consensus was that Paul Ricard was a terrible race & I saw one UK newspaper run with ‘the worst f1 race i’ve ever seen’ as the headline & this got me thinking.

    If we transplanted last weekends race from Paul Ricard into the middle of the 2009 season I think it would be viewed much more positively & have ended up with a higher ‘rate the race’ score. I say this because I went back & watched a lot of the 2009 season & Paul Ricard last weekend (As well as several of the prior races this year) featured more close battles & more overtaking than races from a decade ago.
    It was certainly better than the 2008 French Gp which I also watched last night, A race in which there wasn’t any good battling or overtaking to be seen with the only thing of interest been Lewis getting dinged for cutting a corner & gaining an advantage by passing Vettel & Kimi’s exhaust falling off & costing him the win.

    F1 isn’t perfect right now in many areas but I think a lot of the negativity is a combination of rose tinted glasses, hyperbole & the need for instant gratification that is the issue of the modern day world.

    1. Sure, rose tinted glasses and instant gratification issues….haven’t heard those arguments before in basically every argument regarding any discussion that addresses differences between the old days and the new.
      300 million people who quit watching since 2003, drivers frustrated, fans frustrated, organizers frustrated, but hey, rose tinted glasses and instant gratification issues are to blame.

      1. I do think there’s something in what @PeterG is saying because I do think that if some of the ‘boring’ races from the past few years were put into seasons from the past they would be looked at a lot more fondly than we do now.

        I can remember races from the 70s/80s/90s where we literally saw nothing happen all race. No close racing or overtaking at all yet at the time they were still looked at as been good races because there wasn’t the same obsession with overtaking then as there grew to be in the 00s.

        I remember sitting in the grandstand at Watkins Glen in 1967 when I was 7 years old & not seeing anything happen at all. Yet nobody went away from that race complaining that we hadn’t seen any close racing or any overtaking because nobody was there for that. We were there to watch the best drivers driving the fastest cars, We were there to enjoy the skill of the drivers and the challenge of driving, Thats what motor racing was. over the years its somehow morphed into something else where now it’s boring unless you have 100 overtakes on circuits with slow chicanes to create them.

        I do think that what fans want to see has changed. What they find entertaining has changed & they do seem to be far more easily bored than fans used to be. I mean you see on twitter that if nothing happens for 3 laps it’s a boring race.

        I’ll use an example from another sport, that been pro wrestling. In the 70s/80s people knew the outcomes were pre-determined yet fans still looked at it & appreciated it as a sporting contest between 2 athletes. Yet today it’s sports entertainment and modern fans want to see more acrobatic flippy stuff and if they don’t get that then the show is boring. Its not necessarily better or worse, just different because fans are different today than they were back in the past and they want to watch and enjoy completely different things.

        1. Interesting @roger-ayles, that is probably a good part of the difference in impressions from the fans. I only follow F1 since the end of 1993, just before the season was wrapped up, but I enjoyed most races this year. Found it helps to shut off the Sky commentary, use bbc5live or ‘FX’ (f1tv w. Just car, pitradio sounds)

  6. Max is parroting RB over the tyres. Only RB would benefit from changing the tyres and we’ve see too many rules changed over the years to suit them. With Bernie gone and Charlie passed away, they’ve lost their influence in F1.

    1. Hmmm, where have you been the last six years? Every driver is complaining about the tires, like literally every driver.
      “We can’t push on these tires” is by far the most commonly used phrase on the grid for half a decade now.

    2. Well, at least he (and Red Bull?) changed from ‘cars have to have more aero, be faster’ ; Red Bull were, one of, if not the strongest proponents of the 2017+ wider, heavier, faster cars with bigger wheels, wings and barge boards.

      I suppose now that they have to acknowledge maybe they are not the absolute best at that, they see reason.

      I like seeing these current cars (bit long though) especially during qualifying, but the 2017 rules were probably one of those wrong decisions F1 likes to make.

  7. Duh. Everyone: “the cars have so much aero dependency that its impossible to follow!”. FIA: “Lets make the wings even bigger and have even more dependency on aero!”


  8. Ban wings and bring back ground effect suction!

Comments are closed.