Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2022

Verstappen pleased with change to Pirelli’s tyres for 2023

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Max Verstappen expects a revision to Pirelli’s tyres for the new season will suit his handling preference.

In brief

“I’ve never sat in a car with understeer which is fast”

Pirelli has made revisions to its tyres for the 2023 F1 season which Verstappen hopes will improve the front-end grip.

“The big issue last year was not specifically the tyres, it was just the weight of the car was very massively over and that creates a lazy behaviour on the front,” he told media including RaceFans last week. “Basically once we started to get rid of that weight, the car became more agile and that’s how a car is going to go quick, because I’ve never sat in a car with understeer which is fast in my life, in any category.

“Also with the new tyres for Pirelli, I do think it’s a little improvement. Of course we only tested it fully in Abu Dhabi, for example. We have to see on every single track as well that it works everywhere. Because every Tarmac and track condition, like the weather, it influences a lot. But I’m confident that everything will be heading into the right direction.”

Capito ‘laid the foundation’ for Vowles at Williams

Former Williams team principal Jost Capito says he laid the foundations for the team’s future development and hadn’t committed to spending a third year at the team before his departure was announced at the end of last year.

“Of course you don’t have that insight from the outside, but I originally said that I’d do it for two years, maybe a third,” he told Auto Bild. “In the meantime, however, there are so many races that it is relatively exhausting. And getting the team back up just takes longer than two or three years.”

Capito spoke highly of James Vowles, who will replace him in charge of the team later this month, and said he had left behind a structure the former Mercedes strategist could develop.

“I just think you have to lay the foundation first and once it’s laid, you can build on it,” said Capito. “I was convinced that this is the case now, and I also communicated this to the board in the following way: that now that you have the basis, you should also have someone who will stay there in the long term and continue it from there on.”

Bottas reveals weight loss ‘addiction’

Valtteri Bottas has admitted he pushed himself too hard to lose weight earlier in his Formula 1 career.

“I trained myself to pain physically and mentally,” he said in an interview. “It got out of hand, and it became an addiction. No eating disorder was officially diagnosed, but it was definitely there.”

“It wasn’t very healthy,” he added. “I wanted to be the best, and I thought I had to do that. If the team says that I have to weigh 68 kilos and I naturally weigh 73 kilos, then they will do everything for that.”

Bottas also revealed how he was affected by the death of Jules Bianchi in 2015, and how speaking to a psychologist helped him come to terms with what he was going through.

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Comment of the day

Williams’ little-changed livery did draw one appreciative response:

I’m glad a team has finally put little arrows on the wheels to show which way they go around.

This has caused confusion for me for many years!

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Victor and Rebecca!

On this day in motorsport

The first Force India appeared today in 2008

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 7 comments on “Verstappen pleased with change to Pirelli’s tyres for 2023”

    1. BMW makes a point that is, sadly, all too true.
      The series that prides itself on (supposedly) being at the forefront of technical innovation is decades behind on the use of sustainable/cleaner fuels.
      Ultimately, they are so set on the status quo and where their money comes from that they can’t/have little interest in making radical change – or at least allowing the competitors to do so themselves.

      It’s sobering to consider that the tech F1 will be basing their F1 engines on until 2030-ish will still be little more than a refined (racing) version of what Toyota had in their road-going Prius way back in 1997….

      1. I enjoy your posts and agree with you 90+% of the time. But will sustainable/cleaner fuels improve the racing? Will it cost more than now?

        Indycar is apparently going ‘100% renewable race fuel’ next season. Here’s a quote:

        This new product consists of a blend of second-generation ethanol derived from sugarcane waste and other biofuels to create a fuel that is 100% comprised of feedstocks categorized as “renewable” under the applicable regulatory frameworks

        1. Hit enter too quick but that corporate/lawyer speak doesn’t instill any excitement from me. Same with Penske driving the tires to IMS in his electric fleet, where’s the electricity come from? I don’t think billionaires want to clean up the environment, they want to make more billions!

          1. There won’t be any significant negative or positive effects on-track directly from the change in fuel – that’s not what the change is for. Moving to greater dependence on electric (which can be considered separately) however, will certainly change the way the teams and drivers approach and react during each GP.
            As F1 doesn’t (and won’t) allow refuelling, energy deployment and harvesting strategies will become an increasing part of F1.

            The new fuel will of course cost more than the current product for the time being, but the increased cost is largely irrelevant to F1. Race fuel is a very minor expense in relative terms, and is generally covered by each team’s oil/fuel partner/sponsor anyway.

            And yes – when stuff like this is related to F1, it’s very much about money. The prime reason it’s taken so long for F1 to finally clean up their fuel is because oil money has been F1’s lifeblood since tobacco sponsorship was banned.
            As for Penske’s truck fleet – it takes an enormous amount of money to make such a huge PR statement like that, and he has it. Ultimately it doesn’t really change anything, though. The move away from fossil fuels is happening anyway, regardless of PR and motorsport.
            Every one of us could go down to our local truck dealer and buy a hybrid or full electric truck right now. Very few will, though, as they are still way too expensive and come with all the same strings attached that electric cars do.
            As you say – like, where does the energy come from to recharge the batteries, and what happens to the batteries when they degrade. And what’s actually in them – it isn’t fairy dust.

    2. So Capito left on his own in the end.

      I read Bottas talking about his 2014 weight/eating issue a few years ago (at least in Finnish media, if not internationally), so his story is familiar to me.

      BMW is spot-on, especially about the sustainable fuel aspect in which F1 is unnecessarily slow versus some other motorsport series.

      My initial thought yesterday was that Leclerc did his F2003 run shortly after the Abu Dhabi GP weekend, given the post-T3 Pirelli signage that, as an F1-specific global sponsor, usually is/has featured in trackside advertising only during & around the Abu Dhabi GP weekends.
      The other logical explanation is that he went to Dubai (again, although he didn’t go there in the 2021-22 off-season), so he planned this run as part of his training camp trip.

      Perhaps slightly sarcastic COTD, but good.

    3. Formula 1 returns to Bathurst: A lap of the incredible Mount Panorama circuit with Red Bull reserve driver Liam Lawson

      That looked very cool i wish a race there even out the championship would be great.

      1. Sadly, the days of F1 teams competing outside the championship are long gone – not that they could run at Bathurst anyway.
        It’s only a Grade 2 circuit, and likely won’t ever change to Grade 1.

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