Max Verstappen said Formula 1 should not adopt a special rule which was introduced for the Qatar Grand Prix, after winning the race.Losail International Circuit.
The FIA implemented a rule change for the race limiting every driver to a maximum of 18 laps per tyre, effectively requiring them to make three pit stops each. It was done due to concerns the tyres would fail if they were allowed to run any longer.
As drivers typically make one or two pit stops per race, the three-stop race was unusual. Verstappen said F1 should not make it the norm.
“I prefer that we can just push as long as we can on a tyre, not forced pit stops,” he said.
“We design cars to be good on tyres. Today we couldn’t optimise that fully because that’s normally our strong point. But we’ll see what we can improve in the future.”
Despite having to pit three times, Verstappen was never headed in the 57-lap encounter. However the McLaren drivers finished within six seconds of him, and Verstappen admitted he had to push harder than expected.
“I think what made the race was my first stint,” he said. “After that I could just manage my pace, making sure that the tyre was always in a good window.
“But the McLarens were quick again today, I had to push for it. It was definitely a tough race out there.”
F1’s second race in Qatar was held earlier in the year than its previous visit, and several drivers struggled with the hot conditions despite the grand prix taking place after nightfall.
Verstappen described it as “one of” the toughest races he’d ever done. “Top five, probably.”
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