Max Verstappen says he expects car speed to drop to 2014 or 2015 levels next year thanks to new rules that will significantly limit downforce levels to improve racing. In arguably the biggest change in technical regulations in modern F1 history, the FIA wants to significantly slow down cars to make them less dependent on aerodynamic pressure and less sensitive to the turbulence of the cars in front of them.
This should allow drivers to be able to follow closely through corners and overtake more easily, but that comes at the cost of much slower times per lap. Verstappen expects the cars to be much slower per lap, roughly at the level of cars from 2014 and 2015 when the Dutchman started his F1 career - in 2014 he made his first appearance at the F1 weekend in Japan when he drove in the first training session for Toro Rosso and 2015 was his first full season on the same team.
In 2014, cars were between five and ten seconds slower than the record-breaking 2020 cars, depending on the track, and the biggest difference in lap times is on tracks where downforce contributes the most to lap times like Barcelona, where in 2020 they were almost ten seconds faster than 2014 “Of course, I haven’t driven a new car yet so I can’t say for sure,” Verstappen said of the 2022 F1 cars for his website.
"But we know the cars will be a lot slower." “Also, as far as I understand the cars will have very different driving characteristics. The engines will stay the same, so we will have the same or more power and less grip, so it won't be easy.
Wolf on the new rules
"We will see. I think we will return to the levels of adhesion from 2014 or 2015, so that will be a big change. ” "It will look much different, but the most important thing, and we all hope, is that the racing will improve."
"That's what the fans will like." Mercedes' Toto Wolff says he expects bigger differences between cars next year due to new rules in which teams still don't know what the optimal technical solutions are.
“If you look at the qualifiers this year, the differences are small and it seems to me that this is the direction we need to go,” Wolff said. "I promise you that next year we will have another situation in which we will have a much more stretched order. Mercedes may not be ahead, but we are definitely going back to the beginning. ”