At the dawn of the 2017 regulation makeover, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has denied that new F1 cars might be more challenging to drive, as downforce might play a key-role in making corners eye closed flat.
The changes affecting the shapes and consequently performances are bigger wings, wider cars and most evidently fatter tyres. Compared with 2016 cars, next year’s single-seaters can be five seconds faster and move the focus from tyres to sheer driving skills.
However, Verstappen does not think the difference will be that dramatic.
"I wouldn't directly say it's more ballsy, because you have much more grip and that can make it easier," commented the Dutch on Motorsport.com.
"Sometimes with the cars now, they are like really on the edge in some high speeds corners that are just not flat. Next year they will be eyes closed flat.
"So that is not balls out any more, because you just have to be physically very strong. So I think, in general, from what I've driven on the simulator, it makes it more easy to drive."
Nonetheless, tyres still embody 2017’s wild card, as Pirelli keeps on developing. The current tyres are characterised by thermal degradation, but the Italian company has planned on moving away from that feature.
"I hope the tyres don't overheat that much," Verstappen said. "But you never know because the loads are bigger as well. Of course the tyres are wider, but maybe you have the same thing again. So we have to wait and see."
On the internet a number of potential 2017 concepts have already popped up and triggered positive feedback. In light of what Verstappen was allowed to see concerning the project, he declared: "I haven't seen too much, because it's all of course still in progress.
"But it looks interesting. Even the designs some people put up on the internet. I'm definitely for it. So now it's up to to us, you know, to get strong."
by Beatrice Zamuner