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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Qatar reveals F1 should not be guinea pig for modified circuits

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Verstappen, who was crowned a three-time world champion over the weekend, led the Qatar Grand Prix from lights-to-flag.

However the weekend’s primary speaking level was Pirelli mandating 18-lap stints for tyres after tears had been discovered within the sidewall from drivers operating over kerbs.

Whereas the kerbs had been constructed to FIA customary, with their 50mm raised ‘pyramid’ periphery, they had been new for 2023 and the observe was additionally resurfaced as a part of funding within the Losail Circuit now that Qatar has commenced a 10-year internet hosting contract with F1.

The re-laid asphalt, which oozes oils to make the observe floor slippery, led to drivers struggling to manage the rear of the vehicles all through observe, qualifying, the dash race and GP.

Requested concerning the new floor, Pink Bull driver Verstappen mentioned: “I believe it did grip up just a little bit. Most likely if we come again subsequent yr, will probably be once more a bit higher however it will depend on how a lot will probably be pushed.

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“I believe it is necessary that different kinds of classes come again or come right here and race just a little bit extra as a result of it’s a must to take a bit that oil out of the Tarmac when it is new, and in addition a bit extra like a wider grip line.

“In the intervening time, I believe it is nonetheless an excessive amount of like one line. Nevertheless it appeared to essentially ramp up.”

Max Verstappen, Pink Bull Racing RB19, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, the remainder of the sphere at first

Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Given the general public struggles for drivers plus the tyre fiasco, Verstappen reckons F1 shouldn’t be the guinea pig in relation to being the primary collection to race at altered venues.

He continued: “Subsequent time that we get right into a scenario like this, I do not suppose F1 must be the primary one to drive as a result of it seems a bit foolish.

“[In] FP1 with vehicles sliding round having no grip, I believe it is vital after we go to a observe the place they’ve put new Tarmac that not less than it’s run in just a little. That can then assist quite a bit.

“Additionally, for understanding the tyres, for instance, what we had now. That is why we had these pressured, restricted laps. So, just a few issues I believe to be taught out of this this weekend as a complete.”

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Verstappen referred to as the imposed stint lengths, which pressured groups into three-stop methods to cowl the 57-lap race, “a disgrace”.

Pink Bull staff boss Christian Horner reckoned they stifled strategic creativity.

He mentioned: “I believe from a security perspective, I totally perceive why they did it.

“Possibly strategically, it wasn’t the optimum technique for this race… however it was a unique race, and it examined the strategists differently.

“The factor is, it made it much more predictable as a result of you already know what the utmost stint size for every automotive was.”

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