Verstappen Unveils His F1 Vision: V8 Engines, No Hybrids, and Smaller Tires
Following his disappointing trial experience with the future engine and car rules on the Red Bull simulator, two-time world champion Max Verstappen expressed his dissatisfaction with the potential impact on racing. He criticized the need for downshifting on straights to recharge batteries and described the outlook as “very bad.”
In anticipation of the 2026 season, Verstappen shared his perspective on the direction Formula 1 should take. He believed that reverting to reliance on combustion engines, coupled with lighter cars and smaller wheels, would be a significant leap forward.
“These current cars are incredibly fast,” he acknowledged. “I did enjoy driving the 2020 and 2021 cars as they were more agile and fun, but they were also excessively heavy.”
“I would definitely eliminate the hybrid system. Whenever I switch back to a V8 engine, I’m always amazed by its smoothness. Although the top speed may be slower compared to the current cars, the engine’s responsiveness and torque are remarkable.”
Verstappen also emphasized the need to address car weight urgently, considering the evolving safety requirements. He acknowledged that returning to the 500-550kg range would be impossible, but he believed the current weight was excessive and required attention.
“The safety standards must improve, resulting in heavier cars to reinforce the chassis and other safety aspects. However, I think the current weight is far too high. This is something we need to address.”
Regarding tires, Verstappen expressed a preference for smaller ones, highlighting the reduced visibility when navigating corners with the current larger tires. He felt that the smaller tires provided a more enjoyable driving experience.
Additionally, Verstappen challenged the notion of reducing drag on straights, suggesting that Formula 1 should move in the opposite direction. He believed that making the cars more aerodynamically demanding would reduce reliance on the Drag Reduction System (DRS) for overtaking.
“There are several changes I would make,” Verstappen asserted. “I would increase the car’s drag, reducing the dependence on DRS. The new cars for 2026 seem to have less drag, making overtaking even more challenging.”
Verstappen also expressed his concern about the driving style required by the proposed 2026 cars, describing it as “weird.” He criticized the need for downshifting on straights and the minimal braking required, comparing it to the previous blown diffusers era. He found the concept of self-regulating active aerodynamics peculiar and stressed the need for a comprehensive evaluation of the engine aspect.
“It just doesn’t feel right to drive the car like that. It creates a strange atmosphere. It’s reminiscent of the flat-out driving style seen during the blown diffuser era. The active aerodynamics, too, appear odd to me. It seems overly complicated, and we need to seriously examine the engine side of things.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about F1 vision
What is Max Verstappen’s vision for Formula 1?
Max Verstappen envisions a Formula 1 with V8 engines, no hybrids, lighter cars, and smaller tires. He believes this would result in a smoother and more enjoyable racing experience.
Why does Verstappen want to eliminate the hybrid system?
Verstappen prefers the smoothness and natural delivery process of a combustion engine. While he acknowledges that the top speed may be slower, he appreciates the engine’s responsiveness and torque.
What does Verstappen think about the weight of current F1 cars?
Verstappen believes that the current F1 cars are too heavy. He acknowledges the importance of safety standards but feels that the weight should be addressed to strike a better balance.
Why does Verstappen prefer smaller tires?
Verstappen finds that the current larger tires limit visibility when entering corners. He believes that smaller tires would enhance the driving experience and provide better visibility for hitting apexes.
What does Verstappen think about reducing drag in Formula 1?
Verstappen suggests going against the trend of reducing drag on straights. He believes that increasing the drag would reduce the reliance on the Drag Reduction System (DRS) and make overtaking more challenging.
What are Verstappen’s concerns about the proposed 2026 cars?
Verstappen finds the driving style required by the 2026 cars peculiar and “weird.” He is particularly critical of the need to downshift on straights and the minimal braking required. He also questions the self-regulating active aerodynamics and calls for a thorough evaluation of the engine aspect.