Verstappen: F1 2023 floor changes are ‘over the top’

Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen thinks the FIA has gone ‘over the top’ with floor changes put in place for next year to address porpoising problems.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, speaks to the media

Following resistance from teams about an original idea to lift the floor edges by 25mm for 2023 to help limit bouncing problems many have experienced, the FIA agreed to a compromise solution over the summer break.

It has settled on a 15mm raising, which is 5mm higher than a 10mm change that it is understood a majority of teams were happy to support.

But while teams unhappy about the original team have accepted the latest compromise, Red Bull driver Verstappen has questioned whether or not the rule tweaks were needed in the first place.

He cites the fact that Mercedes, which was a driving force in getting the FIA to act on porpoising, has had a better handle of the phenomenon in recent races so does not appear to need much more assistance.

Speaking about the potential competitive impact of the changes, which will force teams to redesign key components of their car, Verstappen said: “It will be interesting to see. I mean, at the moment, I don't think it's very clear how much it's going to hurt different kinds of teams.

“I think a little bit it's gone a bit over the top with these changes. Because I think already the last few races, you can see that most of the teams had it more or less under control. And also the teams who actually asked for it had it much more under control.”

This weekend’s Belgian GP marks the introduction of new bouncing limits for teams, as well as a clampdown on floor flexing – which some have suggested could hurt front runners Ferrari and Red Bull the most.

However, Verstappen is not expecting there to be any impact on his team’s performance.

“Well, I don't think it's going to necessarily hurt us,” he explained.


Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

No time to relax

Verstappen arrives at the Belgian Grand Prix with a comfortable 80-points lead over his main title rival Charles Leclerc – meaning he could in theory finish second in the remaining races and still win the championship.

But although the situation is a world away from the super-close fight he had with Lewis Hamilton last season, Verstappen sees no reason to think the pressure is off now.

“I think it would be wrong to relax,” he said. “So many things can still go wrong, or can go right. But I think the intention of us is that we want to win more races and that's how we approach also the remaining races.

He added: “I think the whole team thinks the same way. We want to win more races. We're not here to say: ‘Oh, we can only finish second.’ Like that's okay. We don't work like that.

“I think we always want the best: we want to win. We don't want to give wins to other teams just for being safe. Of course, we know we also had to finish the races first of all without any issues. But I mean, there's still nine races to go and we are targeting to win nine races.”

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