Max Verstappen voices two concerns with new F1 car during Red Bull’s RB18 2022 launch

Max Verstappen prevails in world title shoot-out

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Red Bull superstar Max Verstappen has voiced two concerns with his brand new F1 car during the RB18 launch on Wednesday. The Dutchman will aim to retain his world title in 2022 after last season’s hard-fought battle with Lewis Hamilton, which culminated in a blockbuster Abu Dhabi showdown. 

Team boss Christian Horner and team-mate Sergio Perez were also in the spotlight during Wednesday’s hotly-anticipated unveiling. 

Verstappen and Hamilton, the two title protagonists from last season, had both taken something of a step back from the public eye following an intense battle in 2021. 

But preparations are now hitting top gear with the season’s curtain-raiser in Bahrain just over a month away, and fans are becoming familiar with the new-look cars which have undergone significant changes due to the introduction of new regulations.

Verstappen himself seemed anxious to get it out on track, while pointing out that apexes were harder to hit and grip had diminished while testing on the simulator. 

“I haven’t really driven it too much,” said Verstappen. 

“For me, the biggest thing is the view in the cockpit with these big tyres. To hit an apex is a little bit more difficult.

“The driving, it just feels like the car has a bit less grip. But I will get used to that.

“That’s why we have practice days, to get used to the sliding and locking and stuff like that, but it should be fine.

“Just getting more used to the view in the cockpit. The tyres are bigger, so that will make it a little bit more tricky.”

Contending with a new car will not be the only thing for teams to wrestle with in 2022, as changes are set to be made to the way team bosses can communicate with the FIA race director too. 

Michael Masi fulfilled that role in 2021, and came under heavy fire for his controversial decision in Abu Dhabi, which played a significant role in handing Verstappen the chance to claim his maiden world title triumph. 

Although he took it impressively, the Dutchman will undoubtedly be keen to go out and put his brilliance beyond doubt by winning the top prize again in the upcoming season, where he could go toe-to-toe with Hamilton for a second consecutive year. 

While regulation changes could shake up the balance of power on the grid, Verstappen remains composed in his outlook. 

“It does not feel different [to go into the season as world champion],” he added.

“I’m looking forward to driving the car and see how everything is handling. I’ve had a good bit of time off and recharged to go driving again.

“There is no reason for me to suddenly be different. Regulations are going to be the biggest adaptation, but the rest should be pretty straightforward.”

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