AUGUST 28, 2022

Verstappen jokes porpoising rule very bad for Red Bull

Max Verstappen could only giggle when asked if the FIA's clampdown on 'porpoising' had hurt Red Bull.

Max Verstappen, Belgian GP 2022
© Red Bull

Max Verstappen could only giggle when asked if the FIA's clampdown on 'porpoising' had hurt Red Bull.

"Yes, that technical directive has been very, very bad for us," the Dutchman laughed to De Telegraaf newspaper.

Indeed, Formula 1's other two top teams - Ferrari and Mercedes - have been left aghast by Verstappen's bigger-than-ever performance advantage at Spa-Francorchamps.

As from this weekend in Belgium, certain parameters regarding the new ground-effect floors are being enforced in a safety-oriented bid to limit the aerodynamic bouncing or 'porpoising' outcome.

"Well, my wife often tells me that size doesn't matter," Red Bull boss Christian Horner smiled. "So I'm not going to get too fussed about 10 millimetres.

"It's inconvenient to be introducing it at this time of time of year, but it's the same for everybody. We ended up negotiating on a number and we ended up at a number that was agreed."

And the result, at least at Spa-Francorchamps, is a massive performance advantage for Red Bull.

"I didn't expect it would make much difference to our car," world champion and runaway championship leader Verstappen, 24, said.

"Whether that is the case for Ferrari, I don't know. And Mercedes is a bit short of top speed this year anyway, so it's no surprise that they are not competitive here.

"It also has to do with the layout of the track," he added. "This year we are fast on the straight and somehow we can now combine that with speed in the corners. Then you can make a big gap here.

"But I didn't expect it would be that much here," said Verstappen.

The Dutchman - as well as his title rival Charles Leclerc - will start Sunday's Belgian GP a long way down the grid due to engine penalties.

But some think Verstappen's speed advantage is so great that he will win the race anyway.

"Well, I think with the pace we have in the car, I want to move forward and I want to be at least on the podium," he said.

As for his chances of a win, Dr Helmut Marko smiled: "I think that's a bit daring. We don't want to get cocky.

"But I wouldn't rule it out either," said Red Bull's 79-year-old Austrian official.

Mercedes' George Russell agreed: "I think Max will plow through the field and probably win the race comfortably.

"He and Red Bull are just miles ahead of everyone else."

Alpha Tauri star Pierre Gasly joked: "When I saw how fast Max is, I thought he should be penalised every race because he would win anyway."