Max Verstappen's frank opinion on F1 street circuits: Fun for the pictures, but not for racing

F1 Grand Prix of Monaco
Race winner Max Verstappen celebrates in parc fermé during the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 23, 2021, in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Sebastian Nogier - Pool/Getty Images)

Two-time world champion Max Verstappen claims street circuits in F1 are esthetically pleasing, but lacking in the racing department. The Dutchman claims the bigger and heavier new generation cars are not suited for street circuit racing.

The 25-year-old has won on street circuits like Monaco, Miami, Jeddah, and Baku, but is still disappointed with how newer cars behave on such tracks. The Red Bull driver would also like to see fewer street circuits on the calendar and would much rather have old-school circuits that allow for better racing.

The world champion's main criticism of street circuits is that current-gen cars can no longer take the curbs through narrow streets. Circuits of this nature are also known to be significantly dangerous for drivers, as they plow through narrowly-walled roads at speeds sometimes in excess of 300 kmph.

Max Verstappen gave his opinion on street circuits in an exclusive interview for FORMULA 1 Magazine, saying:

"Formula 1 cars are really not made for that. I don't like street circuits at all anymore. With the old cars it was still doable, but now...In Monaco and Singapore, I was very disappointed how the new cars went through the streets. Too heavy, too stiff, you can't take curbs with you anymore. The cars just aren't built for it. Street circuits are fun for the pictures, but not for racing."

Max Verstappen already has his eyes on the 2023 title defense

Max Verstappen has already begun laying the foundations for his 2023 F1 title defense by testing next year's tires in Abu Dhabi. The two-time world champion took part in the Pirelli tire test last Tuesday and put in 76 laps in the championship-winning RB18 car.

The Dutchman put in a number of laps on the updated Pirelli tires, trying to get a feel for next year's driving mechanics. It must be noted, however, that the Red Bull driver tested the tires on his 2022 car and will not have a clear idea of how next year's tires will behave. Max Verstappen said after the 2022 Pirelli tire test in Abu Dhabi:

"We have completed our programme and have thus laid a first foundation for next year. I think it all went very well. It's always nice to be able to do some laps on a new tyre construction, but of course the tyres behave differently on every track. That's why it's hard to judge. That said, it's always better to have some data than no data. All in all, everything went normally. A good day, then."

Verstappen's 2023 title defense seems to be in question not because of his skills, but rather due to Red Bull's reprimands for allegedly breaching the 2021 cost cap. The team will get significantly less wind tunnel testing time in 2023, potentially putting them on the back foot in the coming season. It will be interesting to see if Mercedes and Ferrari can upset the Austrian team in 2023.

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Edited by Anurag C
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