Amid the ongoing ‘party mode’ saga, Red Bull bosses have proposed that rules should be made to prohibit Mercedes using their extra horsepower during qualifying, but their driver Max Verstappen believes such restrictions would be unfair on Mercedes who he says does the best job in Formula 1.
Two weeks ago, at the opening round in Melbourne Lewis Hamilton put the Mercedes on pole position by a whopping seven-tenths of a second using what the team calls ‘party mode’ – a power boost of sorts.
Verstappen was asked by reporters in Bahrain what he thought of restricting Mercedes, he replied, “Honestly not. Because they do a better job than anybody else, so why would you take it away? I mean it’s not fair to them.”
“It’s up to F1 to maybe change the rules to make it more difficult to develop things and stuff, but you shouldn’t now take it away because they are really, really good. It’s unfair to them.”
“Same for me. But you also have to be honest and clear about it, they just do a better job than everyone else. Otherwise, I think we should just use all the same engines – but that’s not what everybody wants.”
Verstappen did agree that what Mercedes unleashed for Hamilton during Q3 in qualy was special, “If you suddenly gain 5-6km/h then yeah, it’s quite a difference. It’s quite clear in qualifying they ramp it up, but it has been like this already for the whole era of V6s. So it’s not a new story.”
As for his chances this weekend in Bahrain, Verstappen said, “For sure the tyre degradation should be a little bit higher, so if we get everything right, then it can be quite an interesting race I think.”
“I think in general it’s tyre degradation and also more overtaking opportunities, but also just longer braking zones. The track is a little bit wider so you can drive little bit different lines to stay out of the dirty air.”
“And I think the DRS is a little bit more efficient here to pass cars. Those kinds of things make it I guess a little bit more interesting,” added Verstappen.