Mohammed Ben Sulayem breaks silence on Max Verstappen criticism

Max Verstappen's critical view of Formula 1's direction has gained support from ex-driver Christian Klein and FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

Max Verstappen’s outspoken criticism of Formula 1’s recent developments has found an ally in former Red Bull driver Christian Klein. 

The Dutch racing prodigy has repeatedly expressed his belief that the sport’s focus on heavier cars is steering it in the wrong direction. 

Now, with Klein and FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem also advocating for lighter vehicles, the call for change is gaining momentum.

Over the past decade, Formula 1 cars have grown increasingly heavier, a trend that Verstappen has vehemently opposed.

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In his eyes, the weight gain has led to uneventful races, evident in the lacklustre Azerbaijan Grand Prix last month. 

Verstappen, a two-time world champion, lamented that the increased weight posed challenges in low-speed situations, making it harder to follow other cars and putting more strain on the tires.

Formula 1’s recent shift towards ground effect aerodynamics, coupled with larger wheels and wheel covers, resulted in a rise in the minimum weight limit. 

In 2022, the cars reached their heaviest weight to date at 798kg, an increase from the previous 752kg. 

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Verstappen’s criticism has been unwavering, and his concerns have now received validation from Christian Klein, who competed for Red Bull from 2004 to 2006 and later in 2010.

Klein, reflecting on his own experience, commented: “The cars today are a bit too big and too heavy. They are very fast, but they look a bit lazy. 

“Racing in that aspect could be improved, but overall, we are moving in the right direction. Comparing it to ten years ago, there are a lot more fans, so it’s all very positive.”

Adding to the chorus of voices advocating for lighter Formula 1 cars, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem recently voiced his support for the cause. 

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Recognizing the need for an enhanced spectacle, especially with Red Bull dominating the championship, Ben Sulayem stressed the importance of lighter vehicles for safety and fuel efficiency. 

Drawing from his rallying background, he emphasized that lighter cars offer superior performance.

Ben Sulayem’s sentiments resonated with many within the racing community, fuelling the growing consensus that change is necessary.