Max Verstappen admits that “a lot is unknown” about Red Bull’s new car ahead of the upcoming F1 season.
With a wave of new technical regulations being introduced into the sport for 2022, the drivers have yet to race the latest generation of cars, meaning that Verstappen is keen to see what the experience will be like.
“A lot is unknown about the car,” Verstappen said as Red Bull launched the RB18.
“Personally, I feel good. What is important is that you prepare yourself in the best way possible, physically. But in terms of the car, you don’t know, so that’s why I think I’m also very curious to see how the car is behaving on track.”
New car will be the “biggest adaptation” in 2022
Verstappen is not planning to change his approach in his first title-defending season, but is expecting that getting used to the new car will require a period of adaptation.
“I just do what I do all the time,” the Dutchman explained.
“There is no reason to suddenly be different. And of course, as a driver, now with the new regulations, you have to get used to the car.
“It’s not like you just jump in and it’s just an upgrade from last year, so that is going to be the biggest adaptation. But the rest, yeah, I think it’s pretty straightforward.”
From what he has gathered so far, Verstappen thinks that one thing that will be different with the new cars will be the view, given the addition of 18-inch tyres.
“The biggest thing is just the view in the cockpit with these big tyres,” the World Champion added.
“To hit an apex in some tight corners, it’s a bit more difficult. But driving, it just feels like the car has a bit less grip, but you will get used to that.
“That’s why we have the practice days. [We] can get used to the sliding and locking and stuff like that, but I think it should be fine. [It will be] just getting a bit more used to the view.”
Verstappen looking forward to the first laps
With these elements of uncertainty over the cars, Verstappen is keen for his first laps in the RB18.
“[I’m looking forward to] just getting to know the car, to be honest, because I really don’t know how it’s going to feel like,” he added.
“So I’m really looking forward to that first moment when you drive out of the pit lane and you do your first few laps.”
The opening pre-season test will take place in Barcelona from 23-25 February, with Red Bull set to shake down their new car beforehand.