Max Verstappen claims he is not worried by Lewis Hamilton's new controversial car design 3 months ago

Max Verstappen claims he is not worried by Lewis Hamilton's new controversial car design

The new season gets going next weekend

Max Verstappen has denied any worries about Mercedes' new controversial car design ahead of the 2022 season.

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Mercedes' new model, the W13, has been described by team chief Toto Wolff as an 'unbelievable machine' but has shocked many due to its lack of sidepods.

But Verstappen, whose dramatic 2021 victory drew controversy of its own, has said his rival's new design does not concern him.

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"No, I’m not concerned. We can only focus on ourselves," the Red Bull driver said.

"I said this so many times last year and we have to do it again this year, even if the cars look a bit different.

"There are so many unknown things, what we need to learn about, so I’m not worried at all."

And Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn admitted the design came as a shock, but does meet the necessary criteria.

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"There’s no doubt that the Mercedes concept, we didn’t anticipate. It’s a very extreme interpretation of the regulation," Brawn said.

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff was keen to rave about the new design as the team gear up to take their title back.

"I think we are really proud of what we have achieved in terms of concept," said Wolff.

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"But now we need to make it go fast.

"I think it’s a development direction that we like, and it’s about tuning the car and so we are experimenting a lot, as we’ve done during the day, and approaching it with curiosity.

"I think there [are still] issues that are… Bahrain-specific.

"It’s very hot, you see a lot of cars still bouncing – some on the straights, others through the corners – so it’s a tuning question. And we haven’t really looked at performance data yet."

Wolff also clarified the FIA had been liaised with over the design.

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He said: "The process is very clear: when you go in a specific development direction that you deem as having the FIA a part of scrutinising it, you are exchanging CAD [computer-aided design] data. You’re making them part of the process."

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