Skip to main content


Verstappen, Russell ask for cars to be raised

Max Verstappen Max Verstappen - The Canadian Press

Defending Formula 1 World Drivers' Champion Max Verstappen of Red Bull and Mercedes' George Russell are calling for cars to be raised in a matter of drivers' safety.

Verstappen says he broached the topic with F1's governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), during last weekend's season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, which he won.

"End of the straight with full load, the impact is too high with the low ride-heights," Verstappen told BBC Sport.

The hope is that the change will be made as part of rule changes for the 2026 season that will be unveiled in June, but Verstappen remains skeptical.

"We still run very low, but I don't think the 2026 car is going to be any different," he said. 

Russell called the current situation - which arose with the new rules introduced in 2022 -  "unsustainable."

"All the drivers have been speaking with F1 because it is a little bit unsustainable to keep running the cars like this," Russel said. "You get the most amount of performance running the car as close to the ground as possible and as stiff as possible, so you feel like your teeth are rattling out down the straight. The length of an AA battery is the distance we are from the ground at the beginning [of the straight] and at the end it is the size of a chickpea. So every single tiny bump, it goes all through your body, and we hope for the next generation of cars they find a better solution."

The second race of the 2024 F1 season is set for Saturday at the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix.