Verstappen expects qualifying change to help Toro Rosso

Max Verstappen expects the return of the 2015 qualifying format at the Chinese Grand Prix to help Toro Rosso.

The elimination-style qualifying was dropped following two races, with fans and teams criticising the format. This weekend’s race in China sees the old system return, and Verstappen feels it will benefit Toro Rosso as it can save tyres for later in each part of the session.

“I think definitely for us qualifying is a bit better because we didn’t have so many supersoft tyres,” Verstappen said. “It will be a little bit better because we don’t need to go out in the first seven minutes and use a set when you know the track is not so good as at the end of the session because then more people are running and there is more grip. I think it is a bit better.”

And Verstappen is also hopeful the Shanghai circuit will suit Toro Rosso, despite carrying the deficit of a year-old power unit.

“Definitely the straight is not the most positive for us, but I think last year wasn’t too bad actually. It is still a bit of a guess what we will do this year, but the car was handling quite well last year in the race. I think it is quite positive and it all also depends on the weather and now we have three compounds, so hopefully we choose the right ones or the right mixture of tyres. It will be interesting that is for sure.

“The thing is if you have to choose 14 weeks in advance you don’t know how the weather will be and the tyres are very sensitive to temperature changes. It can make a difference, especially here, if it is too warm you can have problems on the rear and if it is too cold you have graining on the front. It will be very interesting and of course some tyres work better when it is warm or cold.”

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