Red Bull's Max Verstappen is doubtful that the pecking order will change much in Formula 1 this year despite the shake-up in the technical regulations ahead of the new season.

For 2017, teams have been required to adapt to a new set of technical guidelines that have made their cars multiple seconds per lap faster due to the greater downforce they are afforded.

Regulation changes often offer teams the chance to break away from their previous struggles and move up the field, as seen with Mercedes in 2014 when it went from occasional race winner to omnipotent force on top of the F1 world.

The regulation change for 2017 has given hope to many that Mercedes' domination may come to an end, with Ferrari finishing pre-season testing as the fastest team.

Red Bull's Verstappen is unsure that a great deal will change, though, saying that engine power should still be the biggest factor separating teams, much as it was in 2016.

"I think the thing is that back in the day the regulation changes changed a lot, and the engines were close to each other," Verstappen said. "So yes, definitely a team could improve a lot suddenly.

"Now I think for sure there are people with better cars compared to last year, but the engines are still quite different to each other in terms of horsepower so I don't think it will change too much in the pecking order."

Verstappen became F1's youngest ever winner last year, and with Red Bull technical chief Adrian Newey playing a great role in the design of the new RB13 car, the Dutchman may be a quiet contender for the championship.

"We have to wait and see, it's still early days," Verstappen said. "We definitely need to improve but everybody wants to improve any time so I think we just have to wait and see here.

"I mean here is a different track to Barcelona as well, so the car will behave differently, and then once we go out on track we have a better understanding on the car again. We just wait and see."

 

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