F1 introduced new regulations for 2022, the aim of which was to improve racing and give more teams a chance to win by narrowing the gap between the front and back of the grid.
The union of a cost limit and an aerodynamic handicap system that allows the teams from the lower part of the grid to have more development time in the wind tunnel than the best classified was going to contribute to this.
However, and as some feared, the first year of the new regulations has caused a big difference between the teams that have been successful and those that have not.
Ferrari and Red Bull have been in a league of their own, and the championship battle has been rather unexciting in favor of Max Verstappen.
However, the president and CEO of Formula 1, Stefano Domenicali is not too alarmed by this situation, and believes that as the teams come to understand the new rules – and the teams that are at the forefront find diminishing returns in the improvements of cars – things will become much more competitive.
“It is clear that a championship with these differences between the first and the second will not offer the ending that we saw last year,” Domenicali explained in statements to the Italian media.
“But despite this, we have already hung the ‘no tickets’ sign at the remaining grands prix in 2022. I think that, from a technical point of view, it is important to understand how quickly certain differences in price can be closed. performance, and that is one of the points on which the regulation was based.
“We also have to see to what extent the performance of the cars was influenced by the regulations and to what extent it was due to reliability or management problems. You have to do a good analysis to understand the cause of the big difference between the cars. leaders and the rest.
“Because if we look at the standings as a whole, we see that behind the leader there are tighter battles than in the past. I want to interpret it in a positive way.”
“I think that in the coming years, the regulations will lead to an even tighter reduction of the gap that currently exists between the leader and the rest.”
Stefano Domenicali, general director of la Fórmula 1
Given that the cost cap is key for F1 to achieve a more or less equal grid, Domenicali is aware of how important it is for the FIA to control it effectively.
Because if teams can find ways to get around the rules, they can gain an unfair advantage.
“I think it’s a crucial aspect,” he added. “We have to make sure that whoever oversees financial compliance is making sure everything is running smoothly.”
“I know that the FIA is working hard, and it is an important step because we need to be sure that all the teams have spent the same amount on the development of their cars. Everything has to be checked and verified.
“That will be the central theme of the coming months and that is where the credibility of this regulation will come from.”
Despite Domenicali being confident things will even out over time, especially with the cost cap in place, McLaren technical director James Key has expressed surprise at the way Red Bull and Ferrari have stayed away. of his rivals this year.
Speaking to the Woking outfit’s website, Key said: “I’m a bit surprised how two teams have been able to find that extra bit of performance compared to everyone else.”
“It was a more compact grid at the beginning of the season, but now it’s starting to stretch, and I have to say that Ferrari and Red Bull have done an excellent job of getting more out of it.
“That shows that even with a cost cap, if you’re a big team with a vast infrastructure and a lot of knowledge and methodology built up over many years, it still counts for a lot.”
“There are equal conditions in terms of the budget we have, but not in terms of the origin of each one, which gives us an excellent point of reference to aspire to.”