In order to make racing more exciting, F1 has carried out a complete revision of the technical regulations for 2022.
Ground effect cars returned and 18-inch wheels with less temperature-sensitive tires were introduced.
But while the 2022 F1 season has left some variety, with the battle between Ferrari and Red Bull Racing rather than Mercedes, the nature of the racing hasn’t been that different from the past.
And Vettel, who is retiring from F1 at the end of this year, has questioned whether the investment made in the 2022 F1 revolution has been worth the improvement that has occurred.
Asked by Motorsport.com about this year’s new rules and tyres, Vettel said: “They’ve always been tricky, but let’s put it like this: the big push this year was to make cars able to overtake and follow much more closely. But I don’t think there’s a big difference.”
“We follow each other more closely, but we have less downforce, so you also have to be closer to overtake.”
“And tire-wise, the big goal was to allow us to run more, but I don’t think there’s a big difference either.”
“So I don’t want to say that it has failed, but really a lot of effort has been put in and not all of the effort has come out, let’s put it that way.”
Elaborating on the subject of the tyres, Sebastian Vettel suggested that they had resulted in compounds that were particularly difficult to take advantage of in qualifying.
“I think everyone is exploring or finding the same thing,” he said. “So as long as you’re on the bright side of things, then you’re fine with it.”
“But normally, the quicker you are in terms of the car, the less problems you have. So now that we’re at the back of the grid, we have some surprises and some weekends where it doesn’t go well.
“Then you only have one or two runs maximum in qualifying, which makes it much more difficult. But I would say it’s more or less the way it was.”
F1 wants sprint races just for money, says Vettel
F1’s new owner, Liberty Media , has also introduced other big changes to the sport, such as sprint racing.
Although in the last two seasons there have been three sprint races, this week the FIA has ratified a plan to expand the list to six in 2023.
Vettel is not a big fan of sprint racing from a driving point of view, and believes that Liberty wants it just for the money.
“I think from a racing point of view, it’s not very exciting to have a sprint race,” he said.
“I think you are still thinking about the main race. You are looking at maybe improving your position, obviously, but above all not losing any. Now you add some, a little more than last year, but I think the main focus is still the race. Sunday”.
“I don’t want to be the bad guy for the sake of being the bad guy, but I think it’s a way to make more money.”
“If there’s a race, obviously it’s more exciting than maybe a practice session. There are more people watching it.”
“So I guess it’s a matter of focus, but I don’t have full access to the numbers. That’s what we were told a long time ago.”