Max Verstappen says Formula 1’s 2022 rulebook was not devised to halt Mercedes’ dominance but rather to try and improve the racing up and down the field.
Mercedes has had the upper hand over its rivals since the introduction of F1’s hybrid era in 2014, the German outfit imposing its technical excellence and steamrolling to seven consecutive Constructors’ titles.
Little is expected to change next season on the back of only transitional rule changes. But the sport’s 2022 regulation overhaul will hopefully provide a much-needed reset to Grand Prix racing’s pecking order and a healthy dose of unpredictability.
Addressing the significant changes that will take hold in a little over twelve months, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff recently stated that “everything has been done to stop us”. But Verstappen denies the dramatic new rule book was written with Mercedes in mind.
“No, I think those rules are just the result of new owners listening to teams and drivers,” said the Red Bull charger in Turkey, quoted by Motorsport.com.
“They hear that it is really difficult to overtake and that we want more close racing.
“You could see the current issues at Imola for example. Valtteri drove around with a car that was three to four tenths slower because of the damage, but I couldn’t get past him.
“Even though I was much faster, you could see that once I did get past him. We have to find a solution for that.”
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The Dutchman drew a parallel with MotoGP to highlight how qualifying is less of a decisive factor compared to F1. Verstappen hopes the new rules will have a similar impact on F1.
“We need the racing in F1 to be more exciting and drivers to be able to follow other cars more closely and not that qualifying is the deciding factor during a race weekend as it is right now,” Verstappen added.
“Take a look at the MotoGP championship for example. Even if you qualify tenth, you can still win the race.
“That hardly happens in Formula 1, just because it’s so difficult to follow other cars at most of our circuits.
“I think that’s why the new regulations are coming in from 2022 onwards. And whether those new rules will slow Mercedes down or not, you can’t even say that at this moment.”
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