Domenicali says new F1 rules will eventually shut down the grid


F1 has introduced entirely new rules for 2022, aimed at improving racing and giving more teams a chance to succeed with the gap between the front and rear of the grille getting smaller.

This is aided by a combination of a cost cap as well as an aerodynamic handicap system that allows for more airway development time and CFDs for teams in the ranking.

However, as some feared, the first year of the new rules resulted in a huge gap between teams that did it right and those that didn’t.

Ferrari And Red Bull appeared to be in a class of their own and the championship battle was completely one-sided Max VerstappenValid.

Domenicali isn’t too bothered by the situation, and thinks that when teams understand the new rules – and teams are up front with diminishing returns from car improvements – things will become more competitive.

Domenicali said in an interview with Italian media: “It is clear that a tournament with such gaps between the first and the second will not achieve the final that we witnessed last year.”

But despite this, we are already sold out at the remaining grand prize on the calendar. I think from a technical point of view it’s important to understand how quickly certain performance gaps are closed, and that’s one of the points the regulations are based on.

“We also need to know how far the performance of cars is affected by regulations, and how much reliability or management has deteriorated [problems]. It needs a good analysis to understand why there is such a big gap between the leaders and the rest.

“Because if we look at the arrangement as a whole, we see that behind the leader there are tougher battles than in the past. I want to give a positive explanation.

“I think in the next few years, the regulations will lead to a narrower reduction of the gap that currently exists between the leader and the rest.”

Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Formula 1

Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Formula 1

Photography: Eric Junius

With the cost ceiling so central to F1’s hopes of holding the field together, Domenicali understands how important it is for the FIA ​​to run it effectively.

Because if teams can find ways to get around the regulations, that risks letting them find an unfair advantage.

“I think it’s a crucial aspect,” he added. “We need to make sure that everyone who oversees compliance with the financial rules ensures that everything is running smoothly.

“I know the FIA ​​is working hard, and it’s an important step because we need to make sure that all the teams have spent the same amount developing their cars. Everything needs to be checked and verified.

“This will be the main topic for the coming months and hence the credibility of these regulations.”

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Although Domenicali is confident that things will close over time, especially with a cost cap, McLaren Technical director James Key has expressed his amazement at the way Red Bull and Ferrari have moved away from the competition this year.

Speaking to McLaren’s website, Key said: “I think I’m a little surprised at how two teams have been able to find that extra bit of performance compared to everyone else.

“It was a tighter court at the start of the season, but it’s starting to stretch now, and I have to say, Ferrari and Red Bull have done an excellent job of tapping more.

“It shows that even within the cost ceiling, if you’re a big team with extensive infrastructure and a lot of knowledge and methodology that’s been built in over many years, it’s still very important.

“It’s a level playing field in terms of the budget we have, but not in terms of where we all come from – and that gives us an excellent reference point to look forward to.”


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