Stefano Domenicali on his hopes for arguably the biggest technical rules change in Formula 1’s history; the 2022 cars will feature heavily-overhauled aerodynamics aimed at increasing on-track competition; car launches expected from mid-February
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 10/01/22 2:48pm
F1 chief Stefano Domenicali hopes the “dream” of more drivers competing at the front of the field starts to be realised in the early years of the sport’s new era of regulations.
In what is possibly the biggest-ever overhaul of the sport’s technical rules, the cars are being changed in the hope that they will be able to follow each other more closely, increasing overtaking opportunities.
The technical rules go hand-in-hand with the budget cap introduced for the first time last year, and other interlinked regulations designed to better control development costs and level playing field through the grid.
“I really hope that in the future with new regulations coming in place, this will allow other drivers to be in the fight to show who they are,” said Domenicali, F1’s president and CEO, in an interview with Sky Sports F1 at the end of last season.
“This will be really the dream of the next couple of years.”
Last season was the first time since 2012 that a world title fight between drivers from two different teams went down to the wire. Mercedes and Red Bull won 20 of the 22 races, with Alpine and McLaren taking one unexpected triumph apiece.
On only three occasions so far this century (2003, 2008 and 2012) has more than four teams won races in a single season.
Sky F1’s Jenson Button: “It’s a massive regulation change. I’m sure that one team is going to find something different than the others.
“It’s more challenging for the teams and these cars are not going to be easy to drive either. I can’t wait to see what the best in the world are going to do with this machinery.
“Hopefully it won’t be just Lewis [Hamilton] and Max [Verstappen] fighting for the championship, hopefully there will be a few other guys from different teams up and down the grid as well.”
Writing in a column on LinkedIn, Nico Hulkenberg, a veteran of 179 races and Aston Martin’s reserve driver in 2021, said adaptability will be key. Winter testing begins in Spain on February 23.
“I’m also looking forward to seeing which team and driver get off to the best start,” wrote Hulkenberg.
“This is where the wheat will be separated from the chaff, and it’s the guys who learn quickly, adapt quickly and adjust well to new conditions who will be right at the front initially.
“Later in the year, things can change because it will be a huge learning curve for everybody involved. The development race teams are in, will move the order in such a long season.
“It’s too early for predictions although I would be very surprised if the top teams from previous years will not be near the front.”