Verstappen: 2022 F1 rules not designed to stop Mercedes

Red Bull Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen has dismissed suggestions that the 2022 F1 regulations are designed to stop Mercedes from dominating and says they "need to make racing more exciting"

Verstappen: 2022 F1 rules not designed to stop Mercedes

After a one-year postponement caused by the pandemic, F1 will move to all-new technical regulations in 2022 with cars designed to improve the show through a reduction of downforce.

The shift from downforce primarily generated by the surface of the car to a more ground-effect driven concept should reduce turbulent air, which has prevented drivers from racing each other closely for a number of years.

PLUS: Things you might've missed in F1's (now delayed) 2021 rules

The technical changes coincide with the introduction of a budget cap and a more equitable prize money structure, as part of a wide-ranging overhaul of the sport to level the playing field.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff argued some of the changes are designed to put the brakes on his team's crushing display of dominance in the V6 hybrid era, Mercedes scooping up all 14 drivers' and constructors' titles since 2014.

Wolff said after the Emilia Romagna GP at Imola that "everything has been done to stop us", but pledged that the new 2022 challenge will "motivate" the Brackley outfit to stay on top.

However Verstappen, the driver who has posed the biggest threat to the dominance of Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas refutes Wolff's claims that the new regulations are designed to stop Mercedes from winning.

When asked about Wolff's comments in Turkey, Verstappen said he thought it was a necessary move.

"No, I think those rules are just the result of new owners listening to teams and drivers," he said.

"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."

Verstappen said he has enjoyed the unpredictability of the 2020 MotoGP season, which produced nine winners from 14 races, and said he hopes F1's new rules will make qualifying less decisive in the future.

"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," the Dutchman 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."

shares
comments
Mercedes has cured corner rotation flaw on W11 F1 car: Hamilton

Previous article

Mercedes has cured corner rotation flaw on W11 F1 car: Hamilton

Next article

Wolff always felt "pretty relaxed" about Russell's F1 future

Wolff always felt "pretty relaxed" about Russell's F1 future
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Max Verstappen
Teams Mercedes
Author Filip Cleeren
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021