Vettel questions whether F1 2022 new rules effort was worth it

Sebastian Vettel has questioned whether the huge effort Formula 1 made to change the rules for this season has been worth it.

Vettel questions whether F1 2022 new rules effort was worth it

As part of a bid to make the racing more exciting, F1 undertook a complete overhaul of the technical regulations for 2022.

This included a switch to ground effect machinery, and a change to 18-inch wheels running less thermally-sensitive tyres.

But while the F1 2022 season has produced a bit of variety, with the title battle being contested between Ferrari and Red Bull, the nature of the racing has not been that dramatically different from the past.

And Vettel, who is retiring from grand prix racing at the end of this year, has questioned whether or not the investment made in the F1 2022 revolution was ultimately worth it for what improvement there has been.

Asked by Autosport about the new rules and new tyres this year, Vettel said: “They've always been tricky, but let's say it like this: the big push this year was to make the cars able to overtake and follow a lot closer. But I don't think there's a big difference.

“We follow closer, but we've got less drag, so you need to be closer to also overtake.

“And on tyres, the big target was to allow racing more, but I don't think it is a big difference either.

“So I don't want to say it has failed. But certainly a lot of effort had gone in and not all the effort came out, let's put it this way.”

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Expanding more on the tyres, Vettel suggested that they had proved especially challenging to get the most out of in qualifying.

“I think everybody is exploring or finding the same thing,” he said. “So as long as you're on the good side of things, then [it’s okay].

“But usually, the faster you are in terms of the car package, the less problems you have. So now being at the back of the grid, we do have some surprises and some weekends where it doesn't go right.

“Then, you only get one or two runs maximum in qualifying, which you know, makes it a lot harder. But I would say it's pretty much as it was.”

Sprint race cash

As well as F1’s new owner Liberty Media pushing for a rules overhaul, it has also introduced other bold changes to the sport – such as sprint races.

While there has been a trio of sprints for the past two seasons, a plan to expand the roster up to six in 2023 was this week ratified by the FIA.

Vettel is not a huge fan of the sprints from a driving perspective, and thinks they have only been pursued by Liberty because of money.

“I think that from a driving point of view, it's not very exciting to have a sprint,” he said.

“I think you are still looking at the main race. You're looking at maybe improving your position, obviously, but mostly not losing. You get some points now, and you get a little bit more [than last year], but I think the main main focus is still on the race.

“I don't want to be the bad guy for just being the bad guy, but I think it is a way to make more money.

“If there is a race, obviously it's more exciting than maybe a practice session. You have more people watching.

“So I guess it's a question of approach, but then I don't have the full access to the numbers. That's what we were told some while ago.”

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