F1 drivers reflect on how the 2022 changes has been so far and if it has worked in better racing with strategy.

With 13 grand prix done and the end of the summer break next weekend as the teams and drivers reconvene at Spa-Francorchamps. Brand new rules and regulations introduced at the start led the F1 teams into the unknown. Not forgetting the dreaded porpoising which teams encountered on day one. Some overcame it but some have struggled. Several drivers including the defending champion give their verdict.

Max Verstappen: “I think following has been quite a bit better, so that’s positive. It’s difficult to expect really how much better it would be, but for me at least, you have a better chance of racing. But then again, on some tracks it’s still very hard to follow. But that’s also in combination with tyres overheating and stuff. So, there are a few things to look at.”

Valtteri Bottas: “It’s exciting. It’s definitely like every single lap in the qualifying in the midfield matters? You’re either in or out of the next session and I’m enjoying it. The whole qualifying, you really need to nail the laps, and it’s the same in racing; it’s so close that it’s always good battling, good racing. And for me, it’s also quite different in terms of the race strategy, how much more it actually matters in the midfield, because we’re battling with so many cars, instead of just one or two cars which I maybe had in the past at Mercedes. So, I’m enjoying it, the regulations are clearly working, and I hope that, you know, the midfield teams will eventually get closer to the top as well.”

Esteban Ocon: “I think it’s been like that also in 2017 and 2018 already. You still had a top three teams and then the other guys, you know, fighting in the back. I feel we’re closer to where we were from back then but it’s still too far, and that needs to be closer to properly have a different podium, you know, different winners at times. We always see the same guys. So yeah, definitely the way hopefully is going to be forward for those midfield teams and I hope that with the cost cap and everything, the same rules for a bit, that the tunnel is going to close at the top.”

Kevin Magnussen: “It’s really nice that… it seems like it’s very close and every weekend, you can go into the weekend thinking that you can have a good result. It doesn’t seem like it’s easy to fall behind too much. So, I think it’s better for us in the midfield, and I guess, you know, better racing as well for the people watching.”

Daniel Ricciardo: “It’s fun. Obviously when it’s tight it is fun, of course. It’d be more fun fighting for the wins, the podiums, but the battles we’re having are good. The unpredictability obviously is not fun when you’re on the other end, but it keeps it fresh, and it’s cool when you get out on top. But I think because the regulations are so new, we’re still learning, and teams naturally design their cars to have some strengths in some places… so like, fast flowing circuits, you’ve got a couple of teams that are going to be there, and on the tight twisty ones, a couple of others. So now after doing half a season, you have a little bit of understanding of maybe who’s going to be where on what circuit, but there are still some curveballs, some weekends where you’re still, ‘Okay, yeah, we still haven’t completely learned everything that there is to learn yet with these with these cars.’ So, we’ll keep going on and see how it goes.”

So, the overall verdict from the drivers is that, they do like the new rules and are enjoying the new style of racing too. Despite the possibly monopoly of success so far with Red Bull dominating from Ferrari, the racing has been very close and unpredictable with some surprises along the way also. All the drivers in the midfield area concur that it is very hard in terms of battle to call. It is close racing and it is what the fans want.

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