Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz says he hopes the grid will be tighter under 2022 regulations, adding that the F1 governing body have done a ‘very good’ job.
With the F1 grid dominated by a select few teams which sit atop the standings each year, Sainz says that hopeful drivers entering the sport are discouraged by the reality that the driver makes little difference, where the performance of the car decides the limits of a driver’s success more so than their own capability.
Sainz credits F1’s 2022 regulations with being a ‘very good’ step towards achieving a more competitive product, and hopes that the new regulatory era will successfully bring F1 into an age of closer racing. The new regulations, introducing financial rules and a new formula for car design, are marketed as a solution to the problems he mentions.
“I think it all depends on how close the teams are from each other in 2022,” started Sainz. Obviously, everyone is expecting the cars to be a bit slower at the beginning, and then develop as the years go on, but you don’t really know how much in front, some teams are going to be to the others.
“What I wish [for] is that Formula One in the future has a closer grid in order to allow the driver to create more of a difference. How do we achieve that? It’s not me to design, I’m not here to design rules or to set a rulebook or anything like that. I’m here to compete, to try and be the best driver I can be.
“As you arrive to F1 you very quickly realise it’s very difficult to beat any guy who has a car that is three tenths quicker than you, because you as a driver, you’re fighting for the last two tenths with your teammate, at least that’s been the case with all my teammates, you’re just two tenths up or two tenths down.
“But then when someone outqualifies you by 1.5 seconds then you know that you are not really competing with with him. I wish that we can close the group up together. I think FOM, Liberty, FIA have done a very good job with the 2022 regulations, they’ve given that a chance,” said Sainz, who foresees a less ‘machinery dependent’ product.
“So hopefully that happens, and the sport becomes a bit more human dependent in terms of driving, and less machinery dependent, because I think the sport can can be a lot closer, a lot more fun. will create a greater audience, and I think it will be better for everyone,” Sainz concluded.
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