Stefano Domenicali remains confident regulations will bunch pack up

Jamie Woodhouse
Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali at the French Grand Prix. Paul Ricard, July 2022.

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali at the French Grand Prix. Paul Ricard, July 2022.

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali believes that the new-for-2022 regulations will come good and create a closer grid.

Sweeping changes were made to the Technical Regulations for the 2022 season, new look ground effect challengers taking to the track with the goal of reducing the gaps throughout the grid.

This aim is not yet being realised though, Red Bull and Ferrari having led the way in 2022, those teams accounting for all 18 race wins so far this season.

Red Bull have run away with proceedings though, Max Verstappen confirmed as a two-time champ with four rounds of the season still to go.

These new rules have felt like a bit of a disappointment so far then, but Domenicali has not lost hope, he believes that the field will even out in the coming years, highlighting the competitiveness of the midfield battle, where the order has shifted throughout the season.

It also does appear that these cars are allowing for drivers to follow each other better, creating more overtaking chances, which was another major goal of these regulations.

“It’s clear that a championship with such large gaps between first and second will not end in the same way as last year,” Domenicali told Italian reporters, as per Motorsport.com, referencing the 2021 title battle which was decided on the last lap of the season.

“But despite this, we are already sold out for the remaining grands prix. I think from a technical point of view it’s important to understand how quickly certain performance gaps can be closed, and that’s one of the points the regulations were designed around.

“We also need to determine how much of the cars’ performance has been influenced by the regulations or by reliability and management [issues]. We need a thorough analysis to understand what caused such a gap between the frontrunners and the others. Because if we look at the ranking as a whole, we see that behind the leader there are closer fights than in the past.

“I want to interpret this in a positive way. I think that in the next few years the regulations will further reduce the gap that currently exists between the leader and the others.”

Red Bull's Sergio Perez leads Ferrari's Charles Leclerc into Turn 1 at the Singapore Grand Prix. Marina Bay, October 2022.
Red Bull's Sergio Perez leads Ferrari's Charles Leclerc into Turn 1 at the Singapore Grand Prix. Marina Bay, October 2022.

Arguably the biggest talking point of the season though revolves around the budget cap, first introduced in 2021 as part of the aims to converge the grid.

It has been confirmed by the FIA that Red Bull, Aston Martin and Williams did not comply. For Aston Martin and Williams it was a procedural breach, but Red Bull were found to have committed a minor overspend breach.

Williams were fined earlier in the season, so now we wait to find out how Red Bull and Aston Martin will be dealt with by the FIA. Domenicali said it is vital that the FIA police this budget cap correctly to ensure that the Technical Regulations are effective.

“We have to make sure that whoever is overseeing compliance with the Financial Regulations is making sure that everything is going well,” Domenicali stated.

“I know the FIA is working hard, this is an important step because we have to make sure that all the teams have spent the same amount of money on developing their cars.

“Everything has to be checked and verified. That will be the central theme over the next few months and that’s where the credibility of this regulation will also come from.”

Read more: Carlos Sainz questions Red Bull’s ‘fast-moving’ updates amidst budget cap furore