“I Expect Teams to Be Closer”: F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali Shoots Down Max Verstappen’s Dominance Claims After FIA’s Historic Rule Change

Published 12/11/2022, 9:55 AM EST

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Change is constant. This adage is applicable to the world of Formula 1 rather well, as Mercedes initially took control of the F1 circuits during the turbo hybrid era, and now it appears Red Bulls will continue that trend for a while. However, the F1 CEO disputes Max Verstappen’s domination and makes an outrageous allegation, indicating that he does not believe that.

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Max Verstappen had a tremendous season this time around, and unlike last year, he was able to secure his second championship without becoming involved in any last-lap competitions. Stefano Domenicali claimed that there were two reasons for it. The first reason was that Verstappen and the Milton Keynes team recovered well from a rocky start, and the second was that Mercedes, Red Bull’s arch-rival, was able to mount a challenge only in the latter half of the year.

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The F1 CEO in conversation with La Gazzetta dello Sport, said, “We are happy with the rule changes. We’ve seen fights on tracks that wouldn’t otherwise happen. It still takes a bit of patience, as is always the case with technical revolutions, but the races were definitely not that good before.”

The budget cap is one of the regulatory modifications suggested by the F1 CEO. This is an uncharted ground for the governing bodies to navigate, and the manner they handled the matter by fining Red Bull has drawn intense criticism from the fans and the opposition, “In the current regulatory and financial situation, thanks to the budget cap, I expect teams to be closer together and shorter win cycles. That goes without detracting from the qualities of a driver like Max,” said Domenicali. (Translated using Google)

The rules can benefit some teams while hurting others’ ability to perform. However, the FIA proposed the restrictions earlier this year, which may be causing the smaller teams to suffer greatly.

Is the new F1 floor rule having a big impact on the smaller teams?

Before the upcoming season commences, the governing body changed several of the F1 floor restrictions in an effort to reduce the porpoising problem. The regulations were implemented with an eye toward the drivers’ long-term well-being and safety. The flooring’s edges will need to be elevated by 25 mm as a result of the alterations, which may severely impact smaller teams.

via Reuters

Guillaume Dezoteux of AlphaTauri spoke out in an interview with Autosport when asked if this move would need designing an entirely new chassis. He said, “Obviously if you raise the floor edge, with the target to reduce the downforce of the car, especially in the high-speed corners, that changes a lot like how much energy you put on the tyres and what the suspension is doing. It changes the suspension range because maybe you need to be able to raise the car.”

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“If you said today we would have to raise the car 20 millimetres because we have a thicker plank, we couldn’t do it because our suspension has not been designed to achieve that. The entire project is very linked. So when you change one parameter, generally it impacts everything else,” he added.

More than half of the grid teams, including AlphaTauri, protested the FIA’s policy at the time this problem was in the spotlight.

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WATCH THIS STORY: From Ferrari’s Incredible Pace to Mercedes Struggle: Best Moments From the 2022 Bahrain Qualifying

Many F1 experts and analysts have predicted that Max Verstappen will win the next championship due to the manner he has performed this season. However, with the battle becoming more fierce, do you feel Stefano Domenicali was telling the truth?

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Written by:

Aditya Srivastava

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Aditya Srivastava is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. Although he has completed his undergrad in History, due to his passion for the field, he couldn't hold himself back from entering the world of Sports Journalism. Being a huge fan of Formula 1, Aditya has taken up multiple internships and freelancing gigs where he got to pen down his thoughts about the most prestigious form of motor racing in the world.
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Edited by:

Varunkumaar Chelladurai

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