New Stats Show How 2022 F1 Regulations Failed To Keep FIA’s Initial Promise

Published 05/17/2022, 3:30 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Miami Grand Prix – Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, U.S. – May 8, 2022 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in action during the race REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo

With five rounds into the new era of Formula 1, it’s becoming quite clear what the pecking order will look like when the season ends. The new regulations by the FIA were to reduce the gap between the leaders and the rest of the field. According to the latest statistics, the gap in 2022 hasn’t seen much drastic change.  

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What is the gap between leaders and backmarkers?

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While Ferrari seems to be the quickest at the moment, and Red Bull is only a tenth back; the gap further widens. Mercedes are nine-tenths back, and the rest of the mid-field is only separated by a tenth or two between themselves. Alfa Romeo is the mid-field battle’s current winner, and McLaren is at the other end of the table.

But surprisingly enough, Aston Martin and Williams are the slowest and are two seconds behind the leaders. This seems to be a deviation from the rules that Liberty Media and the FIA had promised.

 

For comparison, back in 2012, eight-tenths was the gap between the front running Formula 1 teams and the backmarkers.

Back then, Red Bull set the benchmark while their sister team, Torro-Rosso was the slowest car on the grid. The pace deficit in the modern era has only increased and doesn’t seem to be closing back down. 

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Last year, when many were optimistic that the gap would decrease, Alfa Romeo boss Frédéric Vasseur was skeptical. Speaking in an interview, during the Italian Grand Prix, Vasseur pointed out that some patience will be required for the convergence to take place. 

“You can see this season that the gap between the cars is the smallest of the last 10 years perhaps and this is also due to the convergence of performance.”

“But I think the new regulations are a good one but we have to keep it and we need to have the stability on the new regulations and to avoid changing every single year.”

What the Formula 1 CEO said about the new rules prior to 2022

Last year, expectations were high when a full-sized model of the car was revealed. Praised for the overhauled aerodynamics, it was the beginning of a new step for the sport. While many feared that the spread among the teams could be larger; Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali was confident that it wouldn’t be the case. Speaking to Autosport, he explained that any gap would be quickly closed.

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 “It is clear that in the context of a season that starts with a new regulation and the budget cap, differences between the cars could emerge greater than what people might expect.”

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 07: Stefano Domenicali, CEO of the Formula One Group, looks on in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on April 07, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

“But I am equally sure that the limitations linked to the new regulations will mean that if there are these differences, the gap will be closed more quickly.”

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While drivers have been able to follow more closely due to lack of dirty air, the order hasn’t changed much. As the season progresses, fans will then have a better view of whether the new rules are made for better racing or not.

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Vaibhav Aatreya

137 articles

Vaibhav Aatreya is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. His ever-growing passion for the sport, combined with his willingness to learn the inside workings of Formula 1, led him to pursue his graduation in Mechanical Engineering. Having been following the world of motorsports for many years now, Vaibhav loves to pen down his thoughts, giving his take on the ongoings in the sport.

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