‘Ground effect’ cars did not improve racing – Vettel

Sebastian Vettel has rubbished claims that Formula 1’s new ground-effect aerodynamic regulations this year have dramatically improved the ‘show’.

Although Red Bull ended up dominating the world championship despite a strong early showing from Ferrari, many insist that the drivers can at least follow and overtake one another more easily than in the past.

But quadruple world champion Vettel, who is retiring at the end of the season, insisted: “I don’t think anything has improved drastically in that way.

“Yes, we can follow an opponent closer,” he is quoted by Speed Week, “but the cars are also more streamlined so you have to be really close to launch a successful attack.

“The tyres should allow us to attack more, but I don’t see a big difference there either,” the Aston Martin driver added.

35-year-old Vettel’s comments would appear to suggest that he thinks the new rules have been a failure.

“I don’t want to talk about failure,” he insists. “But I know how much work went into all the changes and not all of it paid off in the end.

“As far as the tyres are concerned, the faster your car is, the fewer problems you have. That’s the rule of thumb.

“And then you have a maximum of two shots in qualifying with fresh tyres, which hasn’t changed.”

Vettel will be comfortably retired by the time the 2023 season kicks off, when Formula 1 will expand its new sprint race format from three weekends to six.

The German is no fan of that idea.

“As a driver, I don’t find them particularly exciting,” he said. “Above all, all you do is make sure you don’t lose positions.

“Sure, you get more points than you used to, but for most drivers the focus is on the grand prix. I don’t mean to be a spoilsport, but I’m sticking with what I said – this is all about making money.”

Share this article
Read next