Formula 1’s top teams will continue to dominate the sport even in 2022.
That is the view of Lando Norris, who drives for McLaren – the highest placed team behind championship protagonists Red Bull and Mercedes.
At Silverstone, F1 revealed its 2022 show car, highlighting the basic look of the radically different single seaters for next year’s all-new rules.
“It reminds me of Indycar technology of the 90s,” admitted Red Bull boss Christian Horner.
“The regulations are so strict now that the obvious differences between the cars will be very small.”
Championship leader Max Verstappen, however, disagrees with his boss.
“I think we’re a long way from Indycars,” said the Dutchman. “It’s not a one-make formula.
“I suppose we will find out in the next few years what a team is really able to do in terms of development. But at the moment there is no reason for me to criticise.”
The Red Bull driver doesn’t even mind that laptimes are likely to go up in 2022.
“Of course we want to go as fast as possible,” said Verstappen, “but overtaking is just too difficult today. It’s almost impossible to follow.
“So I don’t mind if the cars are a few seconds slower if the sport is better. I also don’t think the cars will all look the same. This (show car) is just to show the fans where we are headed roughly.”
McLaren technical director James Key agrees that the cars of 2022 will differ in more ways than just livery – but he is not sure if the sport will hit its target for better racing.
“I think it will be much easier to follow another car than it is now, at least initially,” he said.
“But as the teams figure out the nuances, I suspect that the picture may change.”
Norris also warns that Formula 1 shouldn’t pin too much hope on the 2022 regulations.
“Mercedes and Red Bull will still be favourites,” he said.
“The new rules are an opportunity, but those two simply have more resources. They’re bigger teams.
“I just hope we won’t be too far away at the start of the season because we’ve been getting closer and closer over the past few years. A lot will be new in 2022, but Mercedes and Red Bull have a lot of clever people who know how to build a car,” added Norris.
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