F1 will not "manipulate" championship, insists Domenicali


Hints of Queen Gertrude's suggestion that the lady doth protest too much, as F1 CEO, Stefano Domenicali insists that the sport will not attempt to halt Red Bull's domination.

While F1 continues to believe that the playing field will eventually be levelled, for the time being it has to accept that Max Verstappen and Red Bull are cruising towards their third successive titles, with little to suggest that the current domination will not continue into 2024 and 2025.

While some drivers and team bosses have hinted that something needs to be done, F1 bosses will be only too aware that such domination is not good for the sport, especially in the eyes of those fans newly won over.

Nonetheless, Stefano Domenicali insists that there will be no bid to handicap Red Bull by means of a change to the regulations.

Asked whether a mid-season change to the regulations had been considered, the Italian was adamant.

"It is not fair to say that, it is not correct," he tells the Beyond the Grid podcast.

"We cannot be seen as a sport of manipulation," he insists. "As I said, this is not correct, this is not fair. I am not envisioning at all this kind of approach."

Despite there being no clear sign as yet, certainly at the front of the grid, the F1 boss is confident that a 'natural' convergence will come about.

"That's the right approach now," he says, "also because the rules were changed not many years ago, and therefore, this will happen for sure.

"I would say F1 has been always a sport where there have been cycles," he adds, "where teams were very dominant and then some others came into the equation. So, I would say our objectives should be, if you take this strategic approach, to make sure these cycles are shorter in the future."

While we wait to see the effectiveness of the upgrade from Aston Martin, Mercedes appears to be slowly getting its act together, unlike Ferrari, Domenicali's former team.

The gap is between one team and the others," he says. "While the gap is very, very close, one team (Red Bull) has done an incredible job, and this is a job of meritocracy.

"It is true that the gap seems to be big, but we need to be prudent because we know in life things can change very quickly. I'm sure the other teams are watching how they can catch up with their development in the context of the budget cap.

"It will be interesting to see if the development curve of the team that today is leading will slow down because, at the end of the day, they did a better job in the shorter term. So that will be very interesting to see in the next couple of months."

Anyone else not entirely convinced.

Let's see how he feels when the championship is decided long before Las Vegas, which certainly appears to be a matter of when as opposed to if.

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Published: 15/06/2023
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