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Formula 1 | Ferrari boss on new rules: “We are all excited”

The introduction of new rules for the 2021 Formula 1 season has two main goals: to save costs and bring the field closer together. Gone are the days when the teams with the most resources build the fastest cars and dominate what’s happening on the track.

The technical framework that was set for this is correspondingly restrictive. “There is definitely a lot less freedom,” explains Laurent Mekies, head of racing at Ferrari. “We’re all excited because it’s going to be very different than this year.”

“How much the cars will differ from each other? That remains to be seen. I think the first time around we’ll see enough differences to make us all happy. (…) But at the beginning of 2023 we should look closely to see whether there is still enough differentiation and space for teams to make a difference,” Mekies said.

Which driver will adapt best?

The biggest difference compared to the previous Formula 1 regulations is the return of the ground effect – a change for the drivers: “The balance is more difficult, the difference between high and low speed is more difficult, so I think it’s for them at the beginning will be more difficult.”

“It will be interesting to see how this affects the performance of the drivers. We have seen in the past that drivers did very well with one regulation and struggled more with another or with the tyres.”

For the teams, the biggest unknown is “where we (with the car; editor’s note) stand in comparison to the competition,” emphasizes Mekies. “It’s the most difficult time to judge.”

“And why is that? I guess because it’s just so different. Everything you’ve been used to just doesn’t work anymore. (…) So the biggest unknown is where we stand compared to the competition. Me I don’t want to lie, but this year we have even fewer references than usual,” says Mekies.

Formula 1 2022 associated with a lot of uncertainty

“The best way to deal with that is that we look closely at our team and say: ok, are these groups working well together, are we efficient in the way we’re doing this, is it running smoothly? If so, then we have to assume that it is the best possible car that we can produce with our skills and experience within the company.”

Asked about the prospect that the 2022 cars will be slower than the last generation of vehicles, Ferrari’s racing boss says: “The cars are so fast now. Even if we stabilize by a few seconds, say two seconds less, that changes anything for anyone? Probably not.”

Mekies adds that it is still too early to say when this will return to the previous level. “I think it has to do with the question of how much freedom we have and how much freedom we have after a certain period of time.”

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