FIA 'not surprised' to see top three teams dominating

© XPB 

The FIA says it is not surprised by the domination of the 2022 Formula 1 world championship teams, despite the introduction of new rules and aerodynamics intended to promote closer racing and a cap on team spending.

Max Verstappen won a record 15 races this year, with his Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez taking two more victories over the course of the season.

Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz won four races, while George Russell was victorious for Mercedes in Brazil. But the only driver outside the top three teams to finish on the podium all year was McLaren's Lando Norris.

While not the dramatic shaking up of F1's running order, or the levelling of the playing field many wanted to see with the new budget and aerodynamic rules, the FIA said it was pleased with the first year of the new regulations.

The FIA’s head of single seater technical matters, Nikolas Tombazis, explained that it was normal that the top teams initially had an advantage when rules were changed, but that this would change in successive years.

Nicholas Tombazis (GRE) FIA Head of Single-Seater Technical Matters with Inaki Rueda (ESP) Ferrari Race Strategist. 21.10.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 19, United States Grand Prix, Austin, Texas, USA

“It wasn’t unexpected., the effect of the cost cap," commented. "It will take some years for it to sink in because there’s still an initial advantage for people.

"Initially it was bound to still be the better-off or well-off teams that adapted better to the rules," he continued.

"But people have seen what the solutions are, I do think they are likely to be adapting for next year," he argued. "It was the outcome of it being the first year of the regulations.

“If you look back at the first year of regulations - 2014 or 2009 or whatever, or 1998 I guess - these first years usually had some fairly big gaps. This year it’s been much less than that.

"In terms of being the first year of regulations, I think the gaps were very low,” he added. “If it was the fifth year like that then it would be a bit more worrying, but it was the first."

Tombazis' comments echoed those of F1's departing director of motorsports Ross Brawn, who had said he was optimistic that the new rules and regulations would have a positive effect moving forward.

"When you have these new regulations, there’s teams that get on top of it,” Brawn told "“In the 2009 season, which was a new set of regulations, two or three teams were on top of the regulations, and the rest struggled.

"I think we need another season," he added. “I’m not sure what we do if it continues that way, because I think we’ve put a number of initiatives – the cost cap, the cars and tracks we’ve tried to help with, the format of racing.

"And we’ve got the aero restrictions, which are just [taking effect] now depending on where you are finish in the championship," he pointed out.

“Everything is now tuned towards trying to maintain the integrity of the sport, but bringing it closer together," he summed up. "There’s a lot of things pushing it in a good direction, so I’m optimistic.”

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter