Formula Ahead: With equal footing, races more about driver than the car itself

If this season is any indication, in 2022, teams will be on somewhat of an equal footing. With all due respect to Ferrari, both its drivers and team manager have failed on these fronts. LeClerc has still shown some mettle, but Vettel has lost his grip.

By:Published: July 20, 2020 10:51 AM

While it seems to be a Mercedes season yet again—both its drivers have dominated the three races—Ferrari’s misfortune has paved the way for others to take its space. Racing Point seems to be doing surprisingly well and Red Bull is coming of age. More important, McLaren and Renault are also slowly gaining positions. Although there is still a year and a half left before the new regulations come into effect, which will bring budget limits, if this season is any indication it will certainly create a more level playing field for almost all, especially teams like McLaren, Racing Point and Renault. Besides, what Racing Point’s success shows—the car is being termed as Pink Mercedes, as it is modelled after the 2019 winning formula—with cars on equal footing the race becomes more about driver and strategy than the car itself.

With all due respect to Ferrari, both its drivers and team manager have failed on these fronts. LeClerc has still shown some mettle, but Vettel has lost his grip. And, strategy has been a disaster. 2021 may not turn out to be not too different. But if Vettel does find his form and moves to Racing Point the game may be a lot different. More so, this is also what the fans want. While we all love to see Hamilton and Bottas winning, if F1 wants to keep its audiences it needs this change. Not to say that technology and innovation should not have a role to play, but in order to draw in more fans it needs to become more about driver and strategy than the car.

This short season has a given us a preview of how different the game can be if cars are roughly similar, hopefully, F1 will also not lose sight of this.

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