The 2022 F1 has been a spectacle, both on the track with tighter battles and both thanks to a much narrower field of performance. Drivers appreciate that intensity in the middle of the grid, as Valtteri Bottas explained.
“It’s exciting. It really feels like every qualifying lap in the middle of the pack counts, you either pass or you get knocked out and I love that.” said the Alfa Romeo F1 driver. “You really have to put in really good laps throughout qualifying.”
“And it’s the same in racing, it’s so close that it’s always good battles, good racing. And for me it’s also quite different in terms of race strategy because we’re fighting with a lot of cars instead of the one or two that I was in the past. That’s why I use it.”
“I think it’s a combination of limited budgets, but also the new rules, which are much more restrictive in terms of what you can do. So it’s clearly working, and hopefully the teams in the peloton will eventually get closer. Summit.”
Kevin Magnussen, back in Haas F1 after a year away, agrees with the bag: “Yes, really good! It’s very close and every weekend we start work with the idea that we can achieve a good result.”
“It seems to be pretty easy to not get too far behind. It’s better for us being in the middle of the pack and I think it makes for a better race for people watching as well.”
Ocon finds intensity close to 2017 and 2018
Esteban Ocon knew this from his time at Force India, fighting for top spot behind the top teams: “I think that was really the case in 2017 and 2018 as well.”
“You always had the top three teams and then the rest were fighting behind. I think we are closer than then, but it is still too far. And it has to be closer. close to have a different podium and different winners sometimes.”
“You always see the same guys. Yes, I hope that F1 is on the right path and that all the teams in the peloton can come together with limited budgets and keep the same rules for a while so that it comes together..”
It is difficult to create a hierarchy
Daniel Ricciardo is also happy with such a tight field and notes that it is still difficult to establish a hierarchy with these new F1 cars: “It’s fun. Obviously, when it’s tighter, it’s obviously fun.”
“It would be more fun to fight for wins, podiums, but the fights we fight are good. Unpredictability is obviously not fun when you’re on the wrong side, but it’s cool when you’re on top.
“Because these rules are still new, we’re still learning. Now, having played half a season, you might get a bit of an idea of who’s going to be at which track, but we haven’t learned everything yet. There’s something you know about this F1.”
“So we’ll go ahead and see how it goes. I hope that with this development we can all fight forward. And it’s really a dream for everyone to have a chance to win or be on the podium, of course on merit. That would be calm.”
Difficult EL1 with new cars
Alex Albon notes that it is difficult for teams to provide easy access to weekends: “I would also say that on top of all that, these cars are new, everyone is still learning. It’s very difficult to PR1 with a good car at the moment.”
“It always seems like some weekends you do well and those are the weekends you struggle and for us it’s more in Q2, but at the same time we know there are other weekends that are a bit more difficult. And so you see that development. cars that do better one weekend than others.”
“And if we knew why, we wouldn’t have so many ups and downs, so it’s a big fight, and as you can see, the philosophies are also different. You know, maybe there are two or three noticeable differences in the cars.”.
“And I’m sure it plays a role in having the tracks fit your car and so on. It’s good. I like it. I think we want to be a little bit more against those guys, too. But it’s still a good time. “
However, according to the Thai, it’s not too difficult to make up the time lost in FP1: “I wouldn’t say that. But I would say that you often have different trade-offs this year. You spend a lot of years with the car that you’re developing.”
“You know you have to work with the set-up at these tracks. With such different cars this year, you find yourself driving and then all of a sudden you realize the limits of the car, so you always have answers.”
“I think, for example, the harder it is for you, the easier it is to catch up quickly and play back. You can almost tell when you’re doing hard EL1s, sometimes you can tie up the previous three or four races.”
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