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Formula 1 Spanish GP

Verstappen: Leaving F1 rules unchanged will let rivals catch up to Red Bull

Max Verstappen thinks leaving the technical regulations alone for a longer period will give Formula 1 teams the best chance of catching up to Red Bull.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Red Bull stole a march on the rest of the field with the 2022 ground-effect regulations and is set to dominate the series for the second year in a row with an even bigger advantage over its rivals Ferrari, Mercedes and Aston Martin.

As with previous eras of dominance, such as Mercedes' unstoppable streak at the start of the turbo hybrid era, critics have suggested that Red Bull's supremacy is bad for F1, just as it is trying to capitalise on its recent popularity boom with a new but potentially fleeting audience.

According to Verstappen, who is the odds-on favourite to win a third straight world championship, leaving the technical regulations alone is what will ultimately allow rivals to catch up and end Red Bull's domination.

"We've always seen this in Formula 1, it's nothing new," Verstappen said ahead of this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.

"I think the longer you leave the regulations the same, the closer people will get. So maybe this is something we need to look at.

"But you have the odd year or maybe two years where there are two teams fighting, maybe potentially a third team, but overall, when you look back at the 80s, the 90s, the 2000s and early 2010 all the way till 2020, it's been pure dominance of certain teams."

He added: "Just keep the regulations the same for a longer period of time. Because if you keep on tweaking stuff, one particular team will always find something a bit better than the others and then it takes a bit of time for everyone to close up, from my side."

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Erik Junius

Mercedes' George Russell, who joined the Brackley team on the tail end of its run of eight consecutive constructors' championships, added: "I agree with what Max said, there's always been dominant teams in Formula 1.

"And I don't know how we get to a place where you can have multiple drivers and teams fighting for the championship because I think that would be the best for the sport best for all of us.

"The fans would love it but obviously, you can't always get what you dream for."

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According to Russell, F1's new Aerodynamic Testing Restriction handicap system, which gives teams less CFD and wind tunnel time the higher they finish in the championship, has yet to make a noticeable impact on the pecking order.

"We've only been a couple of years now into the aero regulation and the handicap system, but it hasn't drastically changed anything up and down the order," Russell explained.

"Maybe the only team you can argue is Aston Martin, but I think that's probably via certain engineers joining to help push in the right direction.

"You could give quadruple the amount of wind tunnel time to the team at the bottom over the one at the top and the one at the top would probably still come out in the lead."

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