George Russell believes “talent” on the grid will outweigh any huge changes in the sport when the new regulations come in next season but predicts the big three, Mercedes, Red Bull, and Ferrari will stay at the forefront of the sport.
Formula One undergoes a huge overhaul next season, with new regulations being introduced to shake up the championship and encourage more exciting racing.
Among big changes, cars will be designed around ground-effect aerodynamic, they’ll be heavier with wider tyres, and teams have all had to design their 2022 cars under a budget cap.
And Russell says it means new opportunities for many teams.
“Sport is about talent,” he explained to Auto Motor und Sport, “the talent of the driver, the engineers, the designer.
“We have seen in the past that teams had huge budgets but made nothing of them.
“I would say the team with the most talent, the greatest motivation, and the greatest fire will be on top.
“But if a change in regulations turns out to be so blatant, who knows? We saw it in 2009 and 2014. Everything can change.
“But Mercedes, Red Bull, and Ferrari will be in the top five.”
The changes were due to come into effect ahead of the 2021 season, but were delayed due to the global pandemic, with the largest difference to the 2022 F1 aerodynamics package is the return to a ground-effect formula.
Ground-effect tunnels have not been permitting in F1 since the 80s, however, F1 is hoping to rely less on wings for downforce.
It’s a step into the relative unknown next season for teams and drivers, yet Russell, who is tipped for a seat at the world champions Mercedes, has no worries about adapting to a new car.
“I’ve driven a version in the simulator so far, not the 2022 car,” he explained.
“A version of which we assume roughly where it’s going to be.
“It’s just going to be another racing car, It’ll be different, but it’s the same transition as from Formula 4 to Formula 3, from Formula 3 to Formula 2, and then to Formula 1.
“As a driver, you learn to adapt, you get used to it.
“Like on a racing weekend, when it’s sometimes warmer, sometimes windier.”
Russell is currently waiting in the wings for a decision from Mercedes regarding his future, with the hope he may replace Valtteri Bottas at the team.
Russell and Bottas have both been waiting patiently to see what their fate might be at the seven-time world champions, with Bottas hoping to retain his seat at Mercedes, Russell is hoping to step up from Williams looking to prove himself alongside Lewis Hamilton.
Last season, the Finn was informed he would be staying at Mercedes at the start of August, however, the boss Toto Wolff suggested the decision may come over the current summer break.
Published at Wed, 18 Aug 2021 07:52:32 +0000