Budget ceiling, Netflix, 27 new sponsors: how the appeal of F1 exploded according to Frédéric Vasseur

Budget ceiling, Netflix, 27 new sponsors: how the appeal of F1 exploded according to Frédéric Vasseur


With only two teams winning the first 12 races of 2022, could F1 be said to be more balanced?

Frédéric Vasseur: It is not an optical illusion and it is mathematical, if you look at the differences in qualifying or in race speed. There is a real complexity to the grid and it is also evident when you look at the high number of points scored by the last three teams, compared to previous seasons. Some are sometimes in Q3, or even on the 3rd row of the grid, such as Haas, and Mercedes is no longer safe from elimination in Q2.

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How do you describe it?

FV: The reason is first of all the budget limit, which means that the big teams have a smaller envelope, while we are still under the budget limit. Another thing is the time allocation in the wind lane, which is inversely proportional to the team’s level (last season). It makes a difference, especially since two big teams (Mercedes and Red Bull) continued to develop their car for 2021 while others (including Ferrari) were already in the same seat for 2022. Grid.

Was this budget level due to the coronavirus pandemic?

FV: There was a realization at the beginning of 2020, when we came back from Melbourne (after the cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix). There was no game there and we realized we were in danger, and three or four teams are in danger. We also struggled to find laps and that brought everyone together.

Two years later, F1 was revived. How do you explain it and what are the results?

FV: It’s because of Netflix (editor’s note: publisher of the series “Save to live”) in part, to the youth, to the fact that Mercedes didn’t win last year, to the fact that we stopped being ashamed of our communication. , while our hybrid vehicles are more efficient than electric formulas. We have more visibility, because F1 is riding a wave of success, and there is no circuit where you can buy a Paddock Club seat until the end of the year. We signed 27 new sponsors this year, that’s huge.

You’ve cured Valtteri Bottas this season, having calmed down his efficiency…

FV: Valtteri had a lot of pressure at Mercedes, it didn’t always help him, and he found a different environment here. We have known each other for 15 or 20 years, we don’t need to speak to understand each other. He takes the leadership role and it helps him well. And Zhou (a Chinese driver who is just starting in F1), they get along well and that gives very good results in terms of performance.

The request to modify the technical regulations this summer, and Mercedes, is a subject of tension?

FV: The wonderful thing about F1 is that any subject very quickly becomes a tense subject. It is not up to the FIA ​​to interfere in the development of the cars and it is up to the teams to find a solution to prevent the flat bottom from touching the track. Because the real problem of back pain in pilots is more below (under the car touching the ground) that to jump (vertical rebounds or porpoising).

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