Verstappen domination did not make F1 a turn off, says Brown

The new era of F1 rules for terrain effect cars was intended to spice up the races and make the grid much closer.

However, despite an exciting start with little separating Ferrari and Red Bull early on, Verstappen’s team’s progress in reducing the weight of their RB18 helped him take the win and dominate the second half of the season.

Verstappen managed to win the title at the Japanese Grand Prix, four races before the end of the campaign.

Although Red Bull took it a step further and indicated a much less exciting story than what we’ve had in recent years when title fights have mostly gone down to the wire, fan interest still seemed pretty high.

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And Brown, in particular, thinks the high level of attention F1 still generated indicated the 2022 regulations were successful in delivering good racing – even if the battle for victory was sometimes a foregone conclusion.

“It certainly seems like the race is better,” he said. “I think everyone was worried that the cars would look the same. Certainly not. There are many different concepts.

“I think that new regulations always need to be refined, but I think we got it right. And the races were very exciting this year.

“Given Max’s dominance, it doesn’t seem like the season has been boring, even if the results are on paper, you’d think it would be boring. But I think all the races were very exciting.”

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Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, attends the press conference

Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, attends the press conference

Photo credit: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

One of the negative statistics of the season was the fact that the top three teams Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari lost a lot of places on the podium.

We had hoped that the combination of new rules to limit aviation development and cost caps would level the playing field enough for more teams to be in the mix at the front.

In the end, McLaren was the only team outside the top three to reach the podium in 2022, when Lando Norris finished third at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

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Brown said it was encouraging for his team to break the deadlock at least once, but he knows he needs to do more.

“[We had] a lot of learning. A lot of ups and downs,” he said. “We’re not as competitive as last year, but I think we’re a better racing team this year. We are operationally healthier.

“Our pit stops are better. We have our investments that are coming to an end. So I think we learned a lot. New regulations and we look forward to next year.”

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