McLaren boss reveals hopes that ‘three or four cars’ compete for F1 title in 2022

McLaren team boss Zak Brown hopes the introduction of new regulations in Formula One ahead of the 2022 season will make the fight for the drivers’ championship a more open competition this year.

Changes to promote closer racing and increase overtaking opportunities will come into force ahead of the start of the new campaign in March, in the first major shake up of F1’s rules since 2014.

Last season’s title race was one of the most dramatic in the history of the sport, as Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the championship on the final lap of the season, but Mercedes had also enjoyed an unprecedented level of dominance under the former regulations.

With the 2022 season therefore providing teams a clean slate, Brown would like to see several teams heading into the final Grand Prix of the season with a chance of winning the title, after a campaign which saw Mercedes and Red Bull win the majority of races.

“My hopes are that we go into Abu Dhabi next year with three or four cars who can compete for the championship, I think that’s the ultimate goal,” Brown said.

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“I think this year has been spectacular, up and down the grid, and I hope with what has been put in place and the new car designs, and the intent of the new aerodynamic package, that what we’re seeing now is just a taste of the future.”

McLaren made significant strides last campaign, winning their first race in nine years as Daniel Ricciardo won the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Lando Norris also enjoyed an impressive first half of the campaign, as McLaren battled with Ferrari for third place in the constructors, a fight eventually won by the Italian team.

There have been some fears that the change of regulations could bring a new era of dominance for one team if they get ahead of the pack early, as was seen in 2009 as Brawn surged to the title and in 2014 when Mercedes took advantage.

But Brown believes that it will be a different story this time around, predicting a tightening of the field.

“I’d be very surprised if next year was a boring campaign with the new cars,” Brown said. “I think you’ll get some winners and losers and some surprises. I’d be surprised if there was dominance.

“You could get a team who is maybe dominant for a small period of time like Brawn was when they figured out something in 2009. But I think with the cost cap now in place, you can feel the tension that is put on the teams who stopped developing this car in expensive of next year.

“I’d be surprised if the field didn’t continue to get closer.”

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