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The five-in-one Austrian GP heart-stopping proving these cars are the best thing that can happen to F1

The five-in-one Austrian GP heart-stopping proving these cars are the best thing that can happen to F1

Why this is a boost for the new regulations

The ultimate goal of the new regulations was to level the playing field and create better races. There will always be teams leading the way with faster drivers, better solutions and smoother operations. That’s how a competitive sport works, this isn’t a spec formula where all cars are made identically. This season Ferrari and Red Bull are front and center.

Still, it’s hard to see this particular midfield battle and a few other moments in the race – with five drivers from four different teams – as anything but a huge sign of approval for the early success of the 2022 regulations.

Such a battle cannot be repeated every week, you might think, but the battle for second place in the closing stages of the British Grand Prix between Leclerc, Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton was in the same league as Red Bull’s fireworks.

Every driver involved in that Silverstone fight spoke effusively about how much fun it was. Hamilton even compared it to his karting days. There is no greater compliment. After years of complaining about how difficult it is to follow and overtake, we are now spoiled with wheel-to-wheel action almost every week. No doubt part of that is due to the nature of the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone, but there is something to be learned from that too.

For years, Formula 2 has raced this way from lights to flag. This season the action felt like watching an F2 race at points. After only six months, the regulations do almost everything that is asked of them.

However, there are still a few issues affecting, if not destroying, the 2022 season. The inconsistency and ongoing issues with track limits were another issue with Verstappen calling them a “joke” not only in F1 but also F2 and F3. The Dutchman was only too happy to elaborate on a number of points of contention in the press conference after the race. Why, for example, were several drivers having their lap times removed for breaking the track limits during qualifying, but was Sergio Perez not sanctioned until long after the session ended?

The quarrel about porpoises and the technical guideline about oscillation yet to be introduced is getting tiresome. Inconsistency in driving appears to be a point of dissatisfaction for many drivers.

These problems aren’t big yet, but if they continue to fester, they could turn into something bigger and more important. But for now it wouldn’t be a bad time to celebrate F1’s successes. And to maybe watch the five-time fight in turn three, just to make sure they all got through unscathed.