Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali hopes to see other drivers involved alongside Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in the title fight in 2022.
Verstappen and Hamilton’s year-long battle helped make 2021 one of the all-time great Formula 1 seasons, and with the introduction of new cars to try and bring the field closer together, there is hope that the fight for the World Championship could involve drivers from several teams this year.
While he enjoyed how last season unfolded, the former Ferrari team boss wants the depth of talent on the grid to be on show for regular race wins.
“Of course I very much hope that the duel will continue,” Domenicali told Sport1.de. “But I also hope that other drivers can get involved in the title fight.
“We have so many young and talented drivers at the moment, an extremely strong field.
“That’s why the focus at the moment is on whether the new cars will allow more drivers to fight for victories and the title with them.”
Domenicali added that he’s looking forward to seeing how Verstappen will come back to the grid in Bahrain as a reigning World Champion, and the change in status and mentality that could come with it – now that he has achieved his “dream” in Formula 1.
“Every driver is unique,” said the Italian. “Max has grown tremendously in the last few years. In 2021 he was constantly driving at the limit. That’s why I think he deserves the title.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him in the new situation as reigning champion. He has realised his dream. I am curious to see how he will perform in 2022.”
Looking back at the season as a whole, Domenicali praised the way the sport was able to put a 22-race calendar together in itself, but even more so given the circumstances surrounding COVID-19.
He said recently that Formula 1 could host 30 races, such is the interest in holding a grand prix, but he said people in and out of the sport were “rewarded” with a season for the ages in 2021.
He continued: “I am very satisfied. Formula 1 faced some challenges because of the Corona pandemic. Now it’s easy to look back on an incredible championship.
“But to complete 22 races under these conditions, that was a mammoth task for everyone involved. But we were rewarded: the interest was enormous thanks to the exciting battle between Lewis and Max.”