As Sebastian Vettel continues his reign atop Formula One, it’s easy to forget that his four-year run of World Championships hasn’t always been easy. In fact, his titles in 2010 and 2012 each went down to the final race of the season.
And while Vettel romped to his fourth consecutive crown this past fall, one can argue that the current Formula One field remains very strong, too. So what will happen to the field when the new technical regulations must be coped with next year?
For his part, Vettel hopes those rules won’t have a negative impact.
“Next year with a lot of things changing, it is difficult to predict how it impacts on the racing,” Vettel said to Autosport. “I just hope it doesn’t split the cars too much, because what we had the last couple of years was a very tight battle between a lot of teams.”
Vettel additionally noted criticism of some of the races in 2013, but insisted that it wasn’t “entirely fair,” saying that the championship has ebbed and flowed from year to year in recent times.
“We have had very close championships, then we had championships which were not that close,” Vettel said. “But that is the way F1 has been in the past and it will probably continue like that in the future.”
For all the talk of the field possibly getting a good shake-up with the introduction of these new rules, another potential effect – stretching the already-wide gap between big teams like Red Bull and smaller teams even further – is also a possibility.
The first pre-season tests next month at Jerez may give a couple of glimpses into what the final outcome will be, but until then, everyone is subject to dealing with the unknown – even the World Champion.