After a one-year delay F1 will introduce a brand-new set of regulations featuring cars that generate more downforce from the floor and are therefore more racy and less reliant on clear air.
That overhaul means that teams have shifted focus to 2022 earlier than usual, having to effectively start from a clean slate.
The rule changes, in combination with F1’s decreasing budget cap of $140 million, offer an opportunity for the pecking order to change.
Alonso says he has no information yet on how next year’s Alpine car will turn out but thinks we will see some surprises when cars are first unveiled.
Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
“We are working on next year’s project but it’s very early days and no one knows what the numbers are, because you have nothing to compare against,” the double world champion said.
“So, we are all a little bit realistic and waiting for February because we will see many surprises when the cars are uncovered for everyone.
“We will see different philosophies, we will see different ideas and will be time to be sharp and react if we see something interesting.”
While observers have pointed out that top teams Mercedes and Red Bull are still best placed to make the most of 2022’s ruleset, Alonso believes there are no guarantees for any team to get it right, and that teams who do get ahead might be hard to catch for the competition.
“I think there is no guarantee, no feeling that you can put on the future on any team, basically,” Alonso said.
“Probably even the top teams that are dominating the sport now, they are rightly concerned about the new rules and how they will interpret those cars.
“What you see next year in the first couple of races is the first year of that set of regulations. Eventually, you will see the same results for four or five years as we saw, a team that is dominant at the beginning of one set of rules, they seem to keep that advantage for year; everything gets closer and closer, but the same one is winning.
“So next year is going to be interesting, especially for the younger drivers, how they decide the future. Because no one, no team has a guarantee that they will perform well.”