Ted Kravitz drops big claim about F1 changing rules to hurt Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Mercedes claimed eight consecutive Constructors' Championships from 2014-2021, before finishing third last season.

With the second season of the new aerodynamic era kicking off, Sky Sports reporter Ted Kravitz has revealed that an “opinion” amongst members of the paddock is that the rules were only changed to “stop Mercedes’ dominance”, something that’s “certainly worked”.

Mercedes were exceptional prior to the new aerodynamic regulations, with the Germans having been imperious since the start of the turbo-hybrid era in 2014.

They claimed eight consecutive Constructors’ Championships and seven consecutive Drivers’ Championships, thanks to Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

2021 was arguably the first time that Mercedes were properly challenged from the start of the year to the end of the year, with Max Verstappen having won the title.

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However, despite Verstappen claiming the Drivers’ Championship, Mercedes still won the Constructors’ Championship.

That all changed in 2022 when the new aerodynamic regulations, with Red Bull having obliterated the field by winning 17 of the 22 completed races, whilst Mercedes won just a single race.

The Brackley-based team fell behind both Red Bull and Ferrari, leaving them third in the standings, much to the shock of the F1 community given how superior they’d been since 2014.

Supposedly, the new regulations were introduced mainly to make the racing closer, with drivers having commonly not been able to follow one another prior to the new regs.

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The new aerodynamic regulations certainly allowed the drivers to follow each other closer; however, it also resulted in a dramatic change to the pecking order.

As mentioned, Mercedes dropped from first to third, whilst McLaren fell from being able to challenge the frontrunners consistently in 2021, to fifth behind Alpine.

With Mercedes again not looking like their usual dominant selves ahead of this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, another season behind Red Bull and Ferrari is looking increasingly likely.

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With that in mind, Kravitz revealed “part of the reason” why the regulations were changed, at least in the “opinion” of some members of the paddock.

“There is a, reasonably, commonly held opinion amongst some people in the paddock that [they] only changed the rules, or part of the reason why they changed the rules, was to stop Mercedes’ dominance,” Kravitz said on the Sky Sports F1 podcast.

“So that certainly worked, didn’t it?” he added.