The fight between Mercedes and Red Bull went down to the wire in a dramatic showdown in Abu Dhabi.

Mercedes secured an astonishing eighth constructors’ championship, while Max Verstappen secured his maiden drivers’ title on the final lap at the Yas Marina Circuit.

F1 introduces significantly new regulations for 2022 with the changes including a move from 13 to 18-inch tyres with returning wheel covers, simplified front wing and bodywork and a ground effect floor.  

All these changes will take place under a stricter budget cap with teams now only allowed to spend a maximum of $140 million - $5 million less than 2021. 

Additionally, wind tunnel time has been restricted in correlation to where a team finished in the 2020 constructors’ championship.

Mercedes will have the least amount of time in the wind tunnel, while Williams will have the most.

Looking ahead to the new season, Wolff believes Ferrari, McLaren, Aston Martin and Alpine are all capable of nailing the new regulations and propelling themselves to the front of the F1 field.

“We are all operating under the same financial cap and the concepts are very new and then what was introduced is the aerodynamic regulations, where teams based on their standing in the championship had a little bit more allowance and so it’s pretty much possible that teams who hadn’t competed for the world championship this year, whether it’s Ferrari, McLaren or Aston Martin or Alpine are capable of coming up with the intelligent concepts based on much more runs than everybody else and just doing it very right,” Wolff said.

“I think we need to expect much closer fighting for championships and races than we had before and that’s exciting.”

Christian Horner is confident that Red Bull was able to shift enough of its focus onto 2022 while ensuring Verstappen won the 2021 drivers’ championship.

“Well, when Ferrari turn up with the fastest car and smash us out of the park at the first race then you’ll have to say that it probably did but I think that we’ve all known that big regulation changes coming for 2022 and we’ve applied our resource accordingly,” Horner added. 

“I’m sure each team has done what they feel is right and it’s put pressure on the organisation, of course, but that’s where I think the team have been outstanding because to keep a development rate on a new set of regulations and keep a focus on this year’s car has taken a monumental effort and the commitment shown by all of the team, throughout the team, has been phenomenal. 

“But we will only see when we come back in a couple of months’ time, with completely new cars, they look different, they’re going to feel different, they’re going to drive differently, you know, who’s got it right, who’s got it wrong and then it all starts again.”