Villeneuve tips Mercedes to keep winning in 2022

(GMM) If F1’s engine rules do not drastically change, Mercedes will continue to dominate long into the future.

That is the view of 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, who thinks even the radically different rules for 2022 will not stop Mercedes’ dominance.

“As long as Formula 1 stays with the hybrid formula, it will be nearly impossible for the others to get close to Mercedes,” he told La Stampa.

“The changes to the rules are not there to stop Mercedes dominating, and they give little freedom to the designers,” Villeneuve explained.

“Anyone who is currently at the front of the field will continue to be there under the new rules.”

Indeed, the FIA is not looking to drastically change the engine formula until 2026, according to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.

Look for the Mercedes team to continue to run roughshod over F1 for many years to come – LAT Images

That is despite the fact that the governing body’s technical boss Nikolas Tombazis admits the current ‘power unit’ regulations make the engines difficult to police.

“Unfortunately, it is no longer as simple as it was in the V8 days,” he admitted.

“The problem with these engines is that the hardware can be perfectly legal, but it’s still possible to operate them illegally.”

A case in point is the Ferrari engine legality saga of 2019, which has resulted in the Maranello-made power unit going from the most powerful last year to the least powerful in 2020.

“We are already thinking about the engine rules for 2026, where we want to do another big step towards green technology and sustainability,” said Tombazis.

“We also want to simplify the monitoring process to make our lives easier.”