Toto Wolff believes that the introduction of new regulations in 2022 could lead to the season having less excitement than has so far been seen in 2021.
The current year has got off to a dynamic start, with close competition throughout the field and Mercedes facing perhaps their biggest challenge yet from rivals Red Bull. Wolff is predicting that the field will spead out again next year though.
"We have always said it and it is simply quite logical: if you keep the rules, the field converges," Wolff told RacingNews365.com and other select media.
"Because for those at the front, the gains just keep getting smaller, even with more effort. At some point, the teams that are behind will continue the steep form curve and then you have the convergence. If you look at qualifying, it was tip top."
Wolff is referring to the highly competitive qualifying session at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where the gap between the top eight finishers was incredibly small. Lewis Hamilton took pole from Red Bull's Sergio Perez by just 0.035 seconds, whilst third-placed Max Verstappen was only a further 0.054 behind his teammate.
The 2021 cars have remained largely unchanged from the 2020 season, other than a tweak to aerodynamic rules resulting in teams having to cut the size of the floor. Wolff thinks that this proves the point that periods of dominance within the sport will eventually come to an end without the need for rule changes.
"Just as I felt that was the direction we should go, I promise that next year we will have a situation with a widely split field," the Mercedes team principal said.
"Maybe Mercedes won't be in front then. But we will be back to the previous situation."
The changes being introduced for the 2022 season were originally scheduled for this year. These new regulations were pushed back a year though due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.