Jenson Button has identified four teams who could provide a threat to Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in 2022.

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Jenson Button has identified four teams who could provide a threat to Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in 2022.

EXCLUSIVE: Jenson Button confesses he expected this year to be a ‘gap year’ for Formula One before the upgrades in 2022.

Jenson Button, a former Formula One driver, says he’s looking forward to the off-track clashes this season between Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and his Red Bull colleague Christian Horner, after admitting he assumed this year would be the ‘gap year’ in F1 before the 2022 rule changes.

Many speculated that 2021 would be a transition year before the reform of F1 rules and regulations takes effect in 2022, with the goal of making races more competitive and thrilling for viewers.

In addition to a £124 million ($175 million) cost cap, tyre widths have been increased from 13 to 18 inches, resulting in a heavier vehicle in 2022.

Not only that, but despite Honda pulling out of the championship after this season, Red Bull Racing has obtained the rights to use Honda power unit technology until 2022, with the team launching a new entity dubbed Red Bull Powertrains Limited.

Despite this, 2009 world champion Button hailed the level of competition this year, as Max Verstappen’s victory at the Styrian Grand Prix increased his lead over Lewis Hamilton at the top of the standings by 18 points.

“It’ll be like that throughout the season [ebbing and flowing], which is incredibly exciting, and we all love a new season heading into this year,” Button said to Express Sport.

“However, I wasn’t expecting it to be this way. I envisioned it as a “gap year” between 2020 and 2022, when the new restrictions take effect.

“However, it’s been the most incredible year in seven years, and it’s fantastic to watch those men fighting up front, from various clubs.

“Then there’s the rivalry between the drivers, as well as the rivalry between the teams.

“You’ve got Toto and Christian, who are both big personalities and vocal.

“So it’s amazing to see; I’m more interested in that fight than the real drivers – it’s getting hot.

“And it’s not just the top two teams; it’s the McLaren AlphaTauri, Ferrari, and Alpine teams as well.

“You know, these guys are putting in a lot of effort. And there are some fantastic drives coming from a variety of drivers and teams in each race, so it’s always interesting.

“It isn’t fair.” Brinkwire Summary News”.

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