Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff feels up to six teams could win grands prix this year given the end to what he has described as F1's "arms race" and the steep development curve of the new cars.
F1 finds itself in a position where it is heading into the relative unknown due to the changes to the regulations that will result in dramatically different aerodynamic machinery when the cars are unveiled in February.
Allied to the budget cap that last year was set at $145million for its introduction and this year drops to $140m, Wolff feels there may yet be opportunities for other teams other than Mercedes and Red Bull to take the chequered flag across the record-breaking 23-race campaign.
Assessing the impact of the budget cap on this season, speaking to Auto Motor und Sport, Wolff said: "Of course, the teams that had deep pockets weren't particularly happy that we lost an advantage there.
"But the whole thing had degenerated into an arms race between Red Bull, Ferrari and us. Now everything will be more balanced.
"I think there are five or six teams that can win in the future. That's good for sports. It's not always the same team that wins the Super Bowl."
Wolff predicts the unpredictable for new season
Wolff is confident the cap "will bring things into line" this year and prevent one team from stealing a march on the others.
"If someone finds a loophole and runs away with it, everyone will recreate it," added Wolff.
"The cars will all be very similar. There can still be differences in the first year. After that, it will balance out. There will no longer be a team a second ahead."
A potential benefit for Mercedes is the fact Red Bull continued to develop its car until the end of the campaign, as opposed to the Silver Arrows which stopped just after the summer break.
Wolff, though, feels Red Bull will not be too disadvantaged due to the new rules.
"The development curve for the 2022 cars is currently rising so steeply that you cannot predict who will do it better and smarter," assessed Wolff.