Exciting things are happening in the land of Formula 1. Just ahead of one of the most exciting races all year, the British Grand Prix, F1 has released the redesigned cars. So what’s new for the Formula 1 cars, and how will teams like Mercedes and Red Bull react on the track?
The 2022 Formula 1 cars are shiny, new, and ready for racing
The cars have been designed to allow for closer racing on the track, which is a considerable change. But that’s probably the least exciting of all the exciting news released today. The 2022 Formula 1 car has been radically redesigned ahead of the next season. The one thing that stayed the same was the shape of the tires.
“This car is the embodiment of the new regulations,” Nikolas Tombazis noted. The shape of the car improved the airflow. This will also allow drivers to battle wheel-to-wheel. The floor is more straightforward, and the design is a bit more simple to allow for more standardized parts. More standardized parts will help lower the cost and will benefit all of the teams. The cars will use more sustainable fuel and will continue to use the same power unit from 2021.
Tombazis said that the team studied how the fans reacted to races and the actual on-track battles, which influenced the decision to change the cars. Pat Symonds said that the team studied 550 million data points and simulations to create the new design. The team took about five years to change and update the cars to ensure the design was perfect.
Exciting things ahead for the 2022 Formula 1 cars and drivers
The design team said that safety was one of the most critical factors. The front nose can absorb 50% more energy in the case of an impact. The side of the car is more substantial, and the headrest is improved. In the case of an impact, there will be less debris flying off the car and onto the track.
The F1 chief designers said that making the car cheaper and more affordable was an important factor for 2022. This means that the smaller teams will be able to actually compete against the bigger teams like Mercedes-AMG Petronas, McLaren, and Red Bull Racing, which have much bigger budgets.
According to Formula 1, there is one thing preventing closer racing right now. “The effect of the “catastrophic downforce loss” – to quote an engineer centrally involved with the project – resulting from the ‘dirty air’ being churned chaotically off a leading car currently.”
Research showed that the current F1 vehicles lose 35% of the downforce while running about 20 meters behind another car. When within a single car length of another car, these vehicles can lose up to 47% of the downforce.
What the drivers had to say about the new car
Lewis Hamilton said, “if it enables us to follow and race like it’s meant to, I think it will be amazing for the fans and the sport.” Daniel Ricciardo quipped, “The more you stare at it, the more normal it will start to look.” But what most of the drivers echoed was that it should allow the actual races to be closer on the track. More head-to-head battles? Impressive.
Drivers seemed excited to get out and actually drive the car. Lando Norris noted that the drivers were able to try the 2022 Formula 1 car in the simulator, but not on track yet. This year’s car is so wide that it will make for interesting racing once the more narrow vehicles hit the track. One thing is for sure; Formula 1 fans seem excited based on the reactions on social media.