The leadership of Formula 1 presented the full-scale model for 2022 ahead of a major change in the technical regulations for next season and the car is extremely similar to the model presented in 2019.
Teams have been working hard on new cars for 2022 since the beginning of this year, and currently most of them have almost completely switched to a new car that will be designed according to completely new technical regulations.
The aim of the new rules is to reduce the negative impact that cars have on the air behind them, which makes it difficult to follow each other due to the lack of downforce that the car behind the car can produce.
To achieve this, the cars have simpler front and rear wings, significantly increased volume of air entering under the car and large venturi channels that feed the diffuser and start far earlier than today’s diffuser (175 mm in front of the rear wheel centreline) so as much downforce as possible would be obtained from the floor.
Downforce from the floor is less turbulent for the following cars and to further reduce turbulence, complex air deflectors and vortex generators used on today’s cars are prohibited, especially in the area behind the front wheels and in front of the sides.
The nose is fused to the front wing, as in the 80s and early 90s before all teams switched to a raised nose, the wheels have covers while the front ones also have air deflectors on the top to reduce the effect of turbulence produced by the front wheels.
The final consequence should be that drivers can follow each other more closely in the race, with less loss of downforce, but this comes at the cost of drastically reducing the amount of downforce, especially in the early stages of the regulations, which should significantly increase lap times, especially on tracks with large downforce requirements like Barcelona, Paul Ricardo and Silverstone.
Another important change is the transition from 13-inch to 18-inch tyres, which is a change that Formula 2 introduced in 2020, and this year Pirelli is working with teams on an intensive test programme.
“We want to make it possible for the cars to be closely followed by each other and have more exciting fights,” said FIA chief technical officer for single-seater Nicholas Tombazis.
“We want to have tyres that will allow drivers to fight without degradation and a short period in which they can attack. These cars are simpler than current cars because a lot of smaller components have been removed, especially in front of the sidepods, and the wings are simpler.”
“The diffuser goes under the entire car in the style of venturi channels. The tunnels start under the sidepods and extend to the rear end.”
New cars were supposed to be introduced for this season, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, which called for urgent cost-cutting measures, the FIA and Formula 1 postponed the change to 2022, and thus the transition to 18-inch tyres.