This year’s thrilling 2021 season came to a sensational climax this weekend in Abu Dhabi.
It’s been a long time since the championship has gone down to the wire in the last race.
We can only hope this is a sign of things to come on a more regular basis.
The new regulations, cost caps and totally new cars should, according to the experts, have the desired effect.
So, in case you have been living under a bush for the last while, here is all you need to know about the 2022 Formula 1 cars ………..
Formula 1 in 2022 is introducing a vastly different car, with a move towards regulations that should enable cars to follow each other far more closely. Having only been seen in scale models and studio renders up until Formula 1 produced a full size car, conforming to the new regulations, unveiled at Silverstone a few months back.
The changes ……………
18 inch wheels:
A move that’s been coming for a while now, a shift away from the traditional 13 inch wheel that has been a mainstay in Formula 1 for over thirty years, to 18 inch wheels.
Aside from the improved aesthetics of bigger wheels, the relevance towards road car technology is far greater. Pirelli’s new 18 inch tyres, which are already in use in Formula 2, will run the same tread width as now, but with a bigger diameter.
The sidewall reduction will be the biggest change, more closely resembling a road car. The changed behaviour of the tyre means the cars will handle differently, making them more precise due to the far stiffer sidewall.
Testing has so far resulted in positive driver feedback, with less tyre flex and less impact on car aerodynamics.
This increased stability means less focus is required from the teams to address the turbulence, meaning lower costs.
Aside from the wheels themselves, wheel covers return for the first time since 2009. This is done to reduce the aerodynamic wake coming off the cars, for the benefit of those behind, however, it also reduces the downforce of the car itself. The physical seal of a wheel cover prevents the teams from finding ways of re-directing air through the wheels.
Over wheel winglets are also set to be introduced, something that has never been seen in F1 before. These will help to direct the wake of the air coming off the front wheels and direct it away from the rear wing.
A complete aerodynamic overhaul:
For 2022, Formula 1 cars will begin to utilise a different form of aerodynamics.
Ground effect, which was used to great effect in the 1970s and 1980s, creates suction underneath the car to pull it into the tarmac.
F1 moved away from ground effect almost forty years ago, with the focus switching more towards over-car airflow. But the obvious disruption of this philosophy has resulted in modern cars being unable to follow each other closely, so Formula 1 is returning to a ground effect solution.
The 2022 car will utilise underfloor tunnels, which will generate large amounts of ground effect downforce.
Without the requirement for disruptive aerodynamic appendages like vortex-generating barge boards, lips, flaps and scoops everywhere, following cars should be less disturbed by cars in front.
The front wing re-design for 2022 is also much more simple. The new design will obviously generate downforce in the traditional way, although it will be concentrating on controlling the front wheel wake in a much less disruptive fashion.
The intent is to send the wake down the sides of the car in a fluid manner, rather than underneath or pushed out from the sides, like on the current cars.
The new, unusual rear wing is designed to collect wake from the rear wheels and re-direct it into the flow coming from the underside of the car. This creates a much narrower convergence, with a revised diffuser design throwing it high into the air.
This, in theory, means the following car will essentially drive ‘under’ the disturbed air caused by the car in front.
Formula 1 in 2022 will be Safer, but heavier:
As ever, Formula 1’s push for greater safety continues unabated. The 2022 car chassis has had extremely stringent crash test requirements put on it.
The front impact test has been increased to demand an absorption of 48% more energy than the current car, and 15% increase for the rear impact test.
Following Romain Grosjean’s high-profile Bahrain crash in 2020, the power unit will separate from the chassis without exposing or rupturing the fuel tank in the event of a severe enough crash.
A longer front nose has been introduced, based on findings into the FIA’s investigation of Anthoine Hubert’s fatal Formula 2 accident at Spa-Francorchamps in 2019, as well as stronger chassis sides to deal with side impacts.
The front nose will absorb about 50% more energy and the side of the car will be twice as strong to lateral impact.
Improvements to the headrest for the driver, to the fuel tank, and various systems to prevent debris being spread out on the track, which would make it dangerous for other cars.
The safety gains, together with the bigger wheels, have resulted in a weight increase. The minimum weight of the cars will go from 752kg to 790kg, with the same power units in use for 2022.
This means that to begin the new regulation cycle, the new cars will probably be a little bit slower than the current iteration.
And finally, one of the most notable changes will be with fuel.
The new fuel will contain 10% Ethanol, and must be a second generation bio fuel, made in a sustainable way. In other words, it must have a near zero carbon footprint.
The fuel will be called E10.
Intense research and development of bio fuels is on-going, both in Formula 1 and most road car manufacturers. This means that when the time comes that petrol, as we know it is no longer allowed to be used in motor vehicles, there will be a much better and safer alternative, which can only be good news!
If you enjoyed this article head over to Newsletter 16 and read FERRARI, STILL THE MOST SUCCESSFUL FORMULA 1 TEAM!
Sadly, this will be the last newsletter of 2021.
We will resume in January with lots of exciting things planned for next year.
Hopefully, the “New Covid Norm” will allow us to pursue what we have planned.
The showroom will be closing on:
SATURDAY 18th DECEMBER
The showroom will be open again on:
WEDNESDAY 5th JANUARY
We are available throughout the shutdown, so if you require a viewing, test drive, etc. please contact:
PAUL 082 851 3300
Happy holidays, travel safe, be safe and above all……… enjoy!!