We finally got a look at the F1 2022 car which was on display to the public for the first time during the British GP race weekend. It may only be a prototype, but the drivers and teams were paying close attention to their weapons for the future seasons. Behind the dazzle and glamour is a package that F1 promises will provide more exciting races.
From the get-go, the new car looks significantly different from its predecessor. F1 says that it ran approximately 7,500 simulations to arrive at this masterpiece. To put that into perspective, that is almost half a petabyte of data (1 petabyte = 1000000 gigabytes). And if you did not understand that reference, that’s almost 4 billion photos on facebook. So let’s take a closer look at what’s new.
The rear wing is the car’s major contributor to downforce. The new car sees a more curved design with upper ‘rolled tips’. In comparison the current design is more straight and rectangular. The Drag Reduction System (DRS) mechanism will carry forward to the new design.
The aerodynamic effects of this design change is to promote closer racing by reducing the ‘dirty air’ coming off the back of the car. The wake of dirty air produced by the car is now directed upwards and over the following car rather than towards it.
Statistically, the following car loses 35% of downforce at a distance of 20 meters from the leading car. And the loss goes up to 47% at a distance of 10 meters. The new design reduces the loss to 4% at 20 meters and 18% at 10 meters.
Wheels and Tyres
Tyre manufacturer Pirelli will introduce an 18-inch, low-profile tyre for the F1 2022 season. The new design will reduce the amount of overheating in tyres while sliding. Another aspect to encourage closer racing.
The new car also features wheel covers and over-wheel winglets on the front tyres. The objective is again to reduce the dirty air created by the car. The over-wheel winglets will help control the wake coming off the front tyres.
The current design varies from team to team with cars opting for complex designs which can be seen on the front wing and sides of the cars. You can see intricate bargeboards on display on the current cars and teams opting for different orientations from track to track.
The F1 2022 car will feature underfloor tunnels running along the length of the car. This will act as a diffuser thereby increasing the downforce through ground force. This will also reduce the dirty air coming out from behind the car.
The current car has a flat or stepped floor which does not exploit ground effect to the same level. You will see diffusers at the back of current F1 cars and teams opting for different designs and yielding different results.
The introduction of these underfloor tunnels will do away with the complex bargeboards and also reduce design and manufacturing costs for teams.
One of the most visible differences in the new car is the design of the front wing and nose. The new car features a completely different shape for the elements as well as the end plate. The new shape compliments overall design changes to facilitate less dirty air passing through the car.
Also the entire front wing sits a bit higher than in the current car. This would be to allow more air to flow below and along the underside of the car. The underfloor tunnels mentioned above would be blocked if the front wing were closer to the ground.
It is evident that much of the focus is to improve aerodynamic qualities of the car while also allowing for closer racing. The car has also increased in weight from 752 Kg to 790 Kg. This would be down to heavier tyres and more focus on stronger parts.
Fans now have to wait till the post-season to get a first look at teams cars. A financial cap and a new car means the smaller teams like Williams, Haas, Alfa Romeo and Alpine are more on level with the big teams.