The Formula 1 cars for the 2022 season have almost all been unveiled and the first week of testing takes place this week. Now that most of the cars have already been photographed, it is clear that the new regulations leave enough room for various approaches.
You have undoubtedly admired a number of new Formula 1 cars in the past two weeks. Here on AutoWeek.nl we thought about all the revelations and now we only have to wait for the cars from Alfa Romeo and Alpine. Well, actually we still need to see more from Red Bull Racing. To date, that team has only put a show car in its new livery and last week at Silverstone covered the first kilometers with the actual RB18 completely behind the scenes. We will probably only get a better picture of what the new F1 car of world champion Max Verstappen looks like this week. Before that, we can in any case already conclude that there are major differences between the various unveiled cars.
To start with, there are several approaches when it comes to the basic shape of the cars. Then we are mainly talking about the sidepods and the hood. Take Aston Martin’s car, for example. That is quite noticeable, because the sidepods are quite wide and towards the back also run very late towards the middle. The Aston Martin therefore looks quite ‘thick’ compared to other cars. Then there are the cooling slots on top of the sidepods. We don’t see that in all other teams either.
The Ferrari car is most similar in that regard. The Italians have also opted for relatively wide sidepods with cooling slots in them. The striking thing about the Ferrari car is that the sidepods are ‘dimpled’ at the top. It seems that the shape of the top is also important aerodynamic cleverness and there are even rumors that Ferrari wants air entering the air intakes at the front to come out half way through the sidepods to generate downforce with the top of the sidepods. .
The approach of teams like McLaren, Williams and Mercedes is very different. They have just gone for a ‘slim’ design. In F1 jargon, this shape is also called a ‘coke bottle’, because the central and rear part of the car roughly resembles a coke bottle. Something that was once a trademark of Red Bull Racing designer Adrian Newey. With teams such as Mercedes, they seem to seek refuge in the floor in terms of aerodynamic cleverness and they ensure as little air resistance as possible with the bodywork.
Although the front wings of the cars still look quite similar in the studio photos, the first photos of the actual cars show that there are also different philosophies for the front wings. These are in any case quite different this year from previous years and experience shows that large performance differences are possible depending on how you can perfect the downforce on the front wing. Many teams still go for a fairly traditional design, in which the upright louvers on the front wing first curl up from the outside and sharply downwards towards the nose.
A team that clearly has a different view on this is Haas. The team that came in stiff last last year has taken a pretty straight forward line. A striking choice, perhaps the American team has managed to find something special here in the wind tunnel. They may also have received a tip from Ferrari, which also goes for such a design (see photo above).
In recent years, the teams at the front of the car invariably went for pushrod suspension. The current regulations dictated that a lot of aerodynamic advantage had to be achieved with wings at the front of the car, just behind the front wheels. There we regularly saw entire structures from the floor up, in front of the air intakes and along the nose. A pushrod suspension, in which the suspension elements were quite high, ensured that sufficient air could reach the wings undisturbed. This year it is a lot ‘quieter’ in terms of aerodynamics on that part of the car due to the regulations and a pullrod suspension with the rods at the height of the wheel hub can again. Ferrari, among others, went for it, as can be seen in the photo above. An important advantage of a pullrod suspension is the lower center of gravity in the nose. Red Bull also seems to have opted for such a suspension.
There are even more striking differences between the new Formula 1 cars. Our colleagues from NU.nl went elaborate on itso if you’re interested in even more detailed analyses, we recommend you read this article† It is clear that the new regulations have really put a clean slate on the Formula 1 teams’ design tables. The fact that there are so many different-looking designs and very different concepts are also being used than in recent years, is in any case a nice new element for the coming F1 season.
– Thanks for information from Autoweek.nl