How five tech battlegrounds shaped Formula 1 in 2022
The biggest rules reset in 40 years as Formula 1 reverted to ground effect regulations created new and demanding challenges for modern-era designers, as they worked within tight restrictions. Here are the major areas that had a determining outcome on the 2022 season
When a new ruleset comes into play, engineers are effectively penning their designs blindfolded until the start of the first test. A hint or two might appear from discussions within technical meetings, particularly when a team wants to try to stack the odds in its favour with the wording of the rules, but ultimately the directions taken with car design remain unknown until the opening test – or, in Formula 1’s marketing spiel, ‘pre-season track session’. And it was thus with F1’s 2022 aerodynamic overhaul.
With a return of ground-effects after 40 years on hiatus, the designers had a new challenge to consider in developing an efficient and effective underbody. Since the venturi tunnels underneath the car are much more potent at high speeds, this was going to shift the performance window quite considerably compared to the flat-bottomed cars; low-speed corners were going to be an altogether clunky experience for the driver, offset by the greater grip on offer in the high-speed sections.
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OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial
OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work
Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?
OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed
Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS
He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing
The Mercedes mindset that helped it bounce back in F1 2022
F1 should free up technical rules now cost cap is in place - Brown
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