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Sparks fly as Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, battles with Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75
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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.

Previous article The Mercedes mindset that helped it bounce back in F1 2022
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