What do we all want to see in Formula 1? Overtaking of course, and a competitive race of drivers from the front of the grid to the back. Well, how can we get this? Formula 1 engineers and mechanics have been working tirelessly to create a brand new state-of-the-art car that will improve the standard of F1 racing.
Ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, F1 has announced the prototype model for the 2022 car that we will see the teams running. The 2022 regulations, originally scheduled to arrive in 2021 was of course delayed by Covid-19, had one guiding principle: to allow closer racing with the potential for more overtakes an inevitable bonus.
If we can get technical for a moment research has shown that the current F1 cars lose on average 35% of their downforce when running approximately 20 meters the equivalent of three car lengths from the lead car, while closing up to one car length around 10 meters in the distance which results in a 47% loss.
The newly introduced 2022 model, which has been developed by Formula 1’s in-house Motorsports team in collaboration with the FIA, puts a heavy emphasis on the aerodynamic phenomenon known as ‘ground effect’, this reduces those figures to an estimated 4% at 20 meters, rising to just 18% at 10 meters.
New Low Profile Tires and a Newly Designed Front wing and Nose
The new Pirelli tires and constructions for these 18” wheels have been designed with the goal of reducing the amount the tires overheat when they slide, this is a key feature that should help with closer racing. The lower profile tires also have the added benefit of reducing the sidewall deflection changes and the resulting aerodynamic wake effect that occurs.
Following on from the previous principles of the 2022 car, the new front wings will generate consistent downforce when running closely behind another car, this will ensure that the front wheel wake is well controlled and directed down the car in the least disruptive way possible.
So what does this mean? Well, basically it no longer sends the wake dramatically outboard, as was previously the case with current F1 cars, nor letting it spill under the floor and get ingested by the diffuser, instead it now steers narrowly down the side of the car as much as possible.
Some Things Stay the Same
Although there are many new things on the 2022 car, the power unit is not one of them, with Formula 1 set to retain the current 1.6-liter turbo-hybrid units. This is no bad thing, in fact, it’s the opposite given that they’re already the most advanced and most efficient engines on the planet.
However, there are some more standard components in the fuel system and some additional sensors to allow the FIA to better monitor the power units. The big change is actually what will be running through the 1.6-liter engines.
Current regulations see cars running on fuel containing 5.75% bio-components. 2022 will see the bio-component ratio rise to 10%. For this to happen they will move to ‘E10 fuel’, the ‘E’ standing for ethanol, while ‘10’ refers to the percentage in the mixture. Although we could go on for much longer with the new changes to the 2022 model, this has been a breakdown of the main “need to know” for the 2022 car.
Are you looking forward to seeing what this amazing bit of technology can do? Will this improve the standard of racing? Time will tell but one thing is for sure these are exciting times for Formula 1.
Image Credits F1