What There is to Know about F1 After Week 1


A lot has happened during the F1 offseason since the dramatic finish with Max Verstappen pulling through on the last lap of the final race to win, not only the race, but the drivers championship. There’s about 100 days from the final race to get ready for the new season. This year, teams built new cars (4-6 cars typically) from the ground up rather than an evolution of the old car.

About the New Cars

The Front Wing – most teams wings were able to get quite a bit larger than the previous generation in part due to having a design that is “a lot more neutral than the current generation of highly complex designs, meaning it’s less aerodynamically sensitive when a driver is running close behind another car and directs airflow in a less disruptive way.” (Reynolds, 2021)

Wheels and Tyres – the wheels had a massive change; in 2021, teams ran a 13-inch wheel and in 2022, they use an 18-inch wheel with significantly lowering profile tyres. Also, there is the addition of wheel covers which directs the air in a cleaner, more aerodynamically efficient way passed the wheels. Though, the wheels and tyres are the reason for the cars overall heavier weight due to making the wheels less prone to overheating.

Rear Wing – Last year’s wing was a large and boxy look that posed some challenges that got fixed with this year’s revised wing. It’s a very unique and smaller shape that improves the cars Drag Reduction System (DRS) solving last year’s issue: difficulty overtaking. When DRS is activated, a section on the top of the wing pivots parallel to the ground allowing for less drag and more top speed.

Floor – Mainly to do with the underside of the car, allows teams to design tunnels for airflow underneath the car, resulting in more downforce that will be less impacted by the car in front.

Bodywork – A common complaint from fans was that the cars were getting too big. The new car is still big (over 5 meters) but its shape is still tightened up all around compared to last year’s. The main focus was on the bargeboards on the sides of the car – “used to tweak and cajole airflow along the car – no longer form part of the design.” Also, exit louvres, which were banned since 2008, were permitted again for the 2022 season.

How does 2022 look after Week 1? Ferrari after a few years of being an almost great team looks strong to start the season by finishing one-two, Leclerc-Sainz in Bahrain after Max Verstappen, in P2, exited the race in the final laps. The last time Ferrari finished one-two was in 2019 in Singapore. Subsequently, both Redbull’s had issues at the end of the race, however, looked strong until then. Other surprises were Kevin Magnussen for Haas finished P5, and teams who were supposed to do well like McLaren and Aston Martin, couldn’t find a top 10 finisher.

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