Formula 1. What will change in 2022? – Formula 1




More fairness and more spectacle: with a year behind schedule because of covid-19, the big upheaval supposed to spice up the championship is finally arriving in Formula 1, which has also made other changes to avoid pitfalls of last season.

What will the new F1 cars look like in 2022?

“The first thing that stands out is the weight: the cars are much heavier, there is simply more inertia, more mass,” explains four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin). The single-seaters now weigh 798 kg (752 kg last year). Their look is more massive with new larger tires (18 inch rims against 13, 72 cm diameter wheels against 66 previously). Tire supplier, Pirelli explained at the end of 2021 that intrinsically, F1 cars should be « between 5/10th and 1 second slower ». But this will quickly be erased because “the development potential will be very important”.

Regarding aerodynamics, rather than creating support with very elaborate front and rear fins and numerous appendages on the chassis, the single-seaters will now use the ground effect, comparable to a suction cup effect under the car.

So when two F1s follow each other, the one behind should not be as bothered as before by the turbulence produced by its predecessor, which should encourage overtaking.

Will the teams be able to spend more in 2022?

No. The budget cap introduced last season will be further reduced this year. In 2022, the annual budget is set at 140 million dollars (approximately 128 million euros) for 21 races (then an additional 1.2 million for each additional race when the calendar has 23) – compared to 145 million in 2021, and some 500 million that were around the biggest teams like Ferrari or Mercedes before.

The current “small” teams like Haas, Alfa Romeo or Williams are particularly keen on it to level the gaps and hope to get closer. However, this budget does not include everything: marketing expenses, driver salaries and those of the three highest paid members per team are notably excluded.

Will we really see more shows in Formula 1 in 2022?

« We want a lot more competition, but less domination by teams with huge resources, » said F1 sporting director Ross Brawn. “We will have more cars in the fight, certainly after a few months”.

Concretely, a pilot following another at 20 meters will see his loss of support reduced from 35% to 4%; and 10 meters behind, its loss of support will drop from 45% to 18% according to the simulations. Figures that seem to be confirmed for Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): « following another car seems a little easier, which is hopefully going in the right direction ».

In the event of a shortened race, what will happen from 2022?

To avoid the fiasco of Spa (Belgium) where last year, under the deluge, the GP ended after only two laps completed behind the safety car, F1 is reforming with a new points scale according to the distance traveled :

– If the leader has completed only two laps or less, without the intervention of a safety car (or a virtual safety car): no points are awarded.

– More than two laps but less than 25% of the planned distance, only the first five will score points: 6 points for the “winner” then 4 for the second, 3 for the third, 2 for the fourth and 1 point for the fifth.

– Between 25% and 50% of the planned distance, the first ten will score points: 13 points for the first then 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

– Between 50% and 75% of the planned distance, the first ten will earn points according to another scale: 19 points for the first then 14, 12, 9, 8, 6, 5, 3, 2, 1.

– More than 75%, the « normal » scale: 25 points for the first then 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1.

Who referees the race?

After the controversial decisions of former race director Michael Masi last December in Abu Dhabi, which led to the coronation of Max Verstappen by breaking away from the letter of the regulations, F1 is also changing its arbitration.

Two race directors will officiate alternately, supported by the arrival of a « virtual race control room » on the model of video refereeing (VAR) in football.

Will we still see sprint races?

F1 tested a qualifying sprint race format in 2021. The goal ? Provide entertainment over three days with « normal » qualifications. That is to say against the clock on Friday, which defines the starting order of a 100 km race on Saturday, which itself defines the starting grid of the GP on Sunday.

F1 wanted to double their numbers with six sprints. But the teams, already under financial pressure with the new regulations, pushed to stay at three: Emilia-Romagna (April 24), Austria (July 10) and Brazil (November 13).

Change however, these sprints will offer more points in the championship: from 8 for the first to 1 for the 8th, while in 2021 only the first three obtained bonus points.

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