Formula 1 has given the sport's fans a look into the future after unveiling its 2022 car on the eve of the British Grand Prix weekend.
The 2022 concept, which was originally set to be introduced for this year before being pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be vastly different to its predecessors, with the biggest difference being the reintroduction of ground effect last used in 1982, with fins rather than the traditional side skirts being used instead to minimise disturbance.
Other changes include the introduction of 18 inch tyres, currently used in Formula 2 since 2020 and wheel covers returning to the sport for the first time since 2009 after being banned in 2010.
The new car also includes a smaller and thinner rear wing and a more streamlined front nose section, which includes pointer front wing endplates and a more sustainable fuel called E10 fuel, which contains 10% bio components with the E standing for ethanol.
The glossy launch, which was shown live via Formula 1’s Youtube and Social media accounts, included messages from FIA president Jean Todt and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and a live performance from the band Jungle.
FIA president Todt was hopeful that the new regulations would bring in closer racing when speaking prior to the car’s unveiling.
“Formula 1 has always been the laboratory for innovation and in 2022 will begin a new chapter with this major change in regulations. The magic of F1 is seeing driver and machine competing on the limit, and these regulations have been designed to allow the drivers to race closer together on the track.
“In combination with the financial regulations that are now in place, there should be more opportunities for all of the teams and drivers to fight for the top positions.”
Pirelli boss Mario Isola also explained the decision behind the move from 13-inch tyres to 18-inch tyres.
“For several reasons, first of all, we have a more modern tyre, because 13 inches are more used on road cars, we had to completely redesign the product not just for the size as it’s a new family of compounds.”
“To achieve the target of closer racing, it means to have a wider working range, and to have a compound which suffers less with overheating, and that means we had to redesign the product.”
All 20 drivers got a look at the new car earlier today on the starting grid at Silverstone, with the drivers giving the new car positive reviews.
Championship leader Max Verstappen said that the new car was much different to what he was used to; however, he hopes that the racing will improve with the new regulations.
“Interesting, it’s very different to what we are used to, the most important (thing) is that we improve the racing that we can race closer and if this is the way forward, of course, I am all for that.”
Defending World Champion Lewis Hamilton believes that 2022’s new regulations will be a challenge to adapt to but remains hopeful that the new era of cars will benefit the sport and its fans.
“2022 will be a serious challenge getting used to a new era of cars, and if it enables us to follow and race like it's planned to, I think it will be amazing for the fans and for the sport.”
McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo is a fan of the car's rear wing, which he says is a throwback to the 2008 era of cars.
“I like the rear of it; the rear looks pretty old school. It reminds me of the 2008 style (of cars), which is cool; the front is very different, but I think like all things, the more you stare at it, the more normal it will begin to look.”