Formula 1 will not only have a new race director in 2022, but also completely new regulations. New rules always create tension: which team interpreted the rulebook best and allowed its designers to paint the best car? This question will be answered from 20 March, during the Bahrain Grand Prix, after a short but also long winter break.
The basic idea is that Formula 1 cars should get simpler (and a little cheaper). Less flaps, less wings, less air. Due to the turbulence of the air from all the flaps and wings, it is difficult for two cars to drive close to each other without losing control or stability. The first votes are positive.
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However, the fact is that all cars have been completely redesigned. Season 1 with new rules can sometimes cause big differences, because there can never be a question about the dampening lead law. You can see it in cars: Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari differ greatly in philosophy. Who took the right turn and made the fastest car?
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New features and revised rules
To avoid big differences, the reins are tightened by rule makers. Much thought has been given to what is best for the sport and how to prevent the rules from becoming too complex. Despite the mutual differences, the parts from which cars are made have become much simpler.
The idea behind this is manifold: simpler parts provide cleaner airflow, budgets and wind tunnel time are slowly compressed towards the maximum amount of time or time X and the reduction in freedom means that your designer has to have a very smart head to work with something. Brilliantly to get out.
The interior suspension and wheel covers have also been standardized. The planks – the lower wings behind the front wheels – were simplified to such an extent that, in principle, a line was drawn in this part. But take a closer look at the Red Bull… The rear spoiler plus the diffuser – until recently a downforce generator – has also become much simpler. The wings are also round. Again, the idea is to conduct air and wind in a better and cleaner way.
If everything had to be simpler and smoother, how do cars generate cohesion?
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Ground effect is what Formula 1 is all about in 2022. This concept is not new and we have known it since the 1980s, and it is now being used again. The ground effect means that tunnels are incorporated into the floor of the cars as they were. These two tunnels start out wide, then narrow and widen again toward the rear of the vehicle.
why? This design creates air flow. The narrowing causes the air under the car to flow faster. The result is under pressure. And negative pressure, in turn, means that the car, as it were, sucks in a vacuum on the asphalt, creating grip for fast cornering. Like riding on rails.
It looks like the cars will be very fast on fast corners in early 2022 and a little slower on slow corners. A positive consequence of the ground effect and tunnels instead of all kinds of flaps and wings is that much less dirty air is emitted from behind the cars, which in theory makes it easier for the chaser to drive close to his predecessor. As mentioned, the first votes are positive.
It is important to create a ground effect to direct the wind under the vehicle. Tunnels in the floor of the car are connected to the wings that direct the air towards them, for example at the height of the cockpit. These suites are the “new shingles”. Teams are free to develop and therefore improve this suite as they see fit. If you take a quick look at Verstappen’s Red Bull, you’ll almost think it’s still a plank. But this is not the case. It’s not a plank, it’s a grand piano. Mercedes opts for a different solution with highly tailored side struts.
It looks very simple: make a few air vents under the car, a wing in front of it instead of a plank, and at a distance of up to 330 kilometers per hour or more on a straight road. This practice is something different. Because what happened? Cars bounced a little. This phenomenon is called porpoise.
The simplest explanation: the cars bounce in a way reminiscent of dolphins jumping out of the water. Up and down, up and down. Others compare the behavior of cars to the way porpoises appear on the surface.
What happens is this: the airflow that is supposed to pull the car to the ground must be continuous. If air is able to escape, for example because the car is actually sucking on the asphalt instead of the asphalt, the ground effect disappears and the car rises.
Then the encountered car immediately sucks the air back in, until it hits the asphalt again and the air comes out again. The car comes and starts again. continuously. Just like a dolphin, just like a porpoise.
“It feels like a plane turbulence,” Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc explains. Ferrari suffered a lot from porpoise during its first winter test, in Barcelona, with a particularly illuminating video of the phenomenon. “I can’t say it feels good. It makes you feel a little nauseous.”
The porpoise phenomenon came as a surprise, as none of the team experienced this bounce during simulations throughout the design process. The solution could be to increase the ride height or drive at a lower speed or a combination of these… In short, this was not a solution.
Perhaps the solution is in the correct tuning and development of the springs and shock absorbers, along with the design of the floor and the rear suspension. If the wrap floor does what it’s designed to do, designers can make sure the airflow under the car is covered, as it were, just the way they want it to. The trick is to make sure that the bumps in the asphalt and other unevennesses do not spoil its calculations and no air escapes.
The basic idea is to cover the tunnels as much as possible to enhance the airflow under the vehicle. It is about generating the optimum combination of driving height (preferably as low as possible), the amount of suction power and the optimal direction of the air flows. The team that finds the golden egg and shakes its car less often generates more traction and speed.
There’s a good chance you’ll soon hear Max Verstappen say “full submit” again. Full transmission has quickly become one of the most popular terms in Formula 1. In simple terms, this means you go for something at 110 percent.
Once you’re completely gone, you can’t go back. It is also sometimes used in the context of alcohol, but this is not the case in motorsport.
Just do it, do your best for something.
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Oh yeah, the FIA has changed the rules as they apply at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Now it is no longer stated in the regulations that the extremes may overtake the safety car, but all the extremes can pass the safety car and only then will the race resume, also in an exciting final stage. Once the safety car gets on the track in 2022, there will likely be a return to the 2021 finale, but at least you know what has officially changed in the rulebook.
This is the Formula 1 calendar for 2022:
March 20: Bahrain Grand Prix (Manama)
March 27: Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia (Jeddah).
April 10: Australian Grand Prix (Melbourne)
April 24: Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna (Imola).
May 8: Miami (Miami) Grand Prix
May 22: Spanish Grand Prix (Barcelona).
May 28: Monaco Grand Prix (Monte Carlo).
June 12: Grand Prix of Azerbaijan (Baku)
June 19: Canadian Grand Prix (Montreal).
July 3: British Grand Prix (Silverstone)
July 10: Austrian Grand Prix (Red Bull Ring)
July 24: French Grand Prix (Paul Ricard)
July 31: Hungarian Grand Prix (Budapest)
August 28: Grand Prix of Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps).
September 4: Grand Prix of the Netherlands (Zandvoort).
September 11: Italian Grand Prix (Monza)
25 September: Alternative to the Russian Grand Prix (Turkey/Qatar?)
October 2: Singapore Grand Prix (Marina Bay)
October 9: Japanese Grand Prix (Suzuka)
October 23: United States Grand Prix (Texas)
October 30: Mexican Grand Prix (Mexio City).
November 13: Brazilian Grand Prix (Interlagos)
November 20: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Yas Marina)
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