ANALYSIS OF THE KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE 2021 AND 2022 F1 CAR DESIGNS

ANALYSIS OF THE KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE 2021 AND 2022 F1 CAR DESIGNS

If you're a Formula 1 fanatic, you have probably most likely heard of the news regarding the changes in design for the next season. The main purpose of these changes is to give each driver the opportunity to have much more competitive and harder races, preventing one-sided dominance as shown in previous seasons. Let's take a look at the different styles and changes made in comparison to the old model.

 

FRONT WING

 

 

The first and most obvious change you'll notice between the 2021 front wing and the 2022 front wing is their shape. From the alignment of the elements themselves to the shape of the endplates. With the 2022 version, the design is created to be a lot more 'neutral' than the current model of highly complex designs, which means it's less aerodynamically sensitive when a driver is running close behind another car and directs airflow in a less disruptive way.

One of the major issues that came from the older model stems from the 'dirty air' (heavily disrupted airflow coming off a car) that unable drivers to follow one another closely. This is the key obstacle that designers have tried to resolve to ensure much closer racing.

Another thing to take note of is the disappearance of the so-called 'Y250 vortex'. The name was given to the vortex that comes off the inner tips of the current generation of front wing flaps and affects practically everything behind it. With the new changes made to the inner tips, the problem of taking control of the vortex is now gone when following another car.

WHEELS & TYRES

 

 

Another obvious change made with the 2022 model is the wheel size. For as long as F1 fans remember, F1 cars have always had 13-inch wheels, but that is now in the past as the 2022 model came out with new 18-inch wheels. These low-profile tyres give the new design a contemporary and aggressive look.

The new size-tyres comes with the introduction of wheel covers, which have been used in F1 before. Although it wasn't necessary to have them on before, these wheel covers are now mandatory in order to help keep the airflow clean and restrict teams on what they can do around the tyres aerodynamically. The introduction of the 'over-wheel winglets' (or 'wheel wake control devices') is another further addition to help maintain a constant clean airflow.

REAR WING

 

 

Moving on to the rear wing, when it comes to shape, there are absolutely minimal or no similarities between the 2021 rear wing and the 2022 version. As a matter of fact, the reservation of the Drag Reduction System (DRS) moveable flap in the rear wing is about the only key similarity with the current car.

Looking at the 2022 rear wing design, it's completely different with its upper 'rolled tips' instead of the straight endplates and additional extra lower elements. The new design is specifically to draw the aerodynamic wake (the airflow coming off the car) up and over the following car rather than directly into it – a factor that has made it hard for drivers to follow in the current era.

FLOOR

 


As weird as it sounds to compare the floor of an F1 car from this angle, it's evidently clear that theirs a difference in shape between the older model and the newer one. Underneath the 2022 car, it includes features of fully shaped underfloor tunnels, instead of the stepped floor used currently.

With this change, the floor shape will enable teams to create large amounts of downforce through the ground effect – downforce that will be less impacted when following another car – and at the same time produce less disruptive airflow for the car behind.

BODYWORK

 


Looking at the two cars visually side by side, it's evidently clear that the 2022 model is much cleaner especially around the area on either side of the cockpit where the current bargeboards and other bits of aerodynamic furniture are seen on the 2021 car. This was used to tweak and cajole airflow along with the car, which is no longer part of the new design.

In addition, be aware of the return of cooling exit louvres on the bodywork, which was banned post-2008 but is now again authorised for the 2022 season and will be a crucial area that teams have the complete freedom to exploit.

WEIGHT


Lastly, a new change that has been made to the 2022 model is the weight of the car. The current model weighs around 752kg and the new model will be 790kg, which is a 5% increase from the older version. The significant increase in weight is due to several changes that have been made with the new design, including the new wheels which are 14kg heavier than the 2021 model. Although it's heavier, this change has been made to help prevent overheating, which most fans agree it's a price worth paying.

The other factor that has affected the weight is of the new 2022 model is the essential increase of safety requirements. With these extra safety additions, drivers will now have added reassurance of their safety which is significantly better than ever before.

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