Towards the end of the 2019 Formula 1 season, we were all super excited for the new generation racecars that were announced as per the new regulations that would come into effect from the 2021 season. While the powertrain specs were left unchanged, the car would undergo a significant redesign in terms of the key aero components. Most of the changes were focused around making it easier for cars to follow each other closely in dirty air to push for more exciting racing action. By March 2020, the new cars were pushed ahead by a season to cope with the circumstances created by the pandemic.
It’s July 2021 and we’re now getting our first look at the new-gen Formula 1 car, to scale and in the real world. There have been further revisions but the overall design is a lot like the original renders from 2019. The front wing has been simplified, especially the endplates, while the rear wing is curvy with no endplates at all. It still has a DRS system but it’s uinclear how it would work in this new shape.
The bargeboard now has more of a teardrop shape, tapering towards the tail end of the car. It has been simplified as well with no cuts or upright elements on this demo design. Some of the protruding shapes around the cockpit were made for the sake of safer structure as well, especially along the sides. Since there are fewer aerodynamic components on the top surface of the car, F1 is going to allow teams to build their bargeboards in such a way that they have ground effect for generating the required downforce.
Equally complicated as the changes to the bodywork but a lot more visible are the new 18-inch wheels with low profile tyres for the 2022 Formula 1 cars. However, there is now the added detail of wheel covers (mandatory) to keep airflow clean and limit the teams’ aerodynamic development around the wheels. Another cool detail for the new cars is the over-wheel winglets or ‘wheel wake control devices’ but it will be interesting to see what happens to them when someone ends up making a trip through grass and gravel.
Overall, the new F1 car looks a lot cleaner than the current car but this is only the base for all the teams to build on by finding advantages where possible and toeing the line that decided if their final car is within the regulations or not. You can also get a good idea of how different the 2022 car is from the current cars in this computerised comparison shared by Formula 1:
You can get a better idea of what these cars could look like in race trim thanks to these renders where the 2022 car wears the same livery as the 2021 cars: