F1: The key to understanding the car of the future: how to deliver more spectacle with a '70s concept?

The prototype of the 2022 World Championship presented at Silverstone is designed to feature wheel-to-wheel fighting, although one of its aerodynamic pillars remains famous ground effect.

The F1 prototype for the 2022 World Cup, in the colors of Red Bull.F1
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Formula 1 never misses an opportunity to show its forebodings for Silverstone, the scene of the first Grand Prix in its history in 1950. Today, the old airport will debut the innovative short-race format and tomorrow it will host 140,000 fans, awaiting another duel between Max Verstappen u Lewis Hamilton. The concessions also affect the brand new 2022 World Championship prototype, which was presented to general fanfare during this British GP. “This is the beginning of a new era, of a new philosophy where the competitiveness of cars will be essential for the future,” he announced on Thursday. Ross Brown, FIA Sports Director. These are just a few of the keys to fully understanding the jewel in the Great Circus’s crown.

What do you want to improve?

The essential objective is that drivers can fight wheel to wheel, as in other ranges, with more grip and without destroying the tyres. Until now, closely following another car meant losing a lot of downforce, due to dirty air blown by the car from the front. That deterrent clearly hurt the show.

From 2022 onwards, overtaking should be less artificial than in the recent past, based almost exclusively on assistance from Drs. “It’s not in favor of overtaking per se, but how close they are when they fight. To be able to chase and fight close,” he clarified Nicolas TombazisoTechnical Director of the FIA.

What changes at first glance?

For the first time in its history, the F1s will be fitted with 18-inch low-profile tyres, five more than the width used for the past three decades. The Pirelli design, praised by pilots, aims to improve stability and accuracy in every movement.

Other very significant changes affected the nose, flat, similar to the IndyCar, and the front wing, larger and without flaps. The rear wing will feature clearly rolled tips, with a view to reducing foul air. It’s also worth mentioning that 13 years later, the return of hubcaps, forged in magnesium, and the presence of front fenders, will help make the least turbulent airflow possible.

What’s hidden below?

The main idea is the ground effect, a solution that has already conquered in the 70s, although updated in new times. This would be a goodbye to the concept of aerodynamics based on spoilers and bodywork, with turbulence making it difficult for cars to approach. In 2022, cars will expel a large flow of air through a large rear diffuser that will generate suction and grip on the asphalt.

Flat, molded, stepless bottom will also play an important role. When riding in dirty air, there won’t be as much loss of downforce, so you increase your options to roll the pass and put pressure on the driver.

Who are the brains?

The road was started in 2017, but during the last two years the volume of work for Tombazis, Brawn and Brawn increased manifold. pat symonds, the second strong man in F1. Countless hours in the wind tunnel, thousands of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tests until a consensus is reached.

“We are talking about a petabyte, like a third of the 10 billion images posted on Facebook today. It would take 471 years for a high-end laptop to process everything,” explained Symonds.

Aerial view of car with McLaren livery.F1

Safe and heavy?

terrible accident of romain grosjean In Bahrain this increased the alert, so the future chassis would be able to absorb 48% more energy at frontal impact and 15% more energy at the rear axle. Similarly, safety has been improved in the fuel tank, headrest and sides of the car, which are twice as resistant as in 2022.

All these measures added to the larger size of the wheels will increase the weight of the vehicle, which increases from a minimum of 752 kg to 790 kg. The engines would continue to produce the same amount of power and in slow corners, it would be a challenge for the brakes to stop the heavy car.

Is this a discontinued model?

Some of the drivers who came to examine the prototype in detail at the straight finish at Silverstone on Thursday were genuinely surprised. And it is that this model made a remarkable difference with respect to the work their teams had done during the previous months at the factory.

The key to success, as was always the norm in F1, would be to find a loophole in the rules to find more performance than the opponents. If engineers go too far in this pursuit, the FIA ​​has already gone ahead and reserves the right to change its rules.

What do pilots think?

“I find it nice, aggressive, especially from the front wheels to the rear,” he remarked, as he looked at it. carlos sanzo. “It is heavier, has longer braking and differs in many things, although not so much in driving,” said the Ferrari driver.

Fernando AlonsoFor his part, he doesn’t expect too many changes between this first prototype and the final model to compete in the 2022 World Cup: “The rules are too strict and there is no freedom from the past. There will be different visions, but this will be recognized only by the eyes of the expert.