2022 Formula 1 season: All the big changes to this year’s cars

Which team got the formula right? It won’t be long before we find out...
by Joe Holding | Mar 19, 2022
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PHOTO: Ferrari

Many F1 fans (and some drivers) have spent years moaning about dull races. Symptoms include falling asleep on the sofa and a compulsion to complain about it on Twitter. Luckily Dr Ross Brawn MD MS (managing director, motorsports) and his team have diagnosed every ailment, and prescribed the following remedies. Here’s to a clean bill of health for 2022...

1) Same engine, new fuel

Changes to 2022 Formula 1 cars

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Engine development has been frozen until 2025, so no cheeky performance upgrades for Formula 1 2022 powertrains. Reliability fixes only. E10 fuel is new, though, containing 10% ethanol. It’s a stepping stone to a fully-sustainable biojuice for the next generation of power units.

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2) Wheel covers and winglets

Changes to 2022 Formula 1 cars

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Airflow through the wheels means two things: downforce (fine) and turbulent air (not fine). To stop this, F1 has borrowed a time machine and retrieved wheel covers from 2009. Also, winglets help guide airflow away from the rear wing.

3) Front wing

Changes to 2022 Formula 1 cars

Remember how front wings used to be a jungle of carbon-fiber twiglets? No longer. Four parts only now, maximum. The first of many measures to cut down on ‘dirty air’ help trailing cars perform better. The fact that it beautifies the snout is a bonus.

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4) Rear wing

Changes to 2022 Formula 1 cars

Old F1 cars lost half their downforce when following closely, making overtaking hard. This curved rear wing should scoop air up into the, er, air, and make setting up moves much easier. Now, who’s brave enough to run nose to gearbox through Eau Rouge?

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5) Drag reduction system

Changes to 2022 Formula 1 cars

The DRS flap remains, but if the new rules work, it may be surgically removed at a later date. Hospital bedspace pending.

6) Ground effect

Changes to 2022 Formula 1 cars

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Bargeboards have been outlawed, and a pair of venturi tunnels mark a return to ground effect. Hooray! No Lotus 78 skirts or Brabham BT46B fans here though (sorry, Gordon), just simple aero to suck cars onto the track.

7) Low-profile tires

Changes to 2022 Formula 1 cars

Goodbye 13-inch rims, hello 18-inchers. Low-profile rubber should be less prone to overheating, so grip hangs around for longer. Meanwhile, the suspension is only springs and dampers now, no more trick torsion bars.

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NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.

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