Formula One unveils its prototype car for 2022

Formula One has released the first images of their new model this Thursday; a prototype that will serve as the basis for the development of the 2022 F1 car.

The new vehicle has been designed for the upcoming era of the sport that starts next season when drastic regulatory changes are coming into force. 

The design of the new car seeks to increase the competitiveness of Formula One racing, making it more attractive to the general public.

In order to achieve this, the technical changes implemented on next season’s models will allow for closer racing, facilitating overtaking and wheel-to-wheel battles 

It is precisely the lack of close duels that constitutes the main problem of Formula One today. The downforce-driven ‘dirty air’ and turbulence coming from the vehicle in front, deteriorates the tires and overheats the engine of the pursuer, preventing most chances of an attack.  

In order to try and restore the competitive essence to the speciality, Formula One is implementing important variations to the very architectural concept of its racing cars.

Simplified front wings: Less dirty air and turbulence  

One of the most significant changes that can be observed in the 2022 F1 car prototype is the design of the wings. The differences between the new and current designs are such that they hardly have any points in common. 

The new front wings are much simpler and less ornate compared to the highly complex and fancy shapes of current racing cars.  

The  2022 F1 car prototype front wings are designed to be a lot less aerodynamically sensitive to air flows when two cars are racing close to each other. For the same reason, and as a result of the simplification of the front wing, the ‘Y250 vortex‘ phenomenon is set to disappear. 

Wheels and tires 

Since time immemorial, Formula One cars have used 13-inch tires. These, however, will now be replaced by low-profile 18-inch tires, giving the 2022 F1 car prototype a more aggressive and modern look. 

The new tires will also see the return of the wheel covers. These are also intended to contribute to cleaner airflow while restricting the teams from engineering aerodynamic features in that area of the cars. 

Along with the wheel covers the new cars will also feature over-wheel winglets which are also aimed at maintaining a ‘cleaner’ airflow. 

 Curved & futuristic rear wing 

The new rear wing of the 2022 F1 car prototype hardly bears any resemblance to the one used in the current World Championship. Their only point in common is the maintenance of the DRS or ‘Drag Reduction System’.

Besides that, 2022 incorporates a curved shape, particularly along its outer vertices, as opposed to the straight lines of the current car. 

The ‘ground effect’ floor design is back

Perhaps the greatest change of the 2022 F1 car prototype is located on the floor of the vehicle where an attempt has been made to re-create the so-called ground effect, responsible for generating a great amount of downforce. 

The current stepped floor will give way to one with fully shaped underfloor tunnels,  rather than the stepped floor used currently. 

Comparing the silhouette of both cars, the 2022 model is a lot simpler at either side of the cabin, where the current ‘bargeboards’ and numerous aerodynamic elements are placed.

All of these features, which were originally introduced to capture the flow of air alongside the car, will disappear in next season’s model.

Images of  2022 F1 car prototype:

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