A new Formula 1 season means new Formula 1 cars, but things are relatively different this year.

The sport has been around for 72 years, and this is without a doubt the biggest change during the offseason F1 has witnessed. The regulations were originally meant to be in place for 2021 but due to COVID-19, it was delayed.

The main outcome of the new designs of the car is to promote better racing. Research has shown that current F1 machines lose 47% of their downforce when running one car length behind a leading car. The 2022 car has developed the following regulations to try and reduce those figures.

  • The car will feature over-wheel winglets for the first time to help control the wake coming off the front tyres and direct it away from the rear wing.
  • Wheel covers last seen in Formula 1 in 2009 will be re-introduced again.
  • The car for the first time will have 18-inch low profile tyres with a goal of reducing the amount the tyres overheat when they slide.
  • The front wing and nose have had a makeover with the new front wing to generate consistent downforce when running closely behind another car and to ensure that the front wheel wake is causing the least disruption.
  • The major difference on the rear of the 2022 car is the art deco-looking rear wing. The new design throws the dirty air high up into the air allowing the following car to drive in less disrupted clean air.
  • When the car started being designed in 2017 teams quickly released the key change required to ensure closer racing would be placing the aerodynamic emphasis on ground effect to create downforce. Ground effect was first introduced in the late 1970s.
  • With Formula 1 trying hard to become more sustainable. They will be introducing fuel with the bio-component ratio rise to 10% from 5.75%. The ethanol must be a second-generation biofuel made sustainably; this leaves a near-zero carbon footprint.
  • Safety is a major part when designing a Formula 1 car in trying to make the sport even safer. In 2020 a major crash for Romain Grosjean shocked the world. Since then, it has been concluded that the chassis now needs to absorb 48% and 15% more energy in the front and rear impact tests respectively. Another safety measure being implemented is the weight of the car has increased by 5%.

Many things in 2022 are changing but not the power unit. The 1.6-litre turbo-hybrid power units will have limited changes compared to other components.

With the 2022 car completing 7,500 simulations Formula 1 have most definitely thoroughly tested it.

Will the new F1 cars provide better racing? With the first race of the season being held this weekend, it will be interesting to see which teams will be in the championship battle.