The F1 Aerodynamic testing regulations for the second half of the 2022 season are out, and Mercedes & Williams are the ones who will receive the greatest advantage with the reset. The Silver Arrows and Williams are two places lower at the mid-point of the 2022 season than they were at the end of the last season in the constructors’ championship.
As a result, Mercedes receives a ten percent increment in their aerodynamic testing limits, governing the windtunnel runs and the number of CFD items used per ATR period. Thus, the German racing team’s ATR allowance has increased from 70% during the first half of the season to 80% in the second half. The increment is based on the ATR rules mentioned in Appendix 7 of F1 regulations.
What Is ATR & How does It Work?
The ATR is a handicap system created to restrict the windtunnel and CFD testing of the front-running teams in comparison with less successful teams. All F1 teams are allotted a nominal allowance based on their position in the constructors’ championship. There is a five percent increase or decrease in the allowance depending on the teams’ position in the rankings.
The ATR was first introduced in 2021 with a 2.5% increment between the teams. However, the increment went up to 5% this season. The system is a gentle but effective way to provide weaker teams with opportunities to make bigger gains. Each year is split into six aerodynamic testing periods, with three in the first half and the rest during the second half. The fourth aerodynamic will kick off at the beginning of July, with the allocations reset defined by the constructors’ championship rankings as of June 30.
How does ATR Reset Affect Other F1 Teams?
While Mercedes received a 10% gain, the frontrunners Red Bull and Ferrari had to face a reduction in their allocation. Both outfits are one position above in the championship than they were at the end of last year. Hence, the two racing teams have received a 5% cut odd in their allowance. Meanwhile, Williams dropped from eighth position last year to tenth after the Canadian GP. Therefore, Williams allocation increases from 105% to 115%.
Further, AlphaTauri and Aston Martin also received a five percent increase as they are down by one position since last year. Aston Martin was set to receive double gains. But Lance Stroll’s tenth place finish in Montreal sent the team ahead of Haas to eighth position. Elsewhere, the team that suffered the biggest loss is Alfa Romeo. They have progressed from ninth last year to a number six currently. Thus, they will receive a 15% decrease to 95% from 115%. In addition, Haas also received a five percent increment as they fell to ninth after the race in Canada.
Although it is quite difficult to figure out if the ATR really helps a team’s progress. It might be a chance to have more wind tunnel time and CFD items provide bigger chances of making progress. Meanwhile, the ten percent increment may not save Mercedes from its ongoing struggles. But it will give them a fair opportunity to fix the car by researching the problem from July. In addition, the ATR allowances will reset once again in January 2023 based on how the teams finish in the constructors’ championship at the end of the season.