Formula One’s 2022 season has kicked off a new era for the sport. The F1 has put a fresh set of rules and regulations in place to make the racing more competitive and fair. There have been new regulations about car designs to make the races fairer technically and financially. While some teams like Ferrari have gone through the transitions easily, other teams like Red Bull and Mercedes have struggled a little to get off the blocks quickly. Some of the old rules have also been modified after feedback from the racing teams from the previous events. So, what are the new F1 regulations, and how will they affect the racing team’s performances? Keep reading ahead to find out!
F1 Provides Blueprints For Next-Gen Cars:
After extensive research through simulations and experiments, F1 has created a blueprint for cars capable of providing a cleaner, closer and fairer race. F1 has also described its new philosophy set as a revolution, leading to a major change in cars’ aerodynamics. The cars will now be cleaners with their simplified designs. The design will allow the cars to have a large percentage of the downforce below with ground effects. F1 has brought back the ground effects after being banned in 1983 on safety grounds. The new ground effects will allow the cars to have an aerodynamic grip with simplified bodywork.
The modifications will allow the drivers to follow each other more closely due to reduced turbulent air while maintaining high levels of downforce. However, the ground effects have given rise to the porpoising problem for several racing teams. While teams like Red Bull and Ferrari have found a solution by cutting off the car’s floor, Mercedes are still struggling with the porpoising issue of their W13. The car’s front wing has been simplified as the endplates are not connected to the nosecone instead of pillars. The modifications provide the high-speed cars with a more uniform design. Moreover, the curved ends of the front wing provide tougher resistance when in contact.
F1 also introduced standardized components. The teams are given a list of parts that could be designed, bought from another team, or bought from customs.
No Modifications In Engines Allowed:
The racing teams are only allowed to use the 1.6-liter V6 hybrids introduced in 2021. F1 has frozen the developments of engines ahead of the 2022 season. Hence, all the teams are using the same engine as the last season. F1, the FIA, and the other teams passed Red Bull’s proposal of an engine freeze, as the racing team wanted to retain Honda’s current power unit structure. This will allow the teams to save a lot of money and be more sustainable in engine production. F1 also revealed that the power would remain the same until 2026.
Further, a sustainable fuel will operate the power units called E10. The fuel contains 10 percent bio-component elements. F1 is focused on becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and switching to completely sustainable fuel in the future.
New Tires To Be Used In Formula One:
Pirelli has introduced the latest 18-inch low-profile tires in 2022. The new tires are five inches wider in diameter than the previous versions used in F1. The width has been increased to reduce overheating of tired during slides. The 18-inch tires were tested by Formula 2 to experiment and develop data on the behavior of these tires before being introduced to F1 this year.
Moreover, wheel covers have been made mandatory for all the teams as a part of F1’s recent deal with BBs as Formula One’s official rim supplier. Further, drivers can now freely choose the tires they want to start the Grand Prix. Previously, the top-10 drivers on the grid were supposed to start with the same tires used during Q2. The choice of tires will lead to more creativity in the teams’ strategy.
Changes In Finacial Regulations:
F1 introduced a budget cap for the teams in 2021. It was mandatory for the teams to follow a $145 million a year limit. The figure has been reduced by five million. The racing teams will have to follow a limited budget of $140 million. A Cost Cap Administration will keep a close eye on the teams’ budgets. Any breach in the budget will lead to fines and penalties like point deductions, race bans, and championship disqualification.
The teams will have to be careful while spending on areas like car design, development, testing and race operations, and component manufacturers. Other aspects like marketing, travel, power units, salaries of drivers, and the top three highest-paid executives in the team have been excluded from the cap.
Changes In The Safety Car Procedure:
The procedure for restarting the race after a safety car has been changed after the controversy at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2021. Previously, the safety car needed to be withdrawn one lap after the last car had unlapped itself from the first. After the change, the safety cars will withdraw one lap after the instruction has been given.
New Virtual Race Control System & Replacement Of Race Director:
The FIA has introduced the new virtual race control system to help the race stewards with track incidences and penalties, just like VAR in Football. The FIA has also banned team radio communications with the FIA stewards on TV to protect the race officials.
Meanwhile, the FIA has made some changes in the race control team, with two race directors in charge. Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas replaced Micheal Masi after the controversial decision-making during the 2021 finale.
The modifications in the rules, regulations, car designs and budgets have been made considering the future of the sport. F1 aims to make the sport better, fairer, and more competitive by leveling the playing field.