F1 Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds busts the belief that the 2022 cars will be 3-3.5 seconds slower than the current ones.
When the all-new regulation cars were announced ahead of the United States Grand Prix, the common conception was that the cars would be significantly slower. Even now, current drivers have expressed their dissatisfaction with the 2022 car’s performance compared to their current ones.
The latest to chime in on their scepticism for next year’s car was Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who admitted that compared to this year’s car, ‘everything will feel bad.’
However, amongst all this, there is a ray of hope for drivers and fans alike. F1’s Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds thinks that the new cars will be half a second slower than the current generation. He also believes they may get faster by the end of the season.
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“We can imagine that the new cars are on average only half a second per lap slower than the current ones at the start of the season,” said the F1 veteran.
“There could be a tie by the end of the season.”
“I say ‘could’ because we don’t yet know what the pace of development is allowed by these regulations. “
Why is the predicted speed a surprise?
According to the new regulations, the new cars will be roughly 38 kilograms heavier next year. The engines are also slated to lose around 20bhp because of the ethanol fuel introduction.
This, however, means that the new cars should produce even more downforce. Not just that, word around the paddock among teams hints that the new 18” inch Pirelli’s are better than expected. This will also help take out a better lap time.
.@AlpineF1Team driver @kvyatofficial concludes Pirelli’s #Fit4F1 18-inch 2022 test campaign after completing 167 laps on next year’s Cinturato Green intermediate tyres at @PaulRicardTrack in France. Vital info for Pirelli to finalise the definitive specification for next year. pic.twitter.com/2FHBNMFpIz
— Pirelli Motorsport (@pirellisport) October 18, 2021
Symonds maintains that the intent of the new regulations was never to slow down the cars but to make closer racing happen more frequently.
What is the FIA worried about 2022 cars?
Formula One has the best engineers globally, and they are capable of finding and exploiting even the smallest of loopholes. This is why the FIA and F1 management are doing their best to plug some of the loopholes themselves.
“Our biggest fear is that someone will manage to divert the bad air that is created in the front of the car around the outside of the car. That creates the problems when driving behind,” explained the F1 CTO.
“Our plan is to carry the bad air inside the front wheels and divert it upwards from a certain point. Everything has to submit to this idea.”