Where Mercedes thinks 2022 F1 car designs will differ the most

Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott says “subtle changes” at the front of the floor will likely create the biggest visual differences between each 2022 Formula 1 car. 
Where Mercedes thinks 2022 F1 car designs will differ the most

Teams are currently putting the final touches to their all-new 2022 challengers for the upcoming season after facing one of the biggest overhauls to F1’s technical regulations. 

F1’s new set of technical rules will see a fundamentally different design philosophy introduced in a bid to make the cars more raceable and improve the on-track spectacle. 

While F1’s new generation is set to look dramatically different compared to its predecessor, teams are not expecting major visual differences between each car up and down the field. 

Speaking in Mercedes’ latest ‘Road to 2022’ explainer video, Elliott outlined where he expects the most dramatic visual differences to be. 

“With such a significant aerodynamic change, pretty much all the components underneath the skin of the car need to change,” said Elliott. 

“So all the way from front to back, everything is different. All those new components’ design has been a huge challenge.

“The new car looks completely different to last year’s and that’s just a consequence of the regulations, they’re very much different shape.

“The sort of complexity that we used to have around the bargeboard area is gone and the differences between the cars are going to be more in the surface shapes.

“And as a result, all of this year’s cars will look fairly similar, they will have similar shapes and the differences will all be subtle changes in the aerodynamic shapes and the surfaces that we’ve got, particularly under the car. 

"Probably the most visual bit of that will be the way the floor works,” Elliott added. “The sort of strakes at the leading edge and the shape and camber in the floor’s going to make a big difference. That will completely affect the way the car works. 

“The rear wings have got this sort of nice ‘swoopy’ shape, and I guess you can kind of say the same about the front wing. It’s just something completely different to what we had last year. 

“For me as an aerodynamicist, or with an aerodynamics background, I quite liked the old cars, and I’ve not quite got used to these new ones, but they’re just different.” 

Mercedes will launch its 2022 design - the W13 - on February 18, a week before pre-season testing gets underway in Spain. 

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