Formula 1 Testing Is Complete!
The 2022 Formula 1 testing season is complete! Looking back what we have learned and looking ahead for Sunday’s race.
The Scuderia caught eyes with it’s curvaceous-scalloped side pods.
The car takes inspiration from the 90s with Benetton’s b195. Using the Benetton’s radical scales along the car, they cut down on surface drag - in bid to create a sleeker car that’ll cut through the air more efficiently.
The most differentiating feature of the F1-75 is it’s heavily curved side pods. The design will reportedly channel it’s hot-vented air from the scales, over the top surface of the beam wing, producing more downforce. The inherent philosophy for the car is to push the wheel wake all the way out board, away from the car.
Like almost every team, Ferrari’s team principle Mattia Binotto is keeping reserved and assuring us that they’re still outsiders. But the stop watch doesn’t lie and with the teams strong driver pairing the season opener could be something to look forward too for the Tifosi.
Despite showing reliability the Brackley outfit were struggling for pace, with both drivers playing down their hopes for the upcoming season.
Mercedes’ overhaul for the Bahrain test saw the car opt for minimalist side-pods. Their interpretation is certainly unique, that’s not in a negative sense, but around the paddock nobody is quite sure how it’ll work. Technical director Mike Elliott explained to Ted Kravitz the approach aims reduce the wheel wake and for it disappear as much as possible, but that’s a common practice for each 2022 car. With the lack or there-of a side pod there has been concerns around how they’ll cool the car. Mercedes has reportedly adopted help from the aerospace industry to package an extremely efficient cooling system.
“There is a lot of potential to unlock in the W13, and we know how much we relish the challenge of understanding the car and extracting the maximum from it, and this will be our focus for the coming days, weeks and months.“ Added Wolff.
There’s a lot of uncertainty around Mercedes this year. Though we’ve been here before, all eyes will be on the W13 to see if it can defend their constructors title and give Hamilton his desired 8th drivers championship.
Red Bull's RB18
Despite not catching as many headlines as the Ferrari or the Mercedes, Red Bull’s 2022 RB18 car is just as impressive.
Their side pod aims to create downwash for the diffuser through aggressive undercuts, just sitting beside the drivers cockpit. In clear contrast to the Mercedes philosophy; the lower half of the sidepod then flare out, becoming quite broad. Also the car takes side with McLaren’s MCL36, choosing a pull rod front suspension. Reportedly this is a aero-driven idea; paving a way for clean airflow into the sided inlet and the undercut.
The RB18 is a unique contender. On the face it is a multitude of each ideas brought by each team. It remains unclear if this interpretation will work; like other drivers Verstappen is playing down his expectations and pointing us to what other teams are doing.
But with lights out on Sunday, the grid will soon be clear and show to us whose competitive.
The prancing horse looks primed and ready, as many are backing Ferrari to win their first season opener in 4 years. But looking down the grid there’s hope for Haas to pickup on their lacklustre 2021 season as well as reserve driver Hulkenburg taking over Sebastian Vettel’s seat due to a positive covid test.
UPDATE: Sebastian Vettel has tested positive for COVID-19 and will therefore not be taking part in the 2022 . Replacing him in the AMR22 will be Reserve Driver , who will be in the car from FP1 onwards.