The fights for the 2021 championship are raging at different levels of the standings, from the top challenge between Verstappen and Hamilton to the duels between McLaren-Ferrari and AlphaTauri-Aston Martin respectively for third and fifth place in the constructors’ championship. The extent of the regulatory change that awaits Formula 1 next season is such that much of the attention is shifted to development of single-seaters for 2022.
The Thursday of the Red Bull Ring preceding the Austrian Grand Prix offered an interesting perspective on the current stages of development of some teams. The partial picture that emerges is that of the presence of big differences between the phases in which the individual teams are currently in the project for the next season. In particular, among those who have expressed themselves on the subject, Ferrari appears as one of the most advanced teams in development for 2022.
During the press conference Charles Leclerc revealed how he has already had the opportunity to test the Red for 2022 at the Maranello simulator: “The impressions are of a particularly different car. I think it is still a question mark for everyone, whether we are moving in the right direction or not. As I was saying, it is a different project, it is still in its infancy, so no one as we are compared to others, but we are working on“.
Leclerc, first contact (virtual) with Ferrari 2022
The Monegasque’s subsequent words reveal the importance of the active involvement of the starting drivers in the work on the simulator for the next season: “It’s difficult because for now it’s just numbers and forecasts, but undoubtedly we can provide our impressions, especially to the simulator. We are lucky to have a great simulator in Ferrari that allows us to try different solutions and the driver’s input is very, very important. […] I would say that in the simulator we can give a great input and be of great help, also with our impressions of this year to try to help the team to work in the right direction and to know what it takes to be fast ”.
While on the one hand the Ferrari driver revealed that he had a first contact, albeit virtual, with the 2022 car, on the other hand, from the words of the other drivers questioned on the subject, it transpires that not all teams are at the same stadium. development of the Scuderia di Maranello.
Max Verstappen has openly stated that he has not yet run in the simulator with the new car, thus suggesting that a preliminary virtual model of the car is not yet ready in Milton Keynes or rather that the development work does not yet see the drivers actively involved.
Also George Russell spoke about his reduced involvement in development for next year: “Currently I am not particularly involved in the work for 2022 “. The Englishman in particular illustrated how the Williams technicians must define the best path to take and how the project is still at an early stage.
“It’s hard to tell where everyone is right now“. The few words released exclusively to FormulaPassion by Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal of Aston Martin, confirm how much there is a real disparity between the stadiums at which the different teams are currently working in a perspective of 2022, making it difficult to accurately predict the status of the projects of the individual teams. Szafnauer himself did not provide particular details on the situation at Aston Martin: “We are currently working a lot on 2022. Most of our resources are concentrated on next year, not 2021”.
In conclusion, it emerges that the plans for next season in the factories are proceeding at different speeds. Ferrari seems to be among the teams at a more advanced stage with a view to 2022, an advantage of undoubted importance which, however, will have to be accompanied by countless other factors in order to succeed in bringing the world title back to Maranello.