The images of the Haas have gone around the world having been the first ground-effect single-seater to be seen, albeit only in rendering. Tuesday will be the turn of the Red Bull RB18 and we will be able to get a clearer idea of what this year’s cars will be like after the regulatory revolution.
The VF-22 showed its own personality resulting from the work of Simone Resta who differentiates it from the show car presented by FIA and FOM to give a concrete vision of the new rules designed to allow F1 to stay one in the wake of the other to encourage overtaking. and show.
And, according to the rumors filtering from Maranello, the F1-75 that is being assembled in the Gestione Sportiva will be quite different from the Haas which, therefore, should not be called … Ferrarina although it may have the rear of the Cavallino (engine, gearbox and suspension) .
It is very likely that the cars of the presentations will be F1 cars with different hidden solutions to prevent them from being copied too quickly, because at least at the start of the championship we will have quite different cars which will then converge a little at a time towards the more performing solutions.
Those who have guessed the basic choices will have a double advantage: in addition to having the most competitive F1, they will be able to spend the money destined for development to increase performance, while the others will try first of all to straighten the game on the mistakes made.
It is therefore legitimate to ask whether we will see extreme machines already at birth or the result of some compromise that allows converging towards the most popular concepts during the season.
We have already said that weight will be an important variable in 2022 projects: the 795 kg F1 cars struggle to stay within the weight limit, so a shorter wheelbase could save a few kilos (remember that 10 kg are worth in Barcelona, home of the pre season test, about 0 “3).
How is it possible, for example, to lengthen (or reduce) the wheelbase without redoing the entire car? The simplest was the last example seen in F1, namely the one used by the Lotus E21 in 2013, when by moving the front suspension arms away from the chassis it was possible to widen the wheelbase for the Italian GP in Monza by 10 centimeters. find a more suitable balance to make the tires work with the right energy and improve aerodynamics.
Lotus F1 E21: the 10 cm wheelbase variation in the front that was tested for the Italian GP
Photo by: Giorgio Piola
The solution was tested by Kimi Raikkonen in free practice but was then shelved because on the track the technicians had not found the two tenths that had emerged from the simulation. A mistake that would have cost dearly at the time of the budget cap.
The stratagem, however, could become topical again if there are designers who have gone too far in one direction (long wheelbase: 3,600 mm) or the other (short wheelbase 3,400 mm).
We understood that the F1 2022 can be developed following two design strands: the first similar to that of the Haas, with very short bellies and, therefore, with the engine placed very close to the body and a long transmission box, useful for having two ducts. Venturi that find ample space before the rear extractor.
Otherwise we will see a car with high and narrow bellies that will reach up to the tail: in this case it is conceivable that the engine is moved a little further back and the gearbox is short, to have a long duct under the sides. There are two different ways of interpreting the same rules, but then it will be the track to indicate to the chief designers which is the most efficient concept and there will be a run-up to the most correct solutions.
With cost constraints it will become a more difficult exercise than in the past: the budget cap will limit developments and corrections, so in the first year we should not be surprised if we see very different performances among the cars, going against the trend with the choices. that inspired the legislator …
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