As new rules come into play, engineers are busily writing their designs until the first test begins. A hint or two may emerge from discussions in technical meetings, particularly when a team wants to try to stack the odds in terms of the rules’ writing, but the final directions taken by car design won’t be known until the opening test – or, in Formula 1’s marketing spiel, the ‘pre-season track session’. time’. And so it was with F1’s 2022 aerodynamics update.
With the return of ground-effectors after a 40-year hiatus, designers had a new challenge to develop an efficient and effective body. Because the venturi tunnels under the car are more powerful at higher speeds, this changes the performance window significantly compared to flat-bottom cars. The low-speed corners were an altogether more difficult situation for the driver, which was compensated by the high grip offered in the high-speed class.