While the pecking order is quite difficult to decipher after the first Formula 1 testing of the year, especially after huge car and rules changes, the timesheets had a familiar feeling after the three days in Barcelona. However, there were promising signs of interesting new battles set for the 2022 Formula 1 season.
Lewis Hamilton led Mercedes to a one-two, with Red Bull tucking in behind on the last day of the testing. However, Formula 1 fans can expect the cars to change a lot in time for the next testing in Bahrain, but midfield teams like McLaren and Ferrari seem to have recorded a strong start in the new era. Here are five hot takes from the first taste of Formula 1’s new season.
Promising Signs For The New Cars
So far, the new radical FA cars that were designed with the hope of transforming wheel-to-wheel racing seem very promising. The cars look stunning with sleek and modern aesthetics paired with innovative quirks while retaining the classic and aggressive design. These 2022 racing machines have also received a lot of compliments down and up the grid while managing to be faster than anyone would have expected given the total overhaul.
While the cars were several seconds from the fastest times recorded last year, it’s still impressive considering that it’s at the beginning of their development. More importantly, it seems to be a promising tick on their key feature and drivers believe they can follow each other easily, making overtaking easier.
We Are Down To 22 Formula 1 Races
Each year, every F1 Betting site in Canada offers odds on the Russian Grand Prix race that takes place at the Sochi Autodrom. However, the 2022 Formula 1 schedule has 22 races remaining after the organizers cancelled the event following the situation in the country.
The Russian Grand Prix has been crossed off the F1 racing calendar this year, leaving a vacancy on 25th September. However, there could be a bidding war for any sufficiently interested parties that wish to organize a Formula 1 event in under seven months if the desired 23-racing schedule is to be achieved.
Michael Andretti’s Formula 1 Bid Gets a Cool Reception
Before the Barcelona testing, Mario Andretti publicly revealed his son’s desire to join Formula 1 as a team owner by the beginning of 2024. Unfortunately, some of Formula 1’s existing teams weren’t excited by the notion of having a new entrant, posing a little gatekeeping.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolf revealed that any new team looking to feature in the Formula 1 must show what it can offer the other teams, the FIA and Formula 1. Wolf also revealed that Andretti would need to raise a billion dollars upfront before playing in this club.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner pointed out that the Concorde Agreement is set to protect the 10 teams and avoid diluting the race. That means some F1 teams are afraid that a new team would dilute the race’s brand and financially impact the other teams. Such a notion is partly justifiable, but these teams should remember that they were once the new kids on the block.
The New Cars Aren’t Bulletproof – Alfa Romeo & Haas Struggle
Before the Friday race, it appeared like were going to get a remarkably reliable opening test for the year. While the whopping 3109 laps dwarf the 748 laps recorded the first three days at the beginning of the hybrid period in 2014, there were lots of issues on the last day.
With five red flags (mostly from mechanical glitches), hydraulic and oil leaks, Alpine, Hass, and Aston Martin finished the race earlier than expected. At least, Aston Martin and Alpine cars looked solid in pace, but last year’s bottom two teams really struggled in Barcelona.
Alpha Romeo’s new signing Valtteri Bottas was especially unlucky with the track time and Haas faced various issues, recording the slowest times and lowest lap counts. However, these two Ferrari-powered teams still have enough time to solve these issues ahead of the Bahrain testing next month. Fortunately, for Williams, their new signing Alex Albon helped the team establish a solid foundation this year.
The “Porposing” Effect
“Porposing” will be the 2022 Formula 1 catchphrase. The term was first used during the initial ground-effect era in the 70s and early 80s, and now it’s making a comeback because of how the new cars were violently bouncing on the straights in Barcelona. The violence bouncing imitated the swimming motions of a porpoise, mainly caused by the new cars’ aerodynamics that focuses on creating a downforce under their floors.
With the new design, the car is pushed closer to the ground, but that disrupts a certain height of airflow and the car lifts again. At this state, the airflow returns and that significantly affected some drivers at different stages depending on how the cars were being driven. Unfortunately, this aspect isn’t easy to simulate, but teams expect to overcome the issue swiftly without relinquishing the performance.