What are the 2022 Formula 1 Regulations?

2022 Formula 1 Regulations
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It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one season ends, another begins. The new season will begin in March 2022, so what are the 2022 Formula 1 regulations? What has changed? What stays the same? Let’s dive in…

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be the 73rd season in the series’ history.

The truth is, there are countless ways you can feed your adrenaline-seeking soul if you are one of those people who can’t wait to get a little adrenaline rush. You can either review the recent season or prepare yourself for 2022—do you know everything there is to know about the coming season? Well, you’re in luck!

We prepared this handy refresher regarding the 2022 Formula 1 regulations, changes to look out for in the new season, and its inevitable effects on the future of racing.

But before everything else, here’s…

What went down in the 2021 season finale

Since Mercedes’ driver Lewis Hamilton came out victorious in his second championship in 2014, almost everyone knows how formidable Mercedes has been. Since that year, with the exception of 2016, Lewis Hamilton has continuously finished as the leader racking up five more championships, taking his total to seven. There was a lot of attention focused on the 12th of December as the world tuned in to find out if he would be able to grab his eighth Formula 1 title at the season finale only to be surprised by one of the biggest twists of the decade.

Looking past the controversies that we’re sure you are aware of, the ultimate deciding factor of the finale may have been Verstappen’s fresher tires which he pitted for when Nicholas Latifi crashed five laps from the end, bringing out a safety car. Hamilton was unable to do the same because of his track position.

It was clear that Verstappen had the upper hand when the safety car stayed out until the very last lap of the race. It didn’t take Verstappen long to take the outside line as soon as the race resumed. The Dutchman eventually overtook Hamilton thanks to his fresher tires, despite Hamilton’s best efforts. And with that, the championship was over.

After an epic edge-of-your-seat series of 22 races, the 2021 Formula 1 season finale saw Max Verstappen and Red Bull instead bagging their first Formula 1 Driver’s World Championship in the final round of the season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This is despite the eagerness of Lewis Hamilton to secure the record-breaking eighth title.

After the season has come to an end, it’s safe to say that the 2021 Formula 1 season will go down in history as one of the most dramatic seasons of this sporting event.


2022 Formula 1 Regulations: What are the changes?

A major revision of Formula 1’s technical regulations will be implemented in 2022. Cars will be able to run closer together and overtake easier as a result of the proposed changes.

Originally, the new rules were to be introduced in 2021. As a cost-saving measure, however, it was decided to postpone their introduction following the interruption of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Design and Aerodynamics

Here’s a big spoiler: The Formula 1 cars will be changing in design in the next season. There will be some major changes in Formula 1 car design this year, just as they did in NASCAR with their NextGen cars. Keep reading to find out what changes will be implemented this year.

Front Wing

The first thing that’s worthy of mention is the notable difference between the front wings of the 2021 and 2022 cars, from the elements alignments and to the shape of the endplates themselves.

The 2022 car is more neutral than the 2021 car which has a rather complex design and it can now be made up of a maximum of four elements overall.  In addition, the nose attaches directly to the wing, as it did before the early 1990s.

The ‘Y250 vortex’ will also disappear – a vortex emanating from the inside tips of the current generation of wing flaps and affecting pretty much everything behind it. Now that the inner tips have effectively disappeared, the challenge of controlling this vortex—particularly when following another vehicle—is gone.

With the 2022 car, drivers will get less aerodynamic sensitivity when they’re racing close to each other. Airflow will be directed in a less disruptive way. To ensure close racing, the designers of the 2022 car have tried to tackle this key challenge.

Wheels and Tyres

It is a well-known fact that Formula 1 cars have used 13-inch wheels for a long time. But things are about to change as Formula 1 transitions to the era of bigger— and meaner— 18-inch wheels with low-profile tyres. This major change gives the 2022 cars an aggressive and contemporary look.

In addition to the bigger wheels, wheel covers are also added into the mix as well as front-wheel deflectors over the top to assist. You may remember wheel covers being used in Formula 1 before but in the next season, they will become mandatory to assist in keeping the airflow clean. This will also add limitations to the teams’ aerodynamic modifications.

To better keep clean airflow, over-wheel winglets are also introduced in the new 2022 car design.


With the removal of the extended mounting points, the suspension is attached to the wheels in a simpler manner. This requires that the suspension be attached directly to the wheel hub.

To monitor the running condition of tyres, a standard tyre pressure sensor will be used.

Rear Wing

With the rear wing’s very different shape, the 2022 car design strays further away from its ancestor.

Rather than endplates, the rear wing loops around into a beam-wing mounting. The new design is specifically made to draw the airflow coming off the car all the way up and over the car in pursuit rather than directly into it. This drastic change in the aerodynamic wake aims to solve the difficulty of following other cars at close proximity that was a major problem in the current era.

Again, there is very little structural similarity between the 2021 and the 2022 rear wings. One of the few similarities with the current car is the moveable flap in the rear wing from the Drag Reduction System (DRS).

Floor

This is probably the most hidden change in the new car design for the 2022 Formula 1 car—something you will not notice unless you have an aerial top view of the new car. Instead of the stepped floor used today, the 2022 car features fully shaped underfloor tunnels.

This new feature had been banned from Formula 1 since 1982 but the calls for its return have been answered. Due to this change in floor shape, the teams will be able to create large amounts of downforce through ground effects—downforce which will be less affected when following another car—while at the same time producing less disruptive airflow to the car behind them.

Bodywork

The 2022 car looks a lot cleaner. This difference is highlighted on either side of the cockpit. There will no longer be bargeboards and other aerodynamic furniture as seen on the 2021 car.

The cooling exit louvres on the bodywork are also making a comeback since its official banning post-2008. This will be a key area of freedom for the teams.

How Does F1 Sprint Qualifying Work?

Next to the major design overhaul, the upcoming season will see six rounds hosting Sprint Qualifying races.


For nearly 15 years, Formula 1 has followed the same qualifying format. However, during the current season, the FIA introduced the very first major change during the qualifying races at the three circuits—Silverstone, Monza and Interlagos. In spite of mixed reviews, the shuffled Saturdays will be expanded to six tracks (tracks to be announced) next year.

So how does this new format work?

On Friday afternoon, after Practice 1, the starting grid for the next day’s Sprint Qualifying will be determined by the usual three-session knockout Qualifying. The slowest five drivers will be eliminated in Q1, followed by five more in Q2. This will then leave the final ten to fight for pole position in Q3. Everything takes over one hour.

The Sprint Race starting grid is then determined after all the fastest times are determined. The teams will have one more practice session before the Sprint Qualifying race on Saturday morning.

The grid formation and start procedure for the Qualifying Sprint race are the same as those for the full-length grand prix, though drivers do not need to pit for tyres. After the Sprint Qualifying race, Sunday’s starting grid is determined by the final results.

Sprint Qualifying does not have a podium ceremony, and only the top three finishers earn points for the race: three points for the winner, two points for the second, and one point for the third. These could become invaluable during a tight drivers’ championship.

Are F1 engines changing in 2022?

The 2022 car has a lot of new features, but the power unit is not one of them. It was decided that Formula 1 would continue with the current 1.6-litre turbo-hybrids.  At the start of the season, the design of the power units will be homologated and frozen until at least the end of 2025.

Given that they are already among the most advanced and efficient engines on the planet, this is not a bad thing.

However, there will be a few new standard components in the fuel system, as well as additional sensors for the FIA to monitor the power units more effectively.

Here’s what the Formula 1 sports officials are targeting to unveil in 2025 though: A new carbon-neutral second-generation hybrid power unit powered by a drop-in advanced sustainable fuel. This is the top priority of the Formula 1 series.

Do F1 2022 cars have DRS?

DRS will remain in Formula 1 for the 2022 season, but management is looking at phasing it out in the coming seasons, once there is more understanding of how the 2022 Formula 1 regulations affect the cars on the track.

In 2011, the Drag Reduction System (DRS) was introduced, allowing a car to gain speed to pull alongside whoever is in front by opening a flap in its rear wing that reduces drag.

As Formula 1 cars’ downforce levels have risen over the years, DRS has become increasingly critical to overtaking during races.

As of 2022, however, radically altered regulations will allow cars to focus on ground effects downforce, which should allow them to follow each other more closely without losing performance, and therefore provide more overtaking opportunities. Therefore, DRS would no longer be required, in theory.

“The ideal situation would be that we no longer need DRS at all,” said Formula 1’s chief technical officer Pat Symonds.

According to reports, it could be as early as 2024 that we see DRS removed completely from the series. But by 2026 it will definitely have been dropped.

Effects of the 2022 F1 Regulation changes

Formula 1 will undergo a revolutionary change with the rule changes in 2022. Their aim is to improve racing quality and make passing more convenient. Although it is far too early to know if these changes will make a difference, they will more than likely show which teams have the best engineering department.

Formula 1’s main focus has always been engineering and pushing the limits. If the drivers and their respective teams can adapt to the changes, then it is already set in stone that the 2022 Formula 1 season will become another epic year for racing.

What are the effects of these changes exactly?

Weight

Since the wheels are bigger and heavier, and there is an increase in the safety requirement imposed by Formula 1, the new cars are understandably 5% heavier than the 2021 cars. The weight is upped from 752 kilograms to 790 kilograms. The wheels alone add around 14 kilograms in weight.

The new tyres are designed to reduce cases of overheating though so it’s a fair deal that many teams would find a liking for.

Fuel

Even though the 2022 Formula 1 car will retain the power unit from its predecessor, FIA decided to make a big move in terms of fuel usage.

Under current regulations, cars run on fuel containing 5.75% bio-components. Formula 1 is working around the clock to introduce fully sustainable fuel in the future and the 2022 season will see the bio-component ratio at 10%. This is possible by moving to E10 fuel—a mixture with 10% of ethanol.

It is vital that the ethanol used is already a second-gen biofuel to have nearly zero carbon footprint and as a result align with the current road car fuel regulations.

Tyres

According to reports, low-profile tyres on 18-inch rims are more responsive to turn-in. Considering they have smaller sidewalls and therefore load up more quickly, this is not surprising. However, with the fact the 2022 Pirellis are less temperature-sensitive and allow drivers to push further, this is another possible performance source.

Aerodynamics

Aerodynamics on the top of the body has been simplified greatly by the 2022 regulations. Consequently, front and rear wings will have less downforce since they are tightly controlled, eliminating the outwash aerodynamics that have made turbulence problems worse over the past 12 years.

And by eliminating the bargeboards and changing the front wing, it will be much harder to create the complex, high-energy vortices that have been used to seal the underfloor.

This reduces the potential for downforce generation.

Are 2022 Formula 1 cars going to be smaller?

With the visual changes the car design will undergo for the 2022 season, it should be a no-brainer that the cars will be smaller, right? Well, wrong.

It is not until the 2026 Formula 1 season that cars are expected to be smaller, since only then does the Formula 1 plan to reduce the dimensions when it overhauls its technical regulations again.

In 2017, F1 cars were allowed a maximum width of two metres. The change reversed a 1998 change in which cars were narrowed by 200 millimetres to 1.8m. When Lewis Hamilton first saw his 2017 car, he said it looked like a boat.

Rules do not specify the chassis length of cars, even though their height remains fixed. The result is that cars have become longer in recent seasons as teams look for better packaging for bulky hybrid power units and use the extra length to generate more downforce.

Since the mid-nineties, car length has increased by more than a metre, and they now typically measure five and a half metres from front to rear.

During that time, the minimum weight limit has also increased, especially in 2014 with the introduction of the V6 hybrid power units. Next season, the minimum weight limit will increase by 40 kilograms to 792 kilograms under new technical regulations.

In part, this is due to the introduction of larger, heavier wheels. F1 is switching to 18-inch wheels next year; their diameter will increase from 660mm to 720mm, resulting in a 9% increase in height.

Sporting Regulations, in a nutshell:

This season, as it did the years before, the Formula One World Championship driver’s title will be awarded to the driver who has achieved the highest point total out of all the results obtained during the actual Competitions. While the Formula One World Champion Constructor title will be given to the manufacturer which has scored the highest number of points with the two cars they entered in the competition.

According to the following scale, points will be awarded for both titles at each Competition:

1st: 25 points

2nd: 18 points

3rd: 15 points

4th: 12 points

5th: 10 points

6th: 8 points

7th: 6 points

8th: 4 points

9th: 2 points

10th: 1 point

A point will also be awarded to the driver and the constructor of the car that set the fastest valid lap time during the race granted it follows certain conditions.

A single tyre manufacturer appointed by the FIA will provide the tyres for ALL teams. Since 2011, Pirelli has been the official tyre supplier to Formula 1.

There are five different Pirelli tyre specifications for F1, designated C1 to C5. C1 is the hardest and C5 is the softest. In addition, there are two types of rain tyres: intermediates and full wets. 

At each event, three of the five types of dry-weather tyres are allocated, and the teams are informed of this a few weeks in advance. On the side of the hardest, there is a white stripe, while the medium is yellow and the softest is red.  

In addition to the three dry-weather tyres, there are also intermediate and wet tyres, which are colour-coded green for ‘inters’ and blue for full wets. These additional tyres are brought even in the Middle East.

Formula 1 2022 driver line-up

Listed below is the lineup for the upcoming season.

Team Driver 1 Driver 2
Mercedes  Lewis Hamilton  George Russell 
Red Bull  Max Verstappen  Sergio Perez 
Ferrari  Charles Leclerc  Carlos Sainz 
McLaren  Lando Norris  Daniel Ricciardo 
Alpine  Fernando Alonso  Esteban Ocon 
Alpha Tauri  Pierre Gasly  Yuki Tsunoda 
Williams  Nicholas Latifi  Alex Albon 
Aston Martin  Sebastian Vettel  Lance Stroll 
Alfa Romeo  Valtteri Bottas  Guanyu Zhou 
Haas  Mick Schumacher  Nikita Mazepin 

Next season’s driver line-up has seen a number of high-profile changes, and Mercedes shows no sign of Bernie Ecclestone’s reticence. Lewis Hamilton will remain the team’s top driver, but he will be partnered with George Russell, who comes from Williams.

Valtteri Bottas will replace Kimi Raikkonen at Alfa Romeo, who retires after 20 years in Formula One. Guanyu Zhou, who is coming up from Formula 2, will be his teammate, making him the first Chinese driver to compete in a full Grand Prix.

In place of George Russell at Williams will be ex-Red Bull driver Alexander Albon, who will be linked with former Formula 2 teammate Nicholas Latifi.

With the rest of the grid remaining largely the same, Max Verstappen will continue to be partnered with Sergio Perez at Red Bull, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. will drive for Ferrari, and Lando Norris will drive for McLaren with Daniel Ricciardo. As does Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso has exercised a contract option. Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll’s second season together at Aston Martin continues with Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda staying at AlphaTauri. Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher will remain at Haas for their 2022 season.

Mercedes

After running with black last season, the Silver Arrows will go back to silver for the 2022 season, according to German news outlet Bild. Mercedes won the constructors’ and driver’s championships in 2020 and 2019 with the silver livery.

Sir Lewis Hamilton continued the Black Lives Matter social awareness initiative by running in black in 2021.

Mercedes AMG Petronas made it clear when the black livery for the team was announced that they wanted to promote inclusion and social justice.

F1 will also continue to decrease its spending cap in an attempt to increase competition, in addition to the change in the car. Budgets will also decrease from $145 million in 2021 to $140 million in 2022 and $135 million in 2023.

Red Bull

Nothing much is known yet about the cars of Red Bull for 2022. Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, however, says he will run with the number one when he begins title defence in 2022. After clinching his maiden title with a last-lap pass of Lewis Hamilton, the Dutchman earns the right to switch out his regular race number 33.

Will FIA replace Michael Masi as Formula 1 Race Director?

One thing is evident regarding the race director that led the controversial 2021 Formula 1 season: He’s not going anywhere soon.

Michael Masi has been confirmed as the race director for the 2022 Formula 1 season, despite a huge outcry over his role in the contentious end of the 2021 season.

“In almost all sports there is a single referee per game, who is the one who makes the decisions and they are not subject to appeal. Maybe we should take this path. This would significantly speed up the imposition of penalties, instead of having to wait to transfer a fact to sports commissioners and for them to investigate and decide. It cannot be that hours after a race the result varies,” said Ben Sulayem, in a decision endorsed by the members of the FIA World Motor Sports Council.

Possible impact of the revised F1 rules on the sport’s popularity

New rules and redesigned cars alone are not enough to draw new people into the circuits but keep in mind, Formula 1 has always been strong when it comes to popularity. 

F1’s sustainability efforts and commitments are also attracting attention thanks to the hit Netflix docuseries “Drive to Survive.”. 

While it is possible for the fanbase to grow bigger in every new season, what’s set in stone is that the current avid fans of the racing event are not going anywhere.

Conclusion

This article has hopefully given you the most important information you will need to prepare yourself for the 2022 Formula 1 season. While it won’t be possible to write down everything there is to know about the race, the cars, and the teams at this point in time, it should be enough to give you an idea of what to expect for the coming season. It should also make it easy to compare the new season with the old, particularly the way of handling the motorsport officials did with the controversy during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The 2022 Formula 1 will be a 23-race season, kickstarting on March 18, 2022, in Bahrain.

Summary: 2022 Formula 1 Regulations Explained

What are the major design overhauls for the 2022 F1 season?

The major design changes are with the front and rear wings, wheels and tyres, floor and bodywork of the 2022 Formula 1 cars. The new car has been designed specifically to promote better racing.

Are the 2022 Formula 1 cars heavier?

Yes, they are heavier due to the changes in components such as wheels and tyres and the addition of some other features like wheel covers.

The wheels alone add around 14 kilograms in weight.

How many tyres are there in Formula 1?

The following are the specific tyres used in Formula 1:

a. Three specifications of a dry-weather tyre at each Competition, each of which must be visibly distinguishable from one another when a car is on the track;

b. At certain Competitions one additional specification of a dry-weather tyre may be made available to all teams for evaluation purposes following a recommendation to the FIA from the manufacturer;

c. One specification of an intermediate tyre at each Competition; and

d. One specification of a wet-weather tyre at each Competition.

How big will Formula 1 tyres be in 2022?

The rim size will increase to 18 inches (45.7 cm) by 2022, but the tyre and rim diameter will only increase to 28.3 inches (72 cm). By having a lower profile, the cars will behave differently on track, making them more responsive to changes in direction. 

The front and rear tyres, excluding the wheel rims, weigh 9.5kg and 11.5kg respectively – about 1.5 times what a bowling ball weighs.

Are 2022 Formula 1 cars faster?

The 2022 Formula 1 cars were initially thought to be slower by half a second due to them being heavier but teams are now saying otherwise. In the early part of the season, the new cars could be within 5-tenths of the 2021 cars based on the teams’ programs and Pirelli’s data. By the end, they could even be faster than the current ones.

Are 2022 Formula 1 cars smaller?

Until Formula 1 revamps its technical regulations again in 2026, the cars are not expected to be smaller, since only then does it plan to reduce the dimensions.

Do 2022 Formula 1 cars have DRS?

Yes, the new cars will still have the DRS. It is predicted that the DRS will completely disappear by 2024.

Are F1 engines changing in 2022?

The engines in F1 cars will remain the same as those used for the 2021 Formula 1 season.

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