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Five standout technical ideas from the F1 cars of 2022

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More restrictive regulations in terms of freedom of design raised fears that the only variation we would see between the cars would be with the sidepods.

However, as the F1 season has unfolded, there has been a fascinating mix of ideas and solutions on the grid worth focusing on.

Here we take a look at some of the key areas where teams have allowed their own concepts to flourish with some standout designs.

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Nose

The new F1 regulations were not only designed to try to promote closer racing, but also as a means of preventing the car from looking ugly.

One such area that has been plagued by abhorrent aesthetics over the past few regulatory eras has been nose design, as teams took drastic measures to try to overcome the limitations placed on them.

Attempting to find ways to generate more airflow below the car’s centerline led to some creative interpretations in recent years, with everything from the stepped-nose designs of the 2012 season to the twin-tusk approach adopted by Lotus. in 2014.

Ferrari F2012 Nose

Ferrari F2012 Nose

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In the time that unfolded after the 2009 regulation change, teams continued to look for ways to get the nose up. In order to limit this, the FIA ​​made changes for 2012 which led to the arrival of the rather unsightly ‘stepped nose’ solution.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull RB8 RB8 nose

Red Bull RB8 RB8 nose

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Red Bull also had a stepped nose solution in 2012, but the RB8 featured a letterbox-type intake inside the step to help capture airflow for driver cooling.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Lotus E22 ‘twin fang’ nose

Lotus E22 'twin fang' nose

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The nose design seen on the Lotus E22 in 2014 was an extreme example of how a team could reinterpret a regulation designed to prevent a high nose tip. With one of the ‘fangs’ longer than the other, the team was able to circumvent the proposed location for the tip and create a passage along the center line for airflow.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Sauber C31 ‘S’ duct

Sauber C31 'S' duct

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At Sauber, meanwhile, the ‘S’ duct was reborn, as the team took airflow from the underside of the nose and channeled it through an S-shaped pipe into an opening at the top of the chassis, reducing the aerodynamic impact of the step.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Force India VJM07 Nose

Force India VJM07 Nose

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While Lotus had found a way to open up the central part of the nose, many others had settled on a more aesthetically unappealing solution, with a long finger-like central extension used to tame regulations but still allow air flow. air has a significant path under the central part. car section.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The new regulations have been formulated in a way where aesthetically unsightly nose shapes seem to be a thing of the past, although there is still time for teams to alter that particular apple cart.

In terms of the current nose design, it all comes down to how the team wants it to interact with the front wing, and more specifically, whether the nose connects to the mainplane or the secondary wing.

In this sense, several teams have opted for modular designs; giving them the flexibility to make changes should they be able to find more performance in another solution, without the need for massive changes and the need to pass new crash tests.

For example, as seen here with Ferrari and Red Bull, the internal structure of their noses is shorter than the external façade, meaning that while they currently connect to the main plane, they could easily be modified.

Ferrari F1-75 nose
Red Bull Racing RB18 front nose

the bib wing

Another solution that has quickly gained traction on the grid, as it was first seen on the Aston Martin AMR22 at launch, is the ‘bib wing’.

It was mentioned as such by several of the teams, but it was quickly adopted by Ferrari, who had a version put through the rigors of simulation and production within the week between the release of the AMR22 and their own F1-75.

And, while other teams didn’t respond as quickly as Ferrari, a variation on the design can also be found at Red Bull, Mercedes and Alpine, all also making changes to the shape of the car’s keel to maximize its aerodynamic potential. .

Ironically, Aston Martin found that the chest wing did not add any performance to the new concept it unveiled at the Spanish Grand Prix, so it has been removed from its car for now.

Red Bull Racing RB18 Keel Splitter

Red Bull Racing RB18 Keel Splitter

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The adoption of a bib wing on the RB18 also coincided with the narrowing of the keel, so the team could take advantage of a wider wing profile.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Detail of the pontoons of the Alpine A522

Detail of the pontoons of the Alpine A522

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The Alpine A522 sporting its version of the bib wing

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Brawn GP Splitter Solution BGP001, Williams FW32, McLaren MP4-31

Brawn GP Splitter Solution BGP001, Williams FW32, McLaren MP4-31

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However, it is not the first time that we have seen this type of solution. While the BrawnGP BGP001 is most famous for its regulation-breaking double deck diffuser, it also had a similar bib wing arrangement, which was used to propagate a vortex structure. Similarly, Williams ran some in 2010, before McLaren’s ‘bat wing’ arrived in 2016.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari SF16-H T-Tray batwing side by side comparison, Malaysian and Japanese GP

Ferrari SF16-H T-Tray batwing side by side comparison, Malaysian and Japanese GP

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Ferrari meanwhile had been testing different arrangements on the SF16-H that played with the airflow in and around that region, although not directly attached to the keel or lip.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

cockpit area

Another area where we’ve seen design diversity is around the cabin, especially the mirrors and halo.

That’s because there’s some valuable real estate here on which to add winglets and/or reshape the preconceived surfaces for aerodynamic benefits.

In that regard, we’ve seen teams introduce various solutions, some of which have faced challenges from their rivals, while others have simply been observed and implemented by other teams in their own way.

Mercedes W13 fins comparison

Mercedes W13 fins comparison

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Mercedes’ use of a segmented mirror mount was a bit controversial when first seen in pre-season testing. But the regulations allow such designs, even if they are redundant from a support point of view. On that note, the team has recently added an additional ‘bracket’ that hangs from the SIS fairing (inset, red arrow).

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Detail of the AlphaTauri AT03 pontoon

Detail of the AlphaTauri AT03 pontoon

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Although Mercedes’ solution caught the attention of its rivals, the AlphaTauri AT03 also sported a segmented outside rearview mirror.

Photo by: Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images

Red Bull Racing RB18 Halo

Red Bull Racing RB18 Halo

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Continuing from where it left off in 2021, Red Bull has small wings mounted on the side of its halo.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Alpine Halo A522

Alpine Halo A522

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Similarly, the Alpine A522 also has a pair of spoilers mounted on the side of its halo (inset).

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Aston Martin AMR22 Halo

Aston Martin AMR22 Halo

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Aston Martin tried various solutions when it came to the wings attached to its halo, with the horn-shaped wings (bottom right, purple arrow) being used earlier in the season, before being replaced by the weathervane in front from the rear halo mounting point (top end). right, blue arrow). It also added a vertical fence to the edge of the halo to help better define the airflow path (red arrow).

Photo by: Uncredited

ferrari f1-75

ferrari f1-75

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Ferrari also has a fin in a similar position, albeit curved to further influence airflow. Also note the fin mounted on top of the halo, a bit further forward.

McLaren MCL36

McLaren MCL36

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McLaren, like several other teams on the grid, also has a fin mounted in and around the cockpit. In the case of McLaren it also coincides with the position of its ventilation panel with louvres.

cooling grids

An interesting but more specific solution can be seen on the Haas VF-22 and Alpine A522, both of which use cooling louvers at the rear of the engine cover column.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen this type of solution from teams, but it’s more interesting when you consider that there has been an expansion in cooling options available this season. Crews can now vent heat through cooling gills on the pontoon bodywork.

In Alpine terms, its design is similar to the solution it used on the A521, with a short section of engine cover flap separated above the rear opening, below which are three louvers to help control how heat is expelled from inside.

Meanwhile, the solution seen on the Haas VF-22 has the engine cover flap detached much higher up the body, exposing the 12 louvers and wastegate tube hood.

Alpine A522 rear detail
Haas VF-22 engine cover detail

beam wings

Having been absent since 2014, the lightning wing has returned this season. Designers can now use up to two elements to provide structural support and aerodynamic assistance for the rear wing.

However, while most teams have taken what is considered a conventional approach to the design of these elements, Red Bull has carved out its own path, using a stacked layout, where one element sits on top of another. .

It’s a solution that Alpine has recently appropriated as well, having switched from a more conventional design. Interestingly, to reduce drag, Red Bull has also chosen to remove the top element over the course of the last few races.

Red Bull Racing RB18 new beam wing comparison
Alpine A522 Beam Wing Comparison
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