The F1 2022 season is going to be drastically different from what the average fan was used to watching last season. With a new set of regulations being put in place, F1 can be expected to change for good, starting this season.
There were many things that were common in the previous iteration of F1 in 2021 but that's going to change this year. The new season is going to be different in so many ways.
In this piece we talk about the three key differences that would be there when we compare the 2021 season to the 2022 edition.
#3 The F1 cars
Yes, that's right - the cars this season are going to be different. They are going to look different and they are going to behave differently as well. They will sound the same though as the engine configuration has remained more or less stable.
To make the cars more conducive to overtaking, a new generation of cars has been introduced to make them easier to follow. For instance, the cars in the previous iteration lost almost 50% of their downforce while chasing another car. It was because of that reason, that the speed differential between the two cars had to be significant for an overtake to take place.
In the new iteration of rules, the cars will lose less than 20% of the downforce. Therefore the speed differential while chasing another car would not need to be that significant. On the aesthetic side as well, the cars will look sleek and pleasing to the eye which is always a positive.
#2 The Pirelli tyres
Pirelli is introducing an entirely new configuration of tires this season. The difference? Formula 1 is moving from your usual 13-inch tire to the 18-inch tire.
The tires are expected to provide better and uniform grip and also solve the tire warm-up issues that were one of the problems while preparing tires for the qualifying lap.
The new tires are expected to be more durable and less prone to punctures from debris which was a menace with the previous iteration (remember Baku 2021?).
What can we then expect from these tires?
For now, according to Pirelli, these tires are going to result in single stop races more often than not throughout the season. Also, tire wear might not be the biggest headache for the teams across the grid.
#1 The introduction of new E10 fuel in F1
It's not just the chassis side that will have changes this season. In a bid to reduce CO2 emissions, F1 is going to implement E10 fuel this season (comprising of 10% ethanol).
The change has been termed "significant" by all teams, with Mercedes calling it one of the biggest changes in F1 since 2014. The new fuel is expected to result in a loss of power in the vicinity of 20bhp loss. This could be one of the areas that act as a competitive advantage or disadvantage for the teams.
Early pre-season rumors seem to indicate that the Ferrari PU, which will use Shell's E10 fuel, has already recovered the power loss. The power unit played a key role in Red Bull's rise to the top last season and it will be interesting to see the role it plays this season.