F1 has made a deal with BBS Japan to onboard the latter into the sport as the official wheel rim supplier for the 2022 season. The upcoming season, with its regulation changes, is all poised to give the sport a new look. The introduction of standardized wheels as part of the same is aimed at encouraging closer racing and reining in development costs.
BBS Japan has reportedly signed four- and three-year contracts with the governing bodies of Formula One and NASCAR, respectively. The Japanese company works under the umbrella of the Maedakosen group. The parent company supplies tires to several luxury car brands in the U.S. and Europe. With the sport transitioning into the 18-inch wheel from next season, this expertise could prove to be a boon for both development and marketing.
Since 2011, the Italian manufacturers have been tied to the sport. Before that, however, teams had the option of using different tires sourced from various companies – from Michelin to Bridgestone and even Goodyear.
2022 F1 testing key dates
With new regulations kicking in this year, the cars that line up for the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 20 will look vastly different from those that finished at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December. The sport's aerodynamic overhaul, which was pushed back due to the pandemic, comes into effect this year.
None of the 10 teams have confirmed their individual launch dates. It can safely be assumed that almost all of them will be revealing their 2022 cars in the week leading up to the opening day of the tests. Some teams might only reveal the car when it rolls out of the garage for the first time on day 1.
F1 has set aside 6 days of testing this year, split across two different venues: Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona and Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain. Bahrain will host the season's opening race on March 18, one week after the second test has concluded.
February 23-25: Barcelona, Spain
March 11-13: Sakhir, Bahrain
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