Why the 2022 Formula 1 season could be even better than 2021

There is no doubt about that. Formula 1’s 2021 season has probably been the best of F1’s turbo-hybrid era so far, and one of the greatest seasons the sport has ever had, period. Not much will beat him. Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton went head-to-head for 22 races, and it all came down to the final lap, of the final race, a race that saw them start tied on points. It was an incredible season, and one that ended in equally incredible circumstances.

But there is a sea of ​​change coming for F1 in 2022. The current cars are no more. In their place come new, sleeker, radically different ones that generate most of their downforce from the ground, not huge amounts of aerodynamic bodywork. The sport is heading for what could be its biggest upheaval in years, akin to the introduction of hybrid power units in 2014, or perhaps more like 2009 when Brawn GP soared to the top. There is potential for this next Formula 1 season to be even better than the one we have all just witnessed.

A disruption of the competitive order

2021 Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix Race Start
through CAR magazine

The biggest thing we’re potentially heading towards is a huge shake-up in the competitive order. The end of 2021 saw Mercedes and Red Bull nearly evenly matched, while McLaren and Ferrari were the teams behind them in the battle for third place. Given how unknown next season is, there is potential for a huge shake-up in the pecking order for this year. McLaren could leap to the top. Mercedes could end up in midfield. Williams could take a big leap forward in command.

It’s storylines like this that have fans so intrigued about what’s to come. Perhaps the last big leap after a rule change was when Williams jumped from 9th in 2013 to 3rd in 2014. Of course, no upheaval in the order is guaranteed. The safe money might be on a similar order to 2021, with perhaps a Ferrari or a McLaren joining Red Bull and Mercedes up front, and a team like Williams being able to consistently score points. The fact that there will be virtually no loopholes for teams to exploit means that in theory no one can make such a leap that they are miles ahead. But with the unknowns around these new cars, we might still be surprised.

RELATED: Why Fernando Alonso Was F1 2021’s Biggest Surprise

The best race the cars promise

Preview of the 2022 F1 car at Silverstone
via Formula 1

This is perhaps the one that will please fans and those who love Formula 1 the most. The idea of ​​2022 cars is to generate the vast majority of downforce from car floors and underpasses, and not rely on aerodynamic parts on the body. The front fenders will be much simpler. The barge boards are no more. Winglets will be rare. This should significantly reduce the level of dirty air produced by cars, allowing those behind to follow closer. Dirty air will still exist, but not as much as before.

In theory, this will bring the peloton together and allow for closer races. This could of course lead to fairly average races like Spain becoming much more interesting. Surprisingly, the simulations seem to show that the cars haven’t lost much, if any, speed compared to their 2021 counterparts. And if we’re being honest, the racing wasn’t bad last season. So an improvement on what was already an epic year of racing should mean things will get even spicier.

Cost control measures firmly in place

F1 2022 McLaren Concept Head On View
via McLaren

The most important thing besides the cars themselves is that F1’s cost cap is now firmly in place. In 2021, teams were limited to $145 million for the year, but that will increase to $140 million for 2022 and $135 million from 2023 on Peanuts. Okay, that’s still a hell of a lot of money, but it should hopefully stop big teams from spending over $200m, while smaller teams like Williams could probably only spend $135m. . Hopefully this controls the rate of development and brings the field closer accordingly. To add to that, the engine simplification coming in 2026, along with the cost caps already in place, is enticing brands such as those from the Volkswagen Group to join Formula 1. Something else to get excited about.

RELATED: Why F1’s 2022 season is so important for Sebastian Vettel

On the way to the great unknown

Start of the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix race
via Redbull

The 2022 season is truly Formula 1’s big unknown. It’s one of the biggest changes to sporting rules and regulations in many years, and certainly the biggest change in the turbo hybrid era. There are still a lot of unknowns, and it’s possible that 2022 will fall flat and things won’t turn out the way we all hoped. But there are plenty of reasons to be excited, and if we see races even closer than what we had in 2021, then the 2022 F1 season could become another all-time classic.

Sources: Alpha Tauri, CAR Magazine, Formula 1, McLaren, Red Bull

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