The Formula One circus heads to Bahrain this weekend for the opening race of the 2022 season. The Bahrain Grand Prix takes place at the Sakhir circuit and while there is plenty of anticipation surrounding the start of the new season with the new era car, there remains simmering tensions under the surface amongst Mercedes and Red Bull Racing following Max Verstappen’s championship victory in December.
With the new season fast approaching, here at Paddock Eye we thought that we would take a look at the what’s new for 2022. Formula One has introduced sweeping changes to the cars for this season in an effort to promote overtaking while also allowing the drivers to follow each other more closely in terms of the tow.
- Winglets have been introduced to the wheels to help increase airflow to the car.
- Pirelli has introduced a new 18 inch tyre to help the cars to follow each other better
- The front and rear wings have been completely redesigned as way of increasing downforce and are reminiscent on the front wing at least of a snow plow.
- Lessons have been learnt from Romain Grosjean’s crash in Bahrain where now, in the event of an accident, the design of the car means that the power unit will detach from the chassis thus protecting the driver from be exposed as Grosjean was.
Although there were only six days of testing of the new cars it would appear at first glance that Ferrari may have the edge on the competition, at least for the opening race in Bahrain this weekend while seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton believes that for now, at least, Mercedes won’t have the pace to challenge for victories. This is obviously a case of the team sandbagging and not showing their true pace in testing so very much a game of poker, don’t be surprised if we see Hamilton on the top step of the podium on Sunday.
The teams have had an extra year to work on their cars given that the introduction of the new regulations was postponed by a year due to the pandemic. When it comes to the calendar, Miami will makes it debut on the schedule with the Miami Grand Prix taking place from May 6-8.
There are a number of driver changes in 2022.
Mercedes – Lewis Hamilton and George Russell
Red Bull Racing – Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez
Ferrari – Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc
McLaren – Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris
Alpine – Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon
Aston Martin Cognizant Aramaco Formula One Team – Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll
Scuderia Alpha Tauri – Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda
Williams Racing – Nicholas Latifi and Alex Albon
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN – Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu
Haas F1 Team – Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen.