• Chris Kato

3 Positive Takeaways from F1's 2022 Car Launches So Far

Some were secretive, some exposed for all to see but the first week of launches gets us excited for 2022...

We're halfway through the 2022 F1 car launch season with Haas, Red Bull, Aston Martin, and McLaren debuting their 2022 challengers earlier this week. Over the next few weeks, the remaining 5 teams will showcase their cars for the world to see but the first week of car launches leaves us with plenty to talk about and plenty to look forward too in 2022. In today's video, we'll look at 3 takeaways from the first week of car launches and what we've learned so far from F1's new era.

1. A Variety of Designs

With the drastic new regulations of 2022, fans were somewhat considered that the more restrictive nature of the rulebook would lead to a conformity of designs between the teams. But so far from what we've seen, that is not going to be the case and that is a good thing. Putting aside the fake Red Bull and keeping in mind this video is being recorded prior to Alpha Tauri's launch on Monday, their are plenty of differences between the design philosophies from the teams we've seen so far. Without getting too technical and in over our heads, the most obvious differences in design can be seen in the sidepods and cooling packages. McLaren for example have decided to shrink wrap the side pod area whereas Aston Martin have gone a different way.

Differences in McLaren and Aston Martin's sidepod design

We also see a drastically different design for the radiator exits with Aston Martin using plenty of radiator louvres on its sidepod while McLaren have the exists at the rear of the bodywork. This allows the car to retain more of its "coke bottle" shape as we see from the aerial view of the car with the distinct lack of undercut to the sidepods that we've seen in recent years.

Where the McLaren is very different to either the Haas or Aston Martin is in its suspension layout – both front and rear. In place of the conventional push-rod front/pull-rod rear is the opposite! McLaren have opted for a pull-rod front (last used at McLaren in 2013) and last seen in F1 back in 2015. These are just some of the differing designs between the teams in the first week of launches and its good to see the innovation at work to solve the puzzle of this massive rule change.

McLaren opt to go with pull rod suspension at the front while going push rod suspension at the rear

2. Total Secrecy for Some

Courtesy - Red Bull Content Pool

The 2022 launch season started off fairly slowly with Haas debuting their VF-22 via computer renders and with Red Bull just slapping their 2022 livery on an FIA show car model. In the weeks leading up to launch season, an F1 insider shared some information that 8 of the 10 teams had purchased multiple 2022 car models from the FIA and were going to drastic lengths to hide their designs. Clearly Red Bull were one of those teams as their 2022 launch was effectively a livery launch and the announcement of new corporate sponsors. Red Bull were the first of the title contending teams to launch their car but it is clear they want to hide their design until the last minute possible. This could be good or bad news for the defending driver's champions as either they've got the new regulations spot on or they're not sure of themselves. Red Bull have gone a different direction than what is expected from their rivals at Mercedes and Ferrari. Mercedes will be launching their car on the 18th of February and will be running their W13 on track that day in Silverstone. Although some teams might actually reveal an early design concept of their 2022 cars, even teams that have launched their cars and still hiding a few details. McLaren have not provided many photos of the rear of their car and the Haas VF-22 is rumored to be an early design model. The next few weeks will be very intriguing as we could see totally different cars from the Barcelona test to the Bahrain test and the first Grand Prix in March.

3. A Sample of 2022 Cars on Track

Courtesy - Aston Martin F1 Media Portal

The biggest positive takeaway from week one of 2022 car launches was actually getting to see the new generation car out on track for the first time. While Red Bull did everything to hide their car, Aston Martin delighted the fans by taking their AMR22 for a spin around Silverstone the day after their launch. Although the on-track footage is limited, the new generation of Formula 1 cars has gotten fans very excited for this season. Seeing a real life version of the 2022 model looks far better than any computer render and the new design looks much sleeker, compact, but still very racey. Whether these new regulations provide us with better racing is another question on its own but the design philosophy looks like the move in the right direction. It might take a while to get used to the higher front wings and dramatically new rear wing designs, but Aston Martin's on track debut of the 2022 challenger is certainly the best thing from the launch season so far.

Courtesy - Aston Martin F1 Media Portal

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