Formula 1 in 2022

22 Grand Prix... 20 drivers... 10 teams... 1 champion. Formula 1 is the international showcase for automotive innovations. Around the world, 10 teams will compete on legendary tracks such as Imola, Monza, Spa-Francorchamps, Le Castellet, Silverstone... So many famous names hosting the great spectacle of F1. .
The world championship was officially born in 1950. The races at the time took place only on the "old continent". Then the international circuits began to be more and more present on the calendar, to the delight of motorsport fans.

2022 marks the 72nd year of existence of the world championship. The best way to see the evolution of single-seaters is to place 2 scale models next to each other: Giuseppe "Nino" FARINA's Alfa Romeo from 1950 alongside Max VERSTAPPEN's Red Bull RB16B from 2021 The design, the aerodynamics, the motorization, years of development have allowed the improvement of the reliability of the engines and the safety of the pilots. It must be recognized that it is a dangerous sport. Driving through the streets of Monaco at top speeds of over 270km/h (289km/h for Alex ALBON, Monaco 2022) is as exhilarating as it is risky. These modern-day gladiators manage to maneuver their racing car to perfection with surgical precision.

The year 2022 is marked by several radical changes:

-following the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, a controversy that caused a lot of ink to flow, 2 race marshals intervene throughout the season. At first glance innocuous, this modification of the rule is an important turning point in the world of Formula 1,
- the number 1 reappears on the single-seater of Max VERSTAPPEN, reigning world champion,
- budgets are capped for all teams. This allows a better balance of development between the top teams and the others. This budget is as much for the development as for the repair in the event of an accident. This is not the year to break a front wing,
- the ground effect reappears. Developed by Colin Chapman in the 70s, this solution had been ruled out due to the dramatic accidents caused by a stall in F1. The FIA had imposed the use of a flat bottom to close the debate. 2022 sees the return of the ground effect, in a more limited context. The objective is above all to allow the pilot to follow each other more easily in high-speed turns and to promote movement.
-the front and rear fins are simplified, there are fewer aerodynamic appendages, thus pursuing the objective of ground effect.

Thursday, March 17 marks the start of the championship. All eyes are on the promised duel between Max VERSTAPPEN (Red Bull Racing) freshly titled and Lewis HAMILTON (Mercedes AMG Petronas) seven-time world champion. And it is from Charles LECLERC (Ferrari) that the surprise comes. The Ferrari is well born, and the engine pushes hard. Previously above the lot in terms of power, the Mercedes engine is taking a hit. As for the Honda engine that equips the Red Bulls, reliability at the first Grand Prix is not the appointment.
To date, half the season remains to be completed, and the trends for the top teams have reversed. The Honda engine is remarkably reliable, propelling Max VERSTAPPEN into the championship leader, Mercedes is slowly climbing the slope and closing its gap more and more, Ferrari takes the hit and loses big points in the driver and constructor championship.
The team leaders have plenty to do on the pit wall. Because beyond the driver who is one with his machine, it's a whole company that surrounds him. Like a circus that moves from town to town, F1 travels the world from circuit to circuit, between Australia, the USA, the Middle East, Europe, the drivers and their teams fight wheel to wheel at high speed , strategy versus strategy.
The development of the show and the interest of the fans grow in particular since the acquisition by the American group Liberty Media and the Netflix series "Drive to survive". We thus discover the hidden face of the great prizes, the logistical, strategic and even psychological aspect. All of these elements make up the beauty of a grand prix weekend.
The indiscretions of the paddock promise other novelties in the coming seasons. New manufacturers and new formats are on file with the FIA. The future will tell us which turn F1 takes. For the moment, the promises are fulfilled.

Arnaud E.