Formula 1 bosses have unveiled the first car built to the radically new 2022 rules that will be introduced for next season in a bid to increase competition.
A prototype machine built to the new rules was unveiled at Silverstone ahead of weekend’s British Grand Prix, giving the first official glimpse at the simplified aerodynamics that will feature on the new cars.
The rules package was developed over the course of two years by the FIA, motorsport’s governing body, and F1 teams and bosses. They put more emphasis on mechanical rather than aerodynamic grip, which should make it easy for the cars to follow each other closely.
F1 managing director Ross Brawn said: “We still have cars struggling to follow each other during the race. The regulations for 2022 will address this problem and create an opportunity for closer battles and more wheel-to-wheel racing.”
The rules include simpler front wings and the banning of barge boards and related aerodynamic devices, with the addition of a large diffuser under each sidepod to boost mechanical grip.
There will be restrictions on aerodynamic elements in certain areas of the car, although the rules will still allow for differentiation in the nose, front wing, engine intakes and sidepods.
The other notable styling change is the introduction of larger, 18in wheels, complete with new low-profile Pirelli tyres.
The rules also feature tweaks to the suspension, brakes and chassis, with the weight of the cars increased from 743kg to 768kg.
Nikola Tombazis, the FIA’s technical chief for single-seaters, said: “The FIA has led a superb collaborative effort with Formula 1 and the teams to identify the areas we feel will have the biggest impact on the ability of the cars to race each other closely on the track.”
The new-look machines will be introduced alongside new cost-capping rules to limit the advantages of the biggest teams such as Mercedes-AMG and Ferrari. Plans to introduce new powertrain rules have been delayed, but are still under consideration.