The 2022 Formula 1 car was officially unveiled to drivers and the public during the 2021 season. At first glance, it is clear that it is pretty different from the 2021 F1 car, most notably in terms of the aerodynamic features. Quite a lot has changed with it, and with F1 cars getting bigger as time goes on, it is a relevant question to ask whether this applies to the 2022 model. So, is the 2022 F1 car bigger?
The 2022 F1 car will not be bigger than the previous models. At the most, it’ll be slightly longer, thanks to a bigger front nose cone. It will be heavier, though, with the minimum weight increasing by 5% from 752kg (1658 lbs) to 790kg (1742 lbs) due to new wheels and safety features.
While F1 cars have been getting bigger since the sport first started, not much will be changing in the 2022 season. That doesn’t mean that there is nothing important to discuss in terms of the size and weight of the car, as we’ll be seeing new tires and safety features that will change the weight and look of the car.
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Is the 2022 F1 Car Bigger?
Formula 1 cars have grown in size throughout the years, and the comparison between the first F1 and the current cars is significant. Even the difference between the new generation of F1 cars and the cars on the grid at the start of the century is stark. However, it does not appear that this trend will be continuing in 2022, as there are no reports that the 2022 F1 car will be much bigger. At the most, it might be a few centimeters longer, as the nose cone has been extended for safety purposes.
The cars were widened in 2017 from 1.8 meters to 2 meters and have stayed the same width since the change. The length of cars differs between teams, but in 2021, the Mercedes F1 car was around 3.7 meters long. The 2022 car is expected to have very similar dimensions.
The one thing on the 2022 F1 car (well, sort of) that is getting bigger is the tires it will use. F1 has used 13-inch (33 cm) tires for as long as most people can remember, but in 2022, the tires will look quite different from what we’re used to.
The 2022 tires will have 18-inch (46 cm) rims rather than 13-inch ones and will also be low-profile tires, which means the tire’s sidewall has been reduced in size. Due to a decrease in sidewall size, the overall diameter of the tires has only increased by around 2-inches (5 cm). The width of the tread on the tires will remain the same as it was in 2021.
The change in design is meant to make the cars feel more precise when being driven and have less impact on aerodynamics. Pirelli has also reported that their new tires will be more durable, which will likely make one-stop strategies in races a much more common occurrence for the 2022 season.
While there is no change in size expected for the 2022 season, we can expect to see a smaller, more compact F1 car in 2026. This is because there will be a completely new power unit developed for the 2026 cars, so teams will be able to design their cars based on the size of the new power unit.
Is the 2022 F1 Car Heavier?
Thanks to a whole host of improvements in the car’s safety, the minimum weight of the 2022 F1 car will be increasing by 5% from the previous season. This means the weight will rise to 790kg (1742 lbs) from 752kg (1658 lbs).
The reason for this is to make driving safer. The chassis will be stronger than in previous seasons and, the sides of the chassis surrounding the driver will be made more robust to help protect the driver in the event of a T-bone accident. The front nose cone has also been made longer to help dissipate the energy produced during a crash, and the rear and front of the car will be able to withstand more pressure.
These improved safety features and the new bigger tires (14kg heavier than 2021) have made the 2022 Formula 1 car heavier than its predecessor. The increase in weight will mean that the 2022 car will be a few seconds slower than the 2021 car. This will be track-dependent, but on average, the expectation is that it will be between 0.5-2 seconds slower.
What Is Changing In F1 In 2022?
We are answering whether the 2022 F1 car is bigger because there will be several changes coming to the sport in 2022. The engines will remain the same (1.6-liter V6 engines), but several aerodynamic changes will be implemented.
There have been changes to the floor, front wing, and rear wing, all designed to make following another car more straightforward and improve the chances of overtaking. There will also be wheel covers on all the tires to prevent engineers from directing air over the tires and onto the trailing cars. These changes are meant to reduce dirty air coming off cars and change the way cars produce downforce, making being behind another car much easier.
However, the aerodynamic changes (apart from the wheel covers) will not add any height or weight to the cars. Instead, the improved safety features will make the cars heavier than in previous seasons. While this will result in slower lap times, it is to the benefit of drivers, as they will be safer than ever, which will make F1 a less dangerous sport.
If you’re interested in learning more about changes in the 2022 F1 season and want a more comprehensive breakdown, check out this article.
The 2022 F1 car will not be getting wider or longer. However, it will be heavier than the 2021 model, thanks to many safety features and new 18-inch tires. While these will make the cars slower, it will be worth it, as we’ll hopefully see a more entertaining and safer sport because of these new features.