LFormula 1 leaves behind the best championship that is remembered in decades, even and tense, dramatic until the last lap, to delve into the most anticipated rule change since the lead was hybrid almost finished with the show between 2014 and 2020, right up until this year actually.
1. NEW AND FUTURISTIC CAR
Because the first change is precisely that of the car, which is not going to be as slow from the start as expected and it is very hard to drive, as recognized by Carlos Sainz, who has already polished it up in the simulator: “Being fast and hard to drive,” he says.
The turn to the ground effect, although not totally but in essence, 18-inch wheels, plus a redesigned front wing and nose must offer some change in the current balance of power, canceling the famous dirty air almost entirely, favoring overtaking from near and far: a new show in which more teams should be in the fight for victories, that is to say, Ferrari, McLaren and Alpine. The references in the circuits will be new for all the pilots, and there will be less free areas of development for the engineers as well as fewer hours of both tunnel and computational development.
Cars are safer too, much more aggressive in design to attract younger people, use a higher proportion of sustainable fuel.
The engine changes less. It will be frozen to contain expenses, which this year the ceiling drops to 140 million per team. At what point freezes mark the future of many teams. Mercedes already has it ready, Ferrari has opted for a more aggressive version for this new cycle until 2026, Honda leaves but leaves a virtually champion engine that will now have to be maintained by Red Bull, which are not specialists in it, and Renault motoring Alpine is the unknown. Champion motors know how to do better than anyone. If they make it, they have the hungriest pilot of the old age. Putting Alonso in the Verstappen-Hamilton equation would be like fireworks.
All in all there will be some more standard components in the fuel system, as well as some additional sensors to allow the FIA to better control the power units, let us get fewer traps …
2. HAMILTON AT LAST AGAINST WHO DESTROYED HIM
He has not yet said anything to the chagrin of his millions of fans, on whether to take Villadiego’s and go home, fueling the debate a bit and highlighting the depth of the wound after Abu Dhabi. But ahead Hamilton still has the challenge of 2021, win the eighth and untold title, but improved, in version 2.0: finally fight against who dethroned him.
In 2008 Lewis won his first championship, as dramatically as he lost this year, at the last corner he took it against Felipe Massa. In 2009 it was Button in Brawn who took the crown from him but the team disappeared in 2010 when buying it Mercedes. So Lewis had no team to take revenge against and Jenson also ended up by his side at McLaren …
The other time I lost the crown as a champion, In 2016, he also could not get revenge because Nico Rosberg left the teamor, from F1, from the stress and anguished life that happened in that season to defeat him with the same car.
Now he will have his rival young, fresh, on the opposing team and wanting to prevent him from becoming the greatest again. The best challenge for Hamilton.
3. THE RUSSELL EFFECT (AND THE SAINZ-RICCIARDO)
George makes his debut in the best car, the Mercedes, alongside the giant Hamilton, whom he admires and respects. But The day he took his car in Bahrin 2020, he put Bottas elbows up to the ribs, as Hamilton did with Alonso in 2007 since leaving Australia. Watching Rosberg act, and Verstappen already knows the way to beat Lewis, but also being a compatriot and with the enemy in another car, a Red Bull, is one of the great stories that will be told this year.
The other unexpected effect is that of Carlos Sainz at Ferrari, Especially if Maranello finally succeeds with a car to be a champion, something that it has not achieved since 2007. Carlos has surpassed the leader in points, faster on one lap, very skilled in managing key moments in the race, a wonderful driver. If there is a car, the same as in McLaren with Ricciardo, elbows will sink and there could also be surprises, because at Red Bull there will not be.
4. NUMBER 1 RETURNS … AND THE FIRST CHINESE ARRIVES
A romantic and a modern touch. The first that Verstappen will bring back to number 1 in racing, something less and less classic in F1 and MotoGP. Specifically on all four wheels, since Sebastian Vettel in 2014, no one has worn it again until now that another Red Bull will do it, the one from the Dutch.
Likewise, F1 will see the first full-time Chinese driver enter the track, in the Alfa Romeo, Guanyu Zhou, third in F2 this year. It will also be the only rookie of the season. At 22 he won the Asian F3 Championship and in 2015 he finished second in the Italian F4. He was previously a test driver for Alpine and Renault.
5. 23-RACE RCORD: MIAMI DEBUTS
2022 will be the longest World Cup in history. Places like Suzuka, Montreal, Melbourne and Singapore are expected to return if Covid allows and the Miami Grand Prix debuts in May, the most picturesque note of the season. Catalonia will continue to host the Spanish Grand Prix. All compressed between March 20 (Bahrin) and November 20 (Abu Dhabi).
The Miami International Speedway has been built around the Hard Rock Stadium with three straights and DRS zones and with an estimated maximum speed of 320 km / h. So there will be two races in the US for the first time since 1984.
They will also be the longest championships between the opening acts, F2 and F3. Both championships will run on the same weekends as F1 and will go from three races per weekend to two. F2 will join F1 in 14 events in 2022, starting at the season opener in Bahrin, while F3 will compete alongside F2 and F1 in nine rounds.