All the F1 launch dates in 2022
Launch season in 2021 was a strange affair given the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, forcing teams to get creative, particularly as they were essentially unveiling updated versions of their 2020 models.
But 2022 is a very different story as F1 embarks on the start of a vital new rule cycle that threatens to shake up the pecking order – meaning teams will want to be particularly careful in keeping any creative design pursuits under wraps for as long as possible. It has made online launches the typical route, although some are finding ways to get fans involved and hold physical events.
Teams have taken a variety of different approaches towards launching their cars in recent years. Some like Haas opt for a render drop followed by a look at the real car once testing begins, while others such as McLaren and Mercedes have opted to get on-track straightaway with a shakedown to coincide with the launch – albeit without giving away too much.
The overall presentation has also varied from team to team, but there should be plenty for fans to get excited about in the coming weeks as they cross off the days before testing begins on 23 February.
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Photo by: Haas F1 Team
Haas – 4 February
The Haas VF-22 car is the first produced by the American team out of its new design office in Maranello, and offered a sign of what the new cars will look like this year following the overhaul of the technical regulations.
Team boss Gunther Steiner was clear that the renders show it in an earlier phase of the development, with more to come when the VF-22 hits the track for the first time at Barcelona. Aside from the livery, which is an evolution of last year’s design, there was plenty for us to chew over that’s different from the renders and the show car that FOM presented last year.
Perhaps the most obvious difference is the team’s approach to the sidepods, with a very narrow inlet used to feed the radiators within. A relatively large undercut is also noticeable under the sidepod, which aligns well with the suspension elements in order that airflow might be fed around the sidepod without stealing too much from the entrance to the Venturi tunnels beneath.
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Red Bull Racing RB18
Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool
Red Bull – 9 February
The Milton Keynes-based team hosted a virtual launch from its Milton Keynes factory for the new RB18, which will be driven by Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in the season ahead.
But while the model on display featured the team’s latest livery, which includes more exposure for title sponsor Oracle, the team appeared to be keeping its technical secrets under wraps for now.
The RB18 that was unveiled appeared to be just an upgraded version of the FOM concept show car that was revealed last year.
While having a different nose and wing from the FOM model, much of the car was identical – suggesting Red Bull did not wish to show off its definitive version just yet.
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Andrew Green, Technical Driector, Aston Martin, Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Tom McCullough, Aston Martin peformance director, Jessica Hawkins and Nico Hulkenberg, Reserve Driver, Aston Martin
Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
Aston Martin – 10 February
The Aston Martin AMR22 features an updated livery, replacing the pink elements of former major sponsor BWT with lime green, and sports an aggressive new design in line with the updated regulations for this season.
The most visually striking feature of the car is the sidepods, with a very small box-shaped inlet with bodywork that flares out to fill out some of the reference volume that’s permissible in this area.
On the top surface of the sidepod, Aston has taken the opportunity to run with cooling gills along the car’s flank, which means that, at the rear of the car, the bodywork can taper into an extreme.
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Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36
Photo by: McLaren
McLaren – 11 February
McLaren revealed its MCL36 challenger featuring an updated livery to the team’s previous designs. In a live event on Friday held at its Woking factory featuring drivers Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, the British squad became the fourth team to unveil its new car.
Of the three 2022 designs shown so far, the MCL36 is notable for featuring a third different take on the new regulations regarding rear bodywork – with the car being similar to Aston’s approach in extending the surfaces backwards, as opposed to Haas’ narrow and sharply drooping bodywork that leaves more of the top surface of the floor exposed.
Unlike the Aston, the new McLaren’s bodywork appears to be not so tightly packaged around its Mercedes engine.
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AlphaTauri – 14 February
AlphaTauri has rarely been one of the big hitters when it comes to F1 launch season, with its only major event coming after the rebrand from Toro Rosso before the 2020 campaign started.
The plan this year is for an online launch set for 14 February, but given the team’s excellent social and digital output, there is no reason why it won’t offer a surprise or two.
Williams – 15 February
Williams was the final Formula 1 team to confirm its 2022 launch date, with the team revealing its new challenger on 15th February.
The Grove-based outfit is coming off the back of a more encouraging 2021 campaign, where it moved off the bottom of the constructors’ championship and finished eighth thanks to points-scoring finishes from both George Russell and Nicholas Latifi. As it continues to undergo a rebuilding under new owners Dorilton Capital, it hopes to make further progress with the new rules era offering a reset that should help F1’s smaller squads.
The team announced on Tuesday that it will hold an online reveal on the 15th February, which is the week before pre-season testing gets underway at Barcelona in Spain.
Ferrari – 17 February
The new regulation cycle is a natural opportunity for all teams to take a step forward, yet it is Ferrari who arguably faces the greatest expectation to return to the very front of the pack after slipping back in the last couple of years.
The F1-75 – named to mark 75 years of Scuderia Ferrari – will be launched online on the afternoon of 17 February. The car completed its first fire-up yesterday, and will likely complete a shakedown at Fiorano after being launched ahead of pre-season testing in Barcelona.
Mercedes – 18 February
Mercedes has operated with quite a traditional formula for its launches in recent years, opting to initially reveal the car via renders before then releasing pictures of it on-track during a shakedown at Silverstone.
Like Red Bull and Ferrari, Mercedes will be particularly eager to ensure it does not give much away to its primary rivals before testing. But encouragement can be taken by how early the W13 was fired up back in December. Rumours of a failed crash test have also been scotched via confirmation from the team it completed all of its FIA requirements back in mid-January.
Continued intrigue over Lewis Hamilton’s future and the arrival of George Russell for 2022 means that Mercedes’ unveiling will be one of the most talked about in launch season.
Alpine – 21 February
Similar to Aston Martin, the narrative around the rebranding of Alpine that was leant on so heavily in 2021 is no longer going to be such a story – nor will be the comeback of Fernando Alonso. Instead, this is a team that will want to signal its push to build on its breakthrough last year that saw Esteban Ocon score a shock win in Hungary, helping it clinch fifth in the constructors’ championship.
The management reshuffle at Alpine has been the main talking point over the winter, with ex-Aston Martin F1 boss Otmar Szafnauer widely expected to join following the exit of Marcin Budkowski, although nothing has yet been confirmed. No firm details have yet been revealed about the launch plans for the A522 car besides an unveil date of 21 February.
Alfa Romeo – 27 February
Alfa Romeo’s launch announcement initially sparked some confusion, given it was slated for after the opening pre-season test in Barcelona (23-25 February) had already been completed.
But the team was quick to clarify that the C42 car will be featuring in the opening test, decked out in a special livery, before the final design is revealed at the launch on 27 February.
It is an unusual approach, but it means the event will be more of a ‘season launch’ for Alfa Romeo rather than a car launch, given we’ll have already seen the full thing on-track. The new line-up of Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou means the team arguably has one of the stronger narratives going into this time of year.
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