F1 2022 cars will be a “lot faster” on straights, says Red Bull


While teams are continuing to work on finalising their designs ahead of pre-season testing at Barcelona in Spain later this month, they already have some good knowledge of how they will perform on track.

Speaking after the launch event for Red Bull’s RB18 car, which featured only an upgraded show model rather than its finished product, Wache said one interesting characteristic for the year ahead will be straightline speed performance.

With the switch from cars that generate much of their downforce from wings, to going towards a ground effect concept, the change has led to a big reduction in drag.

Explaining the new approach with the 2022 rules, Wache said: “What they wanted to do is clearly to create and generate the downforce from the ground compared to before – where it was generated by the ground but also mainly by the front wing, rear wing and the body work.

“It will affect, for sure, the ride of the car, the mechanical grip and the drag of the car.

“This generation of downforce is quite efficient, and this type of car should be a lot quicker on the straight at these levels of downforce.”

Red Bull’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey reckons that the changes that teams have had to work through are the greatest for nearly 40 years.

“It’s been a very unusual process,” he said. “It is a huge regulation change, the biggest one we’ve had since 1983, when the Venturi cars were banned and flat-bottomed cars were introduced.”

Red Bull Racing RB18 detail

Red Bull Racing RB18 detail

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Other changes that teams are beginning to understand is that the nose will be a lot longer, and the change of tyres to 18-inch wheels will mean a lot of catching up with knowledge.

Chief engineer Paul Monaghan said: “The nose box is certainly longer. So wherever you put your split for front of chassis into the structure at the front, that structure has got a lot longer, the overhang is greater.

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“[With the tyres] the thinking is road relevance, in that a majority of road cars now have relatively big wheels, but they also come with pretty low profile tyres.

“We’ve come up on the wheel size to 18 inches as a line in the sand. It’s certainly put a bit of weight onto the car. The tyre is bigger overall, so it has a fairly significant aerodynamic effect.

“And then you’ve got the characteristics of the big tyre to try and understand as well. We’ve sort of got reasonable knowledge of last year’s ones. It’s a bit of a new drawing board for us, isn’t it?”

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