Everything You Need To Know About The 2022 Formula 1 Season

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Can Max Verstappen defend his title?

The first race of the 2022 F1 season will occur on March 20 in Bahrain. There's still a lot of time to kill before then, but we'll be here with your weekly fix of F1-related news.

We thought we'd answer the most asked question on Google this week, but that didn't work out. It turns out what most people want to know is whether F1 drivers urinate in their suits. The answer is yes, in case you were wondering. They go before a race most of the time, but if it goes on for too long, then yes. Daniel Ricciardo said so on Ellen.

Instead, let's address a few rumors and break down the new rules for the 2022 season.

Is Hamilton Retiring?

No. Lewis Hamilton did what any normal human being does over his annual holiday. He dropped the daily grind and did something more fun.

Just think about Sir Hamilton's life for a second. For 11 out of 12 months in a year, almost every move he makes is recorded. Not even discussions between him and the team are a secret anymore. If that was your life, what would you do over the December break?

Yup, shut down all social media accounts and escape to your private island. Hamilton has enough money to do whatever he wants, and what he does during his time off is, quite honestly, none of our business. The rumors suggesting his retirement are based on conjecture, and the man is just taking a break from the permanent spotlight.

The main reason for the speculation is Max Verstappen's 2021 championship win. But Hamilton has bounced back before. He lost to Alonso early in his career and lost to Nico Rosberg in 2016. This isn't his first time grappling with defeat.

Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz
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Everything You Need To Know About The 2022 Formula 1 Season
Everything You Need To Know About The 2022 Formula 1 Season

What About The Returning Champion?

Christian Horner recently extended his Red Bull contract until 2026, and Verstappen has stated that he has no intention of leaving Red Bull. Sergio Perez's contract is until the end of 2022, but the duo works together so nicely that we'd be surprised if Red Bull shook things up. Thanks to the celebration at Red Bull headquarters, we now know Verstappen drives an NSX.

With the new rules always being implemented, it's impossible to predict a winner. The main difference is that Verstappen is defending, and Hamilton is challenging. We'll only get to see what the new cars can do during the first test in Barcelona in late February.

You can be sure that Red Bull is going to bring it. So will Mercedes. A more pertinent question is whether these two will remain the top two teams. Ferrari is eking closer to reclaiming greatness…

Red Bull
Red Bull

Winglets, Wheels And Wheel Covers

The most noticeable changes to the new cars are the winglets, wheel covers, and larger tires.

The winglets direct airflow away from the rear wing, while the wheel covers are more of a regulatory device. These new covers prevent the aerodynamic engineers from directing airflow out via the wheels.

The teams spent a lot of time and money developing the perfect airflow out via the wheels, and now they won't be able to anymore. This is one of the main cost-cutting measures the FIA is implementing to attract more teams to the sport.

The 18-inch wheels are a big step up from the current cars. The profile is much smaller, which means less sidewall deflection and less overheating. Teams also aren't allowed to use a hydraulic suspension and have to rely on dampers and springs.

These new elements were designed to make the racing much closer than ever before.

F1 TV/YouTube

New Aerodynamics

Instead of the flat floor used in recent years, the new cars will have two tunnels to maximize downforce underneath instead of air flowing over the top. In addition to this, the front and rear wing designs have been simplified. The teams still have room to play around, but the new template is quite strict.

Testing the new aerodynamics will be tricky. The better a team does in the previous year, the less time it's allowed to spend in the wind tunnel. So Mercedes-AMG Petronas will have the least time, while Haas can spend the entire February in a wind tunnel if they want (not really, but you get the idea).

The idea behind the new aero is to force closer racing. Last year's cars produced 55% downforce when they came within one car length of another vehicle. The unique aerodynamic rules push that figure up to 86%.

F1 TV/YouTube
F1 TV/YouTube

More Races

While many fans still hope for an African Grand Prix, it will not happen in 2022. Instead, another American race has been added to the calendar due to increased viewership.

The inaugural Miami Grand Prix will take place in May, and it will likely be a nouveau riche version of the Monaco Grand Prix. It will be a street-based circuit, and we can't wait to see if it lives up to the hype.

If all goes well, Singapore, Melbourne, Montreal, and Suzuka will return in 2022. All of these tracks were skipped in 2021. The new United Arab Emirates tracks will also return, and we hope this year's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix goes better than the terrible race we had to endure last year.

F1
F1

Two New Faces

Pierre Gasly was teamed up with Max Verstappen at the start of 2020, but he underperformed. As a result, he was demoted back to AlphaTauri and has become quite the racer. It will be interesting to see where he ends up in 2023.

Alex Albon replaced Gasly for the remainder of the season, but he too underperformed. Eventually, Red Bull signed Sergio Perez. After sitting the 2021 season out, Albon is returning as a Williams driver.

Zhou Guanyu is entirely new to the sport and is China's first-ever F1 driver. He joins Alfa Romeo, teamed with Valtteri Bottas. No pressure, then.

Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen/Facebook

Look Out For Haas

No, seriously. The only American team on the grid was quite open about 2021 being a lost cause. Instead of spending time and effort to develop a competitive 2021 car, Haas decided to pool what little resources it had to design a proper 2022 car. As you read earlier, the rule changes are pretty significant.

Haas also gave its drivers time to gain experience, though neither scored a point. Mick Schumacher shows great talent, and Mazepin spun with less frequency as his skills improved. From now on, we shall no longer refer to him as Mazespin, as we feel he no longer deserves the derogatory nickname.

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