Will smaller teams be forced to build new cars?

Author of the article: , published July 30, 2022.

Due to the announced changes to the rules regarding the bottom of the car next season, some smaller teams could be forced to build a completely new car.

Formula 1 did not originally plan to change the rules after this season, so some of the smaller teams built this year's cars with the intention of transferring as many parts as possible to the next season, thus reducing costs.

But the FIA ​​plans to introduce rule changes ahead of the 2023 season to limit car bounce by raising cars as much as 25 millimeters off the ground, which could force more or less all teams to build new cars.

This will not be a big blow for the larger teams, who were probably planning new racing cars anyway, as they have already found solutions to reduce the weight of the racing cars based on the data from this season, but smaller teams would feel such a change. "We are currently in the phase where we are defining the parameters of the racing car for next season," explains Guillaume Dezoteux from Alpha Tauri. "It is necessary to know what the volume of the fuel tank will be, what the optimal weight distribution is, and with such a change in aerodynamics, it is necessary to know how it will affect the performance of the racing car. If the rules are changed too late, it may happen that certain matters have already been determined and it will be too late to change them again. The race car chassis will be built in the next few weeks.”

At Alfa Romeo, they will try to transfer parts from this year's racing car to the next season.

Dezoteux says that raising the bottom of the car by 25mm, as much as the FIA ​​plans, may mean that they will have to design the car from scratch. “If you raise the edge of the bottom of the racing car to reduce the vacuum, it changes a lot. For example, what kind of energy will the tires be exposed to and what the suspension is doing. Such a change affects the operating range of the suspension, as it may be necessary to raise the racer further. Today, if we wanted to use a thicker board on the bottom of the racing car, it would be almost impossible, because we cannot raise the racing car by 20 millimeters, as the suspension does not allow it. If you change a single parameter, it affects everything else.”

The technical director of Alfa Romeo, Jan Monchaux, explained that, despite everything, they will try to transfer as many parts of the racing car as possible to the next season. "If we wanted to change everything and redesign the entire racing car, it would be too expensive for us and would jeopardize the budget for the development of the racing car during the season," he explained. "That's why we will transfer some elements. You will see which elements these will be in February. I believe they will be quite visible," he added.

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