The 2022 F1 rule changes are set to shake up the sport, and the area most affected will be aerodynamics. The rear wing will see multiple changes, and these could end up playing a massive role in how the cars react and perform on the track. Here’s a deeper dive into the specifics, and why the rear wing will be one of the most important parts of the car in 2022.
The new rear wings don’t produce as much down force as the earlier wings did, however the new single-piece like sleek design will dramatically change the way air flows behind the car. Once air hits these new rear wings, the turbulent wake created will be dramatically reduced as compared to anything we’ve seen to date, and will reduce the vortices produced by the cars to a negligible amount compared to the 2021 cars.
To do so, the end plates of the car are designed in a specific way to avoid the vortices from being produced, or at least reducing their effect. And if this feels like a bit too complex, we’re sorry to inform you that this is the simplest form of explanation we can provide in words.
Beam wings also make their way back onto the cars for the first time since having been banned at the start of the turbo-hybrid era in 2014. These will create a low-pressure area, which will enhance the exit air and will also create down force, making up for the reduction caused by the new rear wings. The rear wing is also one long, continuous piece- which is necessary to limit the creation of vortices which cause turbulent wake.
Though the exit air produced now would be less disturbing in the form of turbulent air to the race car following right behind for an overtake, etc. Considering how this season is supposed to bring the pack of cars closer, this will be very interesting to see!
To sum it all up, these new rear wings will reduce the down force loss caused to following cars, and that the turbulent wake which was existent due to the older-spec rear wings will no longer be of much consequence due to the vortices not causing as much trouble as they did to the following cars.
The newer cars will dramatically reduce the down force loss caused while following another car, as has been the case over the past few years when we’ve seen drivers complain about the car behaving different and being difficult while following another car. These new cars will be seen for the first time in action at Barcelona on February 23rd, when pre-season testing begins. Let’s see the effect these new-spec wings and overall new cars have!