Aeronautical engineering PhD holder and current FIA technical head of single seaters, Nikolas Tombazis, is confident that the new technical regulations which will be introduced in 2022 will make the gap between the fastest and slowest teams being halved, leading to battles which should be a lot closer on track.
Formula 1 will introduce entirely new cars in 2022 which will focus mainly on ground effect aerodynamics in order to generate downforce. This should allow the new Formula 1 cars to follow more closely as well as closing the field.
Nikolas Tombazis is predicting the gap between the fastest and slowest teams will be cut in half from around three seconds to just 1.5s, but at the same time he admits that it will be difficult to replicate 2021’s dramatic battle for the world titles:
“It is hard to imagine that we can beat [last] season in the first year of the new formula,” he said, as reported by Auto Motor und Sport. “But it is important that we achieve the two goals that we have set ourselves. The field should be closer together and it should be easier to follow another car. At the moment about three seconds separate first to last. We hope that by the end of 2022 it will only be one and a half seconds.” – he added.
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Despite the distances may be bigger in the first part of the 2022 championship, the FIA technical head of single seaters is confident the gap will reduce as the Formula 1 campaign progresses and teams see what others have done in terms of technical solutions: “The cars will quickly adjust when it becomes clear what works and what doesn’t.”
Looking back to the 2009 season, when the last major technical overhaul was introduced, the former McLaren and Ferrari engineer is aware that mistakes were made as rules were changed following pressure from the teams, which meant they ultimately did not achieve the main target of leading to improved on track racing. He is hopeful that has been avoided this time.
“The goals [in 2009] were correct. The basic measures too. The mistake was that the teams were given too much freedom. That is why the goals were missed in the end,” he said, adding that the FIA can make tweaks during the season if needed: “I expect adjustments over the course of the season if things don’t work out as intended.”
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