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F1 | New Wheel Covers For F1 2022 On Display In Barcelona

Pirelli continue their 2022 18-inch wheel testing in Barcelona as Alfa Romeo debut the new for next season wheel cover designs with Robert Kubica aboard the Ferrari powered C41.

Much noise has been made about the new for next season enlarged 18-inch wheels coming to Formula One as part of the latest regulation changes, however for many, myself included, the (re) introduction of aerodynamic wheel covers has perhaps slipped under the radar somewhat - and thanks to the efforts of the Alfa Romeo team, on Tuesday we got our first look at exactly how these new designs might appear on Grand Prix cars next season...

Initially making an appearance back in the 2009 season, before being banned by the FIA ahead of 2010, the reintroduction of wheel covers in Formula One have been designed in conjunction with the major rules overhaul of next year to help increase overtaking opportunities by allowing following cars to run closer in the dirty air of the car ahead - something that is becoming increasingly difficult in modern Formula One despite the introduction of the much maligned DRS drag reduction device.

As an aerodynamic tool I'm sure the FIA and various technical boffins in the sport know what they are doing, but as a fan, I'm not sure if I'd welcome back this visual change to the new cars. I didn't particularly like them back in 2009, and if the testing shots from Saub... Alfa Romeo are anything to go by, I don't think I'm going to like them next year either!

What do you think of the return to wheel covers in Formula One? Do you like the new look, or would you prefer to see them left off the 2022 rules allocation?
About author
Paul Jeffrey
RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.

Comments

Hey Paul, if it brings better racing, it's all good. Sure, the visuals could be prettier, but in this case it's hopefully function over form. Just look at how the halo was demonized and that was a safety measure that already has saved lives! Let's give this one another go and we'll see! =)
 
If they want to increase overtaking, why - for Pete's sake - can they not just ban aerodynamic front wings!?

You can have a device there, but a stronger, flat, no-chord element that can prominently display sponsors. Add endplates that don't cut tires or break off when touching a car (or going over kerbs).

Better yet, make the trailing edge of the wing element like the old CART Handford Device. It does nothing but cause drag UNLESS you are following a car through a corner. Then possibly the trailing car has a slight edge exiting corners. (But the wing has to not generate downforce in either state to work this way.)

Here's an example of the Handford in action.
 
If they want to increase overtaking, why - for Pete's sake - can they not just ban aerodynamic front wings!?

You can have a device there, but a stronger, flat, no-chord element that can prominently display sponsors. Add endplates that don't cut tires or break off when touching a car (or going over kerbs).

Better yet, make the trailing edge of the wing element like the old CART Handford Device. It does nothing but cause drag UNLESS you are following a car through a corner. Then possibly the trailing car has a slight edge exiting corners. (But the wing has to not generate downforce in either state to work this way.)

Here's an example of the Handford in action.

Its a great thing those in FOM don't agree with your archaic thinking. The CART Days sucked with with the Handford, it was a crutch. A lazy one at that. And while they're at it, just remove the front wings too? That kind of thinking is more in common with a person having leg pain. Solution? Just cut it off.:rolleyes:

While they're doing the covers again, you can't forget the LED Christmas lights displaying a sponsor.:D
It was already done two decades ago, almost to the month (missed by one month).

2001 backstretch at PIR
EU32XIwXgAEC3t9.jpg
 
If they want to increase overtaking, why - for Pete's sake - can they not just ban aerodynamic front wings!?

You can have a device there, but a stronger, flat, no-chord element that can prominently display sponsors. Add endplates that don't cut tires or break off when touching a car (or going over kerbs).

Better yet, make the trailing edge of the wing element like the old CART Handford Device. It does nothing but cause drag UNLESS you are following a car through a corner. Then possibly the trailing car has a slight edge exiting corners. (But the wing has to not generate downforce in either state to work this way.)

Here's an example of the Handford in action.
Hanford device was a great thing in CART back in the day but the speed they worked was pretty high, meaning almost 400kph and it worked more like a parachute (original goal) so I'm not sure how effective it would be in F1, I think their cars have enough power to make these devices have little to no impact (on road courses)
 
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If they want to increase overtaking, why - for Pete's sake - can they not just ban aerodynamic front wings!?

You can have a device there, but a stronger, flat, no-chord element that can prominently display sponsors. Add endplates that don't cut tires or break off when touching a car (or going over kerbs).

Better yet, make the trailing edge of the wing element like the old CART Handford Device. It does nothing but cause drag UNLESS you are following a car through a corner. Then possibly the trailing car has a slight edge exiting corners. (But the wing has to not generate downforce in either state to work this way.)

Here's an example of the Handford in action.

Well, I mean.... The Hanford device is what caused the crash that killed Greg Moore, isn't it? The super dirty air it created generated a ton of instability for following cars. Not just loss of downforce.

I'm game with limiting the downforce, though. Cut off the wings, maybe have a little bit of a venturi in the sidepods, and lets slide these boys around again.
 
It's all personal tastes in the end, but I do like them. In fact, I'm so used to the smaller wheels, that the only way I'm liking these 18' inches wheels is with the covers on.

As a note, weren't these covers introduced back in 2007? I was just 10 back then but I remember the Ferrari had covers on all 4 wheels, and by 2008 almost all teams, if not all, had covers in at least one of the axles
 
Hey Paul, if it brings better racing, it's all good. Sure, the visuals could be prettier, but in this case it's hopefully function over form. Just look at how the halo was demonized and that was a safety measure that already has saved lives! Let's give this one another go and we'll see! =)

I've watched this sport for 35 years now. Any change, whether it be the HALO, the engine sounds etc... I know fans will adapt. We always do.

But I gotta say, those narrow rear wing cars from a few years ago still look weird as heck to me.

Really excited for 2022. And I like the wheel covers.
 
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I don't know why they changed "the tire / tire ratio" ... I really liked the current one. (the rear wheel is very fat, with very large sides :cool:)

but .... the best ratio of wheel + car size ... were those of the 98-08 ... those cars were small, but with wheels according to their size. they really seemed fast.

-in addition, I never liked the "current" tendency to :cry:. ya know: black rubber tire + black rim: black stain without soul. you can have the best paint ... but the wheel will totally look like a black stain. nothing else.

-before they were silver ... to highlight the whole set
-or black with a "white ribbon" or some color.
- or full black. matching the livery of the car
- or gold rim ...

It's just my opinion but the 2000s bridgestones and BBS, ENKEI and OZ racing tires were the best combinations ever ... ever.

BBS SILVER
FERRARI F2000 (year 2000)


13 Belgian Grand Prix Belgium Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot racefansdotnet-20200316-1...jpg


ferrari_f1-2000_46.jpg


BBS gold
(jaguar r1)
02 Brazilian Grand Prix Brazil Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo BA4.jpg

04 British Grand Prix United Kingdom Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone Great Britain 2000 Johnn...jpg


08 Canadian Grand Prix Canada Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal 008-19.jpg


OZ Racing black with a "ribbon" (yellow)
(jordan ej10b)
05 Spanish Grand Prix Spain Circuit de Catalunya, Montmeló f1-spanish-gp-2000-heinz-harald-fre...jpg


OZ Racing black with a "ribbon" (white)
(williams fw22)

13 Belgian Grand Prix Belgium Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot racefansdotnet-20200316-1...jpg


OZ Racing black with a "ribbon" (black)
(sauber c19)
06 European Grand Prix Germany Nürburgring, Nürburg 00 racefansdotnet-20200316-111206-303.jpg


OZ Racing full black
(minardi m02 and benetton b200)

10 Austrian Grand Prix Austria A1-Ring, Spielberg minardi_m02.jpg


13 Belgian Grand Prix Belgium Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot p belgian gp fisichella.jpg


and the...

ENKEI silver
(maclaren mp-4/15)
04 British Grand Prix United Kingdom Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone gran bretana silverstone...jpg


10 Austrian Grand Prix Austria A1-Ring, Spielberg 7 941.jpg


13 Belgian Grand Prix Belgium Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot z9 belgian gp hakkinen (2).jpg


Over the years, teams simply stopped "painting" the wheels and left them black or silver without paint. all looking the same and boring (no little details). one more small detail that was lost.

also ... the proportion changed. the car is currently longer. before they were shorter ... making them "appear" wider ... like powerful go carts.

OLD proportion
(2000)
vs
NEW proportion
(2019)

00.jpg
 
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If they want to increase overtaking, why - for Pete's sake - can they not just ban aerodynamic front wings!?

You can have a device there, but a stronger, flat, no-chord element that can prominently display sponsors. Add endplates that don't cut tires or break off when touching a car (or going over kerbs).

Better yet, make the trailing edge of the wing element like the old CART Handford Device. It does nothing but cause drag UNLESS you are following a car through a corner. Then possibly the trailing car has a slight edge exiting corners. (But the wing has to not generate downforce in either state to work this way.)

Here's an example of the Handford in action.
I don't see your point in referencing the Cart oval configuration as a solution. Cart/Champcar and indycar have road and oval aero setups. The Cart aero of the time was a standard multi element wing with end plates. It wasn't as complex as f1 but all the issues were still there in reference to cutting tires, breaking and such. If I remember correctly back then Cart were having issues with passing then too due to the aero config on road courses. If you want to put the oval style aero setup on f1 cars expect some very boring very slow races and monaco would barely happen.
 
Couldn't care less about some hub caps. When the car is moving, I won't even see them.
Regardless, 2022 is highly likely to be much more competitive - for more than two teams.
 
I may be accused of being archaic and or arthritic, but here goes. I agree with @Ryan Soucy . Cart and IndyCar aren't and don't pretend to be F1. F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport, but we old Yanks do like to see cars follow as close as they can, no not Nascar close, that's bumper cars ;) This is what's been great about our circuit racing.

The F1 engineers have said repeatedly; "Give us the underside of the car, you can have the wings and we'll be able to put on a great show". So far...........crickets is all we've heard for almost 30 years.

The wheel covers are great for engineering, but it's just more beauty being stripped away from the sport I love. It may help fractionally with directing airflow, but my guess is we'll see smaller brake ducts because the covers will pull more are through the braking system on each wheel. We'll see.

Thanks for the article @Paul Jeffrey
 
I may be accused of being archaic and or arthritic, but here goes. I agree with @Ryan Soucy . Cart and IndyCar aren't and don't pretend to be F1. F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport, but we old Yanks do like to see cars follow as close as they can, no not Nascar close, that's bumper cars ;) This is what's been great about our circuit racing.
@Paul Jeffrey
I am more and more convinced that the idea of F1 as the "pinnacle of motorsport" is not true. From a technological point of view, sure, F1 has the most advanced cars (I guess). But when it comes to racing itself, other series provide a far better show. Indycar, right now, is probably the most exciting series to watch: better looking cars (no question there), a terrific field of drivers and far less politics, money matters, pay drivers, etc.

I still love F1, of course, but I no longer put it on a pedestal as I used to do.

That said, those new wheel covers look ok, no more, no less, but I don't like the move to 18 inch tires. However, if the racing is better, than why not? In the end, it's all about the races. What I'd like to see is a return to shorter cars and a move away from the current extra-long and far too heavy cars. I've seen pictures of what the cars will look like in 2022 and it's not bad, better than the present day F1s, at least.
 
Hey Paul, if it brings better racing, it's all good. Sure, the visuals could be prettier, but in this case it's hopefully function over form. Just look at how the halo was demonized and that was a safety measure that already has saved lives! Let's give this one another go and we'll see! =)
All the security that is better Every year is saving lives, yes...
But Not the Halo specificly ! Stop with that naïve Halo BS !
 

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