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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?
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Paul Jeffrey
RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.


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.

Greg died by a head strike into the grass. It wasn't from "dirty air".
The Handford device punched a massive hole in the air for the trailing car, it was a little unsettling but not some hinderance. It was simply a parachute.

Lead changes doubled to 62 passes more than any race prior. You don't double the amount of lead changes with so called 'dirty air' being created.
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.
Exactly what I said a few months ago on another news item. Birds of a feather;):D I also said, at the rate we're going, it won't be long and this is what we'll see:roflmao:
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It looks odd but no odder than the stuff the teams have stuck on their cars. Besides by the end of 2022 we'll be used to it and it'll only ever be brought up to 'prove' F1 is broken compared to an imaginary past.

F1 is an engineering championship that we get to watch , if you don't like it then don't watch.
Exclusive photos of Liberty Media, FIA and many, many other people who think they have it under good authority that additional resources are being tapped for ideas to increase competition and satisfy the at or around 60 crowd (me included) is about to be released.
Early indications are that the trailing car may use the Batchute on the leading car, but only if the leading car has made its mandatory 18 pit stops and at least one engineer did the macarana during the champagne and caviar stop, and has not employed the rear fire exhaust or the Batoil and Batnails on a trailing car of them.
Seriously, the more they do the more ridiculous it gets all because they fail to see that the aero introduced a dozen or so years ago was a problem. It is at the point of funny bad.
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Personally, the wheel covers have never bothered me, especially those of 2009. But if they are the ones in the photos they are really horrible! I hope they make them visually more satisfying as Ferrari did by printing fake wheel spokes on them.
I am much more bothered aesthetically by the HALO and the fact that the FIA have not yet understood that it takes more freedom and fewer regulatory constraints, less electronics and more mechanics if the public is to return to interest in the championship. With no flat bottom and lower cars (the Sauber / Alfa in the photo behind has a notch of ground clearance XD), you can put all the devices you want including the DRS but the cars will never make good use of the wake. We will see what happens next year. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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

Internet post of the decade. All criticism and no ideas.

I like front wings partly for aesthetics, but also as an attenuation device to hinder wheel to wheel contact. But lets face it, science has won. Designers can create cars that are absolutely jaw-dropping in performance. But unfortunately that serves no purpose, F1's only purpose is entertainment and the science is hindering that. So either we submit to the other posters here who say "blegh, F1 is done, ugly cars" or we try to push it - in an acceptable way - towards a regime where there is creative freedom but we can see the drivers differentiate themselves through their talents.

Yes, that balance is incredibly hard to do. But I think it's worth trying to come up with solutions instead of crapping on everything. I'd love to see them rely more on the sim community where costs of implementing ideas is cheap, and the correlations are meaningful (though not exact, yes).

Lets not let "perfect" be the enemy of "very good", as the saying goes.
I see I am among the few that actually like the wheels.

I mean, it does take some getting used to and they don't look 'F1' anymore, but they do look brutal as hell.
And I would think they're more relevant to wheel makers because exactly no one buys 13 inch wheels. (exaggerating of course, lets not forget the Austin Mini...)
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.
I'm not sure how you got that out of one of my ideas. Think of it this way: what IF you could design a front wing so that an advantage is conferred to the trailing driver? That idea should leave ALL open wheel sanctioning bodies salivating!!! They all suffer the same malady and their "new-fangled" solutions have all come up short. I mentioned nothing of the CART front wing. If anything, I want something that I've NEVER seen before. I guarantee you it won't work 100%! It will NOT completely solve the problem. So does that mean its not worth trying? We sit on our hands until the perfect idea comes along? I've got nothing to lose by dreaming...
When I say black is not a colour, I mean it's a non-colour. Like white, and grey. So many cars these days are white, black, and grey. It's so drab and ugly looking at cars in a parking lot. What ever happened to colours?
Not really a fan of them but then again I haven't liked anything they've done to the cars for a long while now and the wheel covers aren't the worst of the changes by a long shot. After many years I've finally been moving on from F1 anyway, fell off last year and haven't bothered watching any of this season. WEC and endurance racing is far more interesting to me these days.
How about increasing braking distances to re-introduce more potential for overtakes?

Different brake materials, disks, pressures etc.?

The current braking distances are so short so there's no margin for skill / risk taking to play a part.
Seen MotoGP the other day and they have these half wheel covers, not pretty and no idea why they have them now but it is what it is, as long as the racings good I don't care.
Seen MotoGP the other day and they have these half wheel covers, not pretty and no idea why they have them now but it is what it is, as long as the racings good I don't care.
Primarily to contain brake temperatures in cold weather.
With modifications they will duct cooler air over the discs and rotors in warm weather.
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 totally agree. Even back in 2017, I can't believe they went with the more downforce route instead of what you're suggesting.
I hated them the first time I saw them back in 2008, and I was so happy when FIA banned them. But the FIA now is as incompetent as always has been and they go back again on their own rulling and make them mandatory.

I hate FIA incompetency. First they go from the late 90's until 2017 stating that the cars had outgrown the tracks and it was no longer safe to allow them to develop aero, then in 2017 with cars reaching 380kmh at baku they decided to increase massively the aero freedom, with cars now taking corner up to 50kmh faster than 12 months before, it seems that the cars no longer had outgrown the tracks because reasons.

They also always seem to over react and make choices with less sense than a beheaded chicken running all over the place. In 1998 they said the cars where too wide and that slick tyres should be banned, in 2009 slicks come back and in 2017 the cars are the most wide ever. In 2008 tyre covers where banned, now they are mandatory. In 2009 the cars aero was massively nerfed, in 2017 increased more than ever in history. In 1994 TC, ABS, active suspension, launch control and fully automatic transmission where banned, in 2001 all of them where allowed again with the exception of ABS and active suspension, only to be banned again in 2008. In 2009 tyres width was reduced, only to be increased like never before in 2017. 2009 kers allowed, 2010 kers banned, 2014 kers comes back again in ers form... Seriously that federation don't seem on control of anything at all.

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