Hamilton, Verstappen & Leclerc offer 2022 impressions as F1 set to unveil full-size car

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Formula 1 will get a look into the future on Thursday as the first full-size 2022-spec car will be presented at Silverstone.

The new designs were originally set to be introduced this year but that was pushed back until next season due to the financial impact of Covid-19 in 2020.

It is hoped the vastly different cars will usher in a new ultra-competitive era of F1, with the greater emphasis on ground-effect aerodynamics promoting closer racing and restrictions on development bringing the grid closer together.

Also Read:

While every F1 fan has likely seen computer drawings and even the wind tunnel model of the new 2022 car, this is the first time an actual full-scale prototype will have been produced.

And it will be put on show for all to see at this weekend's British Grand Prix.

“F1 begins an exciting new chapter in 2022 when the current rulebook is ripped up and a radically new set of regulations come into force – all designed to produce even more spectacular racing,” said an announcement on Formula1.com.

“The new era will officially kick off on Thursday at Silverstone with F1 One Begins, a dynamic launch event that will take fans on a journey through the ages before arriving at the most futuristic racing car of all time.

“Fans will not only get to see a life-size 2022 F1 car for the first time.

“They’ll also be talked through the machine’s revolutionary design by a panel of experts, who will explain the thinking behind the new concept, which will enable drivers to race each other harder than ever before.”

F1 has confirmed the event will also be live-streamed via Facebook and YouTube from 13:30pm UTC time.

As for the driver's view on the new cars, some are already getting a first taste of the future on the simulators, as teams put most if not all of their resources into 2022 development.

“It feels very different,” Ferrari's Charles Leclerc said of his first impressions.

“I think it’s a question mark for everyone, whether we are developing well or not.

“It’s such a different project. It’s very, very early days so nobody knows where we are positioning ourselves compared to the others.

“But we are working on it.”

While F1 is keen to promote the new designs as positively as possible, world champion Lewis Hamilton does have one concern.

“I’ve had a look at it,” he told Spain's AS recently. “If you are in F1, you have to understand the technology that’s in place, the complications of the budget ceiling, how difficult it will be to develop from now on.

“The cars will be heavier and slower, and that seems to be a step backwards. We should be faster and more efficient – these cars were better when they were lighter.

“But the people in charge have made those decisions and there’s nothing left to do but accept it.”

While the current cars are the fastest F1 has ever seen, Max Verstappen has never really been a big fan because of the difficulty to race closely.

However, he hopes 2022 will be a step back to take a step forward.

“Of course I haven't driven the new car yet, but we do know that the cars will be a lot slower," he said.

"I understand that it will also have very different driving characteristics. The engines will be the same, so with the same or more power and less grip, it will not be easy.

"We will see. I think it will go back to the 2014 or 2015 grip levels, so that's a big change, but the most important thing, and we all hope this, is that the racing will improve. That's what the fans will like."