Stella Backs F1 Regulations: Low-Drag Circuits Now Present Challenges

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Aiming to minimize the negative impact of turbulent air and enhance closer car pursuit, F1 introduced a new set of regulations in 2022. The changes encouraged a shift towards ground-effects and less complex top aerodynamic surfaces.

Despite criticism that this year’s aerodynamic development has lessened the intended effect, making corner chasing more challenging, the majority view these alterations positively.

Yet, the FIA’s decision to shorten DRS zones during the initial races, coupled with Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s dominance, has led some to critique the races for lacking thrill.

However, Stella argues that this doesn’t point to any shortcomings in the transition to ground-effects. Rather, it highlights the issues tied to straight-line speed, especially evident on low-drag circuits such as Jeddah, Spa, and Monza.

Andrea Stella, the Italian engineer, clarified, “I wouldn’t attribute it to the limitations of the regulations.

“From last year’s observations with this new car generation, it’s definitely easier to keep pace in corners due to the estimated 30% reduction in turbulent air.

“Circuits that used to make overtaking challenging, like Hungary, are now more conducive to following.

Andrea Stella, Team Principal, McLaren

Photo by: Steven Tee / F1 Flow Images

“The complex part comes when exiting the last corner close to the car in front, which then makes it possible to mount an attack thanks to DRS.

“I’d argue that this aspect of racing has seen significant improvement with the new car generation.”

Stella also noted that due to ground-effect cars now creating cleaner airflow, the slipstream’s effectiveness has dropped, making straight-line overtaking tougher.

He added, “With circuits like Spa or Monza, where a significant towing effect is needed for overtaking, the new generation of cars produces less, let’s say, draft from the car in front.

“This could make overtaking a bit harder on these types of circuits.

“Essentially, this presents the two sides of the same coin. But overall, I’m pleased that following other cars has become easier than it was with the prior car generation.”

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about F1 rules 2022

What changes were made to the F1 rules in 2022?

In 2022, F1 regulations were amended to encourage a shift towards ground-effects and less complex top aerodynamic surfaces, aimed at minimizing turbulent air and enhancing closer car pursuit.

What is the general consensus on the 2022 F1 rule changes according to Andrea Stella?

According to Andrea Stella, the majority view the rule changes positively, noting that the new car generation makes it easier to keep pace in corners due to a significant reduction in turbulent air.

What issue does Stella highlight with the new generation of F1 cars?

Stella highlights that while the new generation of cars makes it easier to follow other cars, especially around corners, they make straight-line overtaking more challenging, particularly on low-drag circuits like Spa or Monza.

What does Stella suggest about the effectiveness of DRS with the new car generation?

Stella suggests that with the new car generation, DRS becomes more valuable as it allows cars to mount an attack after exiting the last corner close to the car in front, improving this aspect of racing significantly.

Does Stella see the 2022 F1 rules as a limitation or an advancement?

Stella views the 2022 F1 rule changes as an advancement, expressing satisfaction that following other cars has become easier than it was with the previous car generation, despite the challenges in overtaking on certain circuits.

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