What’s changing in 2022’s F1 cars? | #drivedigitalsuccess #7

Show notes

For F1’s Chief Technical Officer - Pat Symonds - and his team, it’s been a turbulent time. With F1 making its most far-reaching rule changes, the cars for 2022 required radical re-designed. In this episode of „#drivedigitalsuccess“, Pat explains the changes made, the challenges faced and how all of this will impact this season of F1.


  1. Why did F1 decide to change up the rules this year?
  2. What changes have been made to this year’s F1 cars?
  3. Who gave input on the changes for car design?
  4. How will the design changes impact the racing experience?

🏎️ #drivedigitalsuccess Take a technical glimpse behind the scenes of modern F1 racing to understand how technology is accelerating motorsport! How is racing connected to Cloud? What technology drives a modern race car? How can sustainability and racing go together? We talk with experts from the Haas F1 team as well as industry experts to answer questions you don’t even know you have yet.


🎙️Guest: Pat Symonds - Chief Technical Officer at F1

🎙️Host: Chris Medland — Formula One Expert and Presenter

🎙️Host: Mandy Carter — Cloud Expert & Head of Marketing Ionos UK


00:00 | Intro 03:26 | Who gave input for the changes? 07:50 | Has F1 ever made changes like this before? 10:07 | How have the F1 cars changed in 2022?


☁️ Brought to you by IONOS- First-class cloud and IT infrastructure: https://cloud.ionos.com/

🎧 Produced by digital kompakt – Your expert in first class podcasts: www.digitalkompakt.de

Show transcript

00:00:00: Welcome to drive digital.

00:00:08: You're behind the scenes podcast about Formula 1 and the technology driving is presented by Chris medland and Mandy Carter Howard b.

00:00:18: Class clown.

00:00:19: Music.

00:00:27: Technical officer formula.

00:00:30: And that way to talk about your new cars that will be racing in Formula 1 this year and I think the easier question to ask you is what's not changing in 20-22 on the car.

00:00:39: Alarm probably pedals seatbelts steering wheel everything else is changed but no seriously how are you in it hasn't changed maybe as much as I do things says that's now frozen internal combustion engine

00:00:53: change the 10% ethanol in the film so and that's a fully sustainable ethanol that's required some recalibration and some work on the engine.

00:01:02: On the chassis side pretty well everything is change

00:01:05: where would you focus on then in terms of the biggest changes what are the things that if anissina a Formula 1 car in the past and what some of last year's races when they see this year's cars which are the biggest areas that are going to be like

00:01:17: external things at the fancy and actually this time and see external things that make the difference I think so body work you see lots of difference is now the front wing design a rear wing design totally

00:01:29: read full area of furniture in front of the the sideboard inlets.

00:01:34: Tidied up and then across the 18-inch wheels and the the bigger tires you know is something that is very very

00:01:40: what's the reason for this changes actually first why does someone change rolls anyway why do they not just have one set of rules for

00:01:46: well that's a different reasons I think that if we had never changed rules and I've got rules going back many years I guess you wearing a g suit to drive these cars is that the performance will be phenomenal performance.

00:02:00: This was slightly different the provenance of these regulations.

00:02:04: Back to 2017 when Liberty took over the running of the commercial side of Formula 1 they decided that they needed to read

00:02:12: got to stage where the StepChange we didn't need to tickle with it was having lots of different regulations leading up to.

00:02:20: So the idea was to set up a group under Ross Brawn to look at technical regulations and see how it improved the show and that's really where it all starts from Ross asked me to set up that team which I did start in 2017

00:02:33: really what was

00:02:34: I think from work that been done previously is that we had group of specialists all x F1 team people we had a reasonable budget I had a credo really that all decisions had to be made.

00:02:47: So rather than this and let's make the cars a bit faster than slower let's change the exchange that all I wanted to do

00:02:54: to have time to do the job properly we are a small team feel like competing and I use that word advisedly but we can peating against movie 1000 eredin Alice in phantoms

00:03:07: nevertheless I think that the the improvements we made

00:03:10: are they will enhance the racing and that's about being able to follow closely I think even when the teams have developed away from our ideals a little.

00:03:20: Still be left with a car that is significantly better in Close racing in the cars we've had for the last 20 years you mention

00:03:27: up against 2000 how much input was there from the teams as well as the team that you had put together there was input from the teams the way it seems one in the FIA is we have

00:03:40: where is working groups are called advisory committees these days Liverpool working groups and we started this project so we we setup error working group.

00:03:48: And as we progress with our research we talked to the teams about it we go from presentations where we will go

00:03:54: we are Sarah opinions on various things we got them to do various parts of it and you know any teams that wanted to get involved could get involved and that work was done outside the restrictions they have on developing current.

00:04:07: So we got some useful input from the teams and you mention there are there that's Claudia a big

00:04:13: aspect of these new rules what's the difference in aerodynamic philosophy between the 2021 car and the 20-22 car that's hopefully going to improve

00:04:22: ok well comes down to two things really and I guess this really was the driver for the new car was that we wanted the cars to race more closely now when people say we want

00:04:32: you often hear people say what we want more overtake

00:04:35: reality is and we've done a lot of research into this in the last five years reality is overtaking is the end of the battle it's the battle itself it's actually interest.

00:04:45: If you can't get within.

00:04:47: 345 car lengths of the car in front of you without losing a lot of performance then you can't have these place battles of philosophy was to really rewrite the regulations to force if you like a set of conditions

00:05:01: allow the cars to run close together now I said that comes into areas one is that you want the leading car to have a more benign way

00:05:09: and they currently have you will always get a tablet there behind a car you know if you driving to work on the cold mornings

00:05:17: car in front of you and just watch ready water vapour coming out of the exhaust goes you see had turbulent it is even on the simple Road car the Racing Car Cross farm Aughton

00:05:27: in the past

00:05:28: to get performance the teams have tried to push his turbulence outside weights you get this very wide awake as well so not only can you not get behind the car I can't even get alongside that disturbed are the first things to try and improve that.

00:05:43: You can't eliminate it's just

00:05:45: and then the second aspect of it was to try and have a car didn't rely on perfect aerodynamics for it's performance so any developer car

00:05:53: you develop it and safety in a winter

00:05:56: can you develop assuming very clean condition Saudi air is coming at you straight or at slight angle as it stays is basically clean

00:06:04: and you develop things that make the car have a lot of downforce under those conditions the minute at area is no longer clean

00:06:10: turbulent a lot of these things don't work so well so we wanted to eliminate those sort of things now I mentioned earlier about you know the big changes the area where you see a lot of that was in Fred oblique complex devices that were bargeboard area the area in front of the radiator inlet

00:06:28: and they were getting more and more complex it won't very very well as by itself they don't work particularly well when they're getting a lot of turbulent out so you got ready

00:06:37: and yeah we worked a lot and controlling this week and then making sure that the following car behaved well in what was left of him so we then had to develop a lot of new techniques

00:06:47: do that we have to do things that haven't been done before so many ways of doing computational fluid dynamics and that's where we did

00:06:54: charity of our research I have stayed a simple way because all things are relative and yeah when you're solving millions and simultaneous equations and nothing simple is a very efficient way that deals with the time-averaged teams user

00:07:08: and indeed we used to.

00:07:10: Is computationally efficient you can get through a lot of runs and you get good understanding what's going on but when you get to the very very turbulent flows you have to look at different techniques and we started use these techniques a lot more

00:07:23: what teams tend not to use them because they use up the test restrictions are imposed on the teams they can only use a certain amount of computing power in each test.

00:07:33: We don't have those restrictions so we were able to exploit these much more complex much more sophisticated simulations for the gold standard was to run simulations where we had two cars in simulation they were separated flows fully turban

00:07:48: and they were going round the corner

00:07:49: I was a challenge it's like a fun one though I mean you mentioned to the team you had had pest Formula 1 ever done anything like this before where it is created rules and develop them so sophisticatedly it's.

00:08:01: No it hasn't and that was the fundamental change in in 2017 in the past regulation changes being well in The Gifted afia anyway and still are all we can do is Formula 1 advise and say looking no this is what we would

00:08:15: to crease the activeness of the store

00:08:18: we are not in a position to write regulations the FIA do that but we work very closely with the FIA to try and stay things so no it it never happened before that they'd be

00:08:28: to the working groups and in fact in 2007/2008 I was actually a member of the very small overtaking working group that is myself like Charlie Whiting

00:08:38: Paddy Lowe and Rory Byrne and we did some work that way when I look back at it now it was it was like a college project you know it had no funding it it was very very basic cfd was nothing serious now using quarter scale wind tunnel model

00:08:53: because there was no wintle big enough to do what we wanted to do it was homework well how much fun is this project then for you to get your teeth stuck into

00:09:01: brilliant because I spent the last 40 years as compared it out the last 20 of days is it technical director and more and more and more you were getting into managing people rather

00:09:11: engineering and I have a passion for engineering as much as I have a passion for Formula.

00:09:17: Saints really hard to get back into real engineering really pushing boundaries so things like these techniques those talking about in cfd but really pushing boundaries in machine learning and things like that

00:09:30: we done in the simulation world because you're backing up with wind tunnels we not they even have to think that cfd can do everything so we were doing wind tunnel testing

00:09:39: Selwyn tunneling in Switzerland and we use that tablet because it's such a big tunnel you actually move the model that little bit forward in the winter and be able to measure the weight of a long way behind

00:09:50: we didn't run two cars in the winter

00:09:52: which we had done in the 2007/2008 experiments because we didn't actually feel that that was worthwhile and what we wanted to do is make sure we understood and measured the week coming off the cars we did that in this.

00:10:06: Winter

00:10:07: we seen a few of cars already we see what they look like new season is about to start how proud of you of the end product and the work that you've done what you now have the Temple Run.

00:10:16: I'm very biased I think girls look attractive I think they were starting to look a little bit aerolam.

00:10:22: Are we getting so complicated so fiddly I appreciate that there is a bunch of our very avid fans and technical fans really like all those little details but the cars really worth starting to get.

00:10:35: And I think the new cars are actually quite attractive Formula 1 cars and never gonna look very different because everyone iterates towards a solution if that we did a little experiment photographers take photographs cars on the track exactly the same point on the

00:10:49: then we black them out so that they were silhouettes the recognition rate was very poor they include myself in there I was there we had technical director

00:11:00: recognise your own cars and it didn't surprise me because I was due looks in

00:11:04: like you said that there are differences in these ones and ATI personally think they look great as well are we entering into a New Era Formula 1 with diesel.

00:11:12: Yes is the answer what will I hear I look like I'm not sure yet the results we got the down Force at the following car retained in our experiments was absolutely unbelievable we will not see that level of performance see the teams will iterate away from that I'm sure

00:11:30: half way back so I don't think they will be fine 7 half way

00:11:34: still have a much much better racing car I think that having god over the initial cost of making this car because of course most years you are able to carry some things over this year you can't say that teams have had to in

00:11:46: quite heavily in this carpet from here on in you know it should be a cheaper car for them it's a simpler car it

00:11:52: you should therefore be quicker to make parts get them on the car and things like that so we will see that is in you it if you mean will we see a change in the order.

00:12:02: I'm not sure

00:12:03: in the past we certainly have seen this from time to time because we have other things going on at the 18-inch tyres they are different we work very closely with early on these to try

00:12:12: get rid of some of the overheating problems in the very narrow temperature working range of the

00:12:17: I so who will handle those better I don't know the one that your course is significant is that in the new regulations

00:12:25: successful teams in the past get less time in the winter last time cfd in the teams at the back and that's a little bit of a lead

00:12:32: because you asked me earlier a little bit about the provenance of these regulations and we did set some very clear objectives and cos I mentioned the one about trying to get cars that can follow more closely and almost equal is import sweet ambition

00:12:45: of the gap between the front and the back of the

00:12:48: things like the 18 inch tyres for example Won't just about thermal aspects are I spent 40 years as earning racing cars I know that one of the very very difficult things to do

00:12:59: is the model defected tyre wear in cfd or in the winter or indeed trying to take measurements on the track it's a flexible device is moving around every

00:13:08: you can't eliminate that the one we wanted to do was to reduce the sensitivity because if it's a very sensitive area than the teams that have a lot of resource the teams that have resource can concentrate on those areas to

00:13:22: performance as about the teams that don't have that resource have to turn to other things.

00:13:26: So we ordered the desensitiser and the stiffer side wall on the 18-inch tyre was part of the reason for doing that as well some of the things you see around these areas of the in the body.

00:13:37: Yeah when you said like that

00:13:39: hopefully at closer to the Condemned race more closely and maybe in a different order with cars that look fantastic and look very quick so I mean were talking I think similar levels of performance that they were finishing last year did like this year

00:13:52: predictions is it by the end of the 2022 season they'll be a 2021 of also maybe a little bit slow to start a fair bit of information on the tires now from the testing and stand on the meal cars

00:14:05: I really want to see exactly where they say I think I've got an idea again not numerically but I've no idea where people is sitting aerodynamic liso the performance will be good

00:14:14: with all those things you mentioned was not to life as they say how excited are you to see it all play out on

00:14:19: not really looking forward to it the thing will be difficult of course you saying how good a job with done on the close following because all the time you testing when you try and do is stay away from the other cars so it will be very interesting to Bahrain race

00:14:33: the first time I think really see and the cars really fully close then can't wait say it thank you so much for your time.

00:14:40: Thanks for listening

00:14:45: see you anon neck pitstop in 2-weeks Drive digital.

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00:14:57: Presenters on Mandy Carter and Chris medley.

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