Formula 1 is set to usher in a new era next season following the introduction of a new regulation platform designed to improve overtaking and eventually lead to a more level playing field.
All F1 teams have been hard at work since last summer finalizing their 2022 designs, and they have now entered the production phase, with chassis undergoing the first crash tests.
Many fear that the restrictive nature of F1’s new rules will lead to very similar designs overall, but Key is predicting that next year’s cars will not look the same.
“The rules are written restrictively, but that stimulates innovation,” Key said, quoted by Auto Motor und Sport. “I expect to see different ideas.
“We’ll all see what the others have been up to. At the same time, everyone must first ensure that what was predicted in the factory actually transfers to the track.
“The correlation will be checked. We will compare strengths and weaknesses. I think from 2023 the teams will come closer together under these regulations because the major trends beyond 2022 will be identified.”
As part of F1’s quest to improve the show, and thus overtaking, next year’s rules put the emphasis on ground effect rather than on wings to create downforce.
Bt that change could tempt teams to exploit the shady use of flexible parts, especially in a car’s floor and venturi area.
While Key expects the emergence of some creative concepts, the McLaren engineer also believes that the FIA’s scrutiny will keep teams honest.
“The tests for the rear wing have been tightened,” he said. “The beam wing is coming back, and you can certainly use it in a certain way.”
“The front wing is a massive part, but there are also strict guidelines on stiffness.
“I think there will be a few tricks played by the teams, but nothing that can be easily exploited. The FIA will be taking a close look.”
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