Viaplay commentator Atle Gulbrandsen triggered a major discussion on the online forum Reddit ahead of the “historically large” rule change. The race to find the best solutions is underway.
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– The rule change towards the 22nd season is the biggest in Formula 1 history. That is, you start with blank sheets, and there is no automaticity in Mercedes and Red Bull being at the top next season as well, Gulbrandsen elaborates – and says history shows that some find out “something smart” before the others, who become tried copied after the first races.
In addition to reducing the wage ceiling in the Formula 1 circus, aerodynamic rules are also taken to ensure less turbulent air behind the cars – and thus offer closer racing, as the cars can be closer to each other. Gulbrandsen sparked a discussion on the online forum Reddit when he wrote this on Twitter before Christmas, which was later translated and discussed with over 1000 comments:
“A rumor that I heard in Abu Dhabi is that there are supposed to be two teams that have found something smart with the 22 cars that the others have not found out.”
Examples of such “smart” solutions in the past were then McLaren found that they could reduce the traction behind their car if the driver used his knee to close a hole inside the cockpit. Another was then the former team Brawn made a completely unique «double-diffuser». Both creative solutions were eventually banned.
Looking for loopholes in the Formula 1 regulations is far from new and is done almost every year – according to editor Simen Næss Hagen in the Norwegian motorsport newspaper Parc Fermé.
– It is an eternal race between the FIA (The International Automobile Federation) and the engineers, he says.
Nor does he doubt that some also has found loopholes ahead of this year’s season.
– It is actually guaranteed that someone has done, he says.
But exactly who does he dare not predict.
This is what the young hobby journalist Ahmet Cir does on Twitter, who claims to know which two teams Gulbrandsen tweeted about just before Christmas: Mercedes – and Alpine.
“According to Ferrari, the two teams are Mercedes and Alpine, which have found a loophole in the regulations,” writes Cir.
– If we can stabilize the engine, we will take a big step, is the confident statement of Alpine before this year’s season.
The Alpine drivers finished in 10th and 11th place in The World Cup summary in 2021. Mercedes wallpapered the pallet behind Verstappen.
– It would have been an adventure story if Alpine had managed to make such a good car that Alonso can claim the top again, says Næss Hagen.
He takes the Alpine / Mercedes rumors “with a solid pinch of salt”, but as mentioned does not rule out that some has found a loophole in this year’s new regulations.
– I have not read the whole rulebook, but there will probably be some who find a loophole in the aerodynamics. This is where the biggest changes are this year. It is a very restrictive set of rules, but it can open up loopholes, to find something the FIA has “forgotten”. Then it is important to have the wisest minds in the team.
In any case, Mercedes does not care to hold back on the details, and has been out on social media and built the expectations for the season with a glimpse of their innovation.
– I have my doubts that this is the final version of Mercedes, says Hagen, who at the same time launches a theory that the big teams Red Bull and Mercedes can have a downward curve in 2022.
Because while the two teams had to put all their resources into the 2021 car, other teams turned their eyes to 2022 early in last year’s season.
– They will probably have good cars in 2022 as well, but I will not be surprised if one of them “flops”, and I will not be surprised about as much as Haas or Williams impresses.