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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc paints clearest picture yet on whether F1's 2022 rules work

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc's forecast for 2022 will be warmly received by both fans of the sport and Formula 1 bosses themselves.

Charles Leclerc says the new breed of Formula 1 cars are able to follow much closer during the most crucial phases of overtaking in perhaps the best endorsement yet of the sport's latest regulation change.

The new 2022 technical regulations were designed with overtaking in mind, engineered to stop cars leaving behind 'dirty air' that has for too long played havoc with the downforce levels of following cars.

The most crucial changes have seen the introduction of a ground effect floor, simplified front and rear wings, and wheel winglets – all designed to promote better racing.

When the new cars first hit the track together in Barcelona last week, the sport watched on keen to learn whether or not their plan had worked and if cars could follow closer.

And the verdict from Leclerc is positive and exciting ahead of next month's season opener in Bahrain.

Are the new cars easier to follow?

"It is quite interesting," replied Leclerc, keen to shed some light on how following felt in his new Ferrari F1-75, when speaking to Formula1.com.

"I'll say from three seconds to one second behind the car in front, you actually can follow closer.

"Then from one second to five-tenths, I will say it's similar to the feeling I had last year [when following cars].

"And then from five-tenths to extremely close, it is much better than last year."

His response will be warmly received by both fans of the sport and Formula 1 bosses themselves, with the gap between three seconds to one second being perhaps the most frustrating for following drivers over recent seasons.

Drivers have regularly struggled to break into the DRS range (one second) of the car ahead, leaving them stranded. The hope is that such incidences are now a thing of the past.

Leclerc added: "It's nice, it's interesting. I mean, I'll have to do a few more laps behind a car, but it's looking good for now."

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: All you need to know after the first pre-season test

At the end of the first pre-season test of 2022 in Barcelona, Dieter Rencken and Thomas Maher discuss the on- and off-track developments so far.

F1 2022 Barcelona pre-season test RN365 News dossier

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