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Mercedes explain what will look most different about F1's new cars

With a wave of new technical regulations being introduced into Formula 1, Mercedes have detailed which areas of the 2022 cars will have an altered appearance.

Mercedes Technical Director Mike Elliott has explained what will look different about F1's new cars following the introduction of new technical regulations.

One of the aims of the updated rules has been that it should become easier for the cars to follow each other, and as such closer racing could be created.

It won't just be the track action that is affected, though. Elliott thinks that the aerodynamic changes will make the cars look very different, and admits that adapting to these new regulations has also resulted in the team having to work in a way that they have not done previously.

"This year's cars are going to be hugely different," Elliott said in the second part of Mercedes' 'Road to 2022' explainer videos.

"I think the most visible difference will be in the aerodynamic shape of the car. Not only are the aerodynamics different, but the whole way the regulations are constructed are completely different.

"In the past, we've just had to fill boxes or shadow certain planes, but in this set of regulations, we're given a sort of base surface that we've got to work to, and we have to stick within a certain tolerance of it, so that's a completely different way of working for us."

2022 car performance will "be interesting to watch"

As well as the aerodynamic differences, Elliott has outlined other areas of the car that will change.

"The power unit for this year is very different as well," he explained.

"That's going to be fixed until 2025, and it also has to run what's called E10 fuel, so that's 10 per cent bioethanol, so that makes quite big changes to the power unit.

"We have 18-inch rims and tyres to go with that, so that's going to be quite a big difference. There's also an increase in mass, so I think the cars are going to look very different.

"They're going to perform quite differently, and I think that's going to be interesting to watch."

"The new car looks completely different to last year's"

Whilst these areas in particular have noticeably changed, Elliott admits that the whole design of the car has been impacted.

He added: "With such a significant aerodynamic change, pretty much all the components underneath the skin of the car need to change, so all the way from front to back, everything is different.

"All those new components' design has been a huge challenge. The new car looks completely different to last year's, and that's just a consequence of the regulations.

"They're a very much different shape. The sort of complexity that we used to have around the barge board area has gone, and the differences between the cars are going to be more in the surface shapes.

"As a result, I think all of this year's cars will look fairly similar. They'll have sort of similar shapes, and the differences will be subtle changes in the aerodynamic shapes and the surfaces that we've got, particularly under the car.

"Probably the most visual bit of that will be the way the floor works."

Elliott has also highlighted changes in the appearance of the rear wing and front wing, which are "completely different" to those seen on the 2021 model.

Whilst he was fond of the previous look of the cars, Elliott is still adjusting to the new design.

"For me, as an aerodynamicist, or with an aerodynamics background, I quite like the old cars and I've not quite got used to these new ones, but they're just different," he summed up.

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: Why F1 2022 could be the most exciting season ever

With huge changes being made to the F1 rule book for 2022, our journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour and Thomas Maher look ahead to the new season.


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