Mercedes become first team to fire up 2022 F1 car

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In the round-up: Mercedes fire up 2022 car for first time

In brief

Mercedes fire up W13 for first time

Constructors’ champions Mercedes have become the first Formula 1 team to share public footage of their 2022 car being fired up ahead of pre-season testing next season.

In a video shared by the team on social media, Mercedes showed the power unit of their unlaunched W13 being fired into life for the first time. No images of the chassis itself were shared, but team principal Toto Wolff can be seen smiling in approval.

The 2022 season will see the look of cars change dramatically, with a raft of technical regulations changes designed to make Formula 1 cars able to run closer together without suffering from aerodynamic performance loss as a result of dirty air. It will be Mercedes’ first season with the driver pairing of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

Pre-season testing will commence on 23 February 2022 with a three day test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain. Teams will then head to Bahrain for a second three day test at the Sakhir circuit before the season begins in Bahrain the following week.

Haas VF-22 passes FIA crash test

Haas have announced their 2022 challenger – the VF-22 – has formally passed its mandatory FIA safety crash test.

In a post to social media, the team shared an image of a mocked-up crash test result card dated December 23, with a ‘pass’ stamped on it, indicating the team’s chassis for next season had been officially homologated.

Haas’s new car will not have much to do to be more successful than its predecessor. The team finished the season scoreless, taking tenth and last place in the constructors’ championship with team principal Guenther Steiner openly admitting at the beginning of the season that the team were focusing all their development work on the 2022 car.

Verstappen named Dutch sportsman of the year

Max Verstappen has been named ‘sportsman of the year’ in his home nation of the Netherlands after securing his first Formula 1 world championship in 2021.

The Netherlands Olympic Committee and Sports Federation announced that Verstappen had been awarded the honour – voted by Dutch athletes and a panel of experts – at a gala broadcast live on Dutch television, with the award accepted by Verstappen’s father, Jos. Multiple Olympic gold medal winning middle distance runner, Sifan Hassan, was awarded sportswoman of the year.

It is the second time Verstappen has awarded the title by his Dutch sporting peers. He first won the award in 2016 after becoming the youngest driver ever to win a Formula 1 grand prix.

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Comment of the day

Alpine’s 2021 driver line up of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso was always going to be one of the most intriguing of the season – with the pair ending up as the closest matched teammates of the season. But @joeypropane is surprised that the two proved to be as harmonious as they did…

One of, if not the, biggest team mate surprises for me – not just in how well matched they were, but with how well they worked together.

I suspect we’ll see more of the ruthless Alonso if Alpine move up the pecking order in coming seasons, but I feel like Ocon will be right there to support him and pick up the pieces if anything goes wrong on the other side of the garage!

The RaceFans round-up will return

The round-up will be taking a brief break over the Christmas period. There will be no round up tomorrow (25th), Saturday or Sunday.

The round-up will return on Monday 28 December. If you are celebrating Christmas, have a very happy and safe weekend!

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Andrew, Richpea, Wasif1, Willian Ceolin and Alex Tunnicliffe for today, happy birthday to Louise.1987 and Urvaksh for the 25th, happy birthday to Michael S for the 26th and happy birthday to Scott Joslin, Super_Swede_96, Dean Mckinnon and Diceman for the 27th!

On this day in motorsport

  • Born 80 years today: Howden Ganley, who raced for BRM, Frank Williams and March in the seventies. His career was cut short when he was injured in a crash while driving for his final team, Maki, at the Nurburgring, following suspension failure.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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33 comments on “Mercedes become first team to fire up 2022 F1 car”

  1. Oh wow, things have already started happening. Eagerly awaiting 2022.

  2. Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone!

    McLaren isn’t to be seen at all in those most in the top 10 places, despite beating Alpine on points. I wonder if their lack of consistency will come in to play even if they do end up with a potentially much faster car. You’d think being consistently not quite quick enough is a better sign for the future than knowing how to go quick on some circuits but not figuring out others.

    Also, mandatory vaccination is an interesting issue. In Victoria the vaccination rate is upwards of 92% (aged 16+) which has been driven in part by mandatory vaccination for the vast majority of industries. Even with the tennis, international stars are being turned away due to their unvaccinated status. I wonder if F1 will actually manage to commit to it, if not, the Aus GP could bewilderingly face cancellation yet again.

    1. I wonder if F1 will actually manage to commit to it, if not, the Aus GP could bewilderingly face cancellation yet again.

      I don’t see why there needs to be another cancellation of the Australian GP simply because some people choose not to be vaccinated. Every team should know by now who is and isn’t vaccinated, so they leave those who aren’t vaccinated behind in the UK when the team travels to Australia. If that person were to be a driver then instead of the driver going with the team they use their reserve driver, and if there are two drivers who don’t want to be vaccinated then the team uses another reserve driver.

      1. Given a number of drivers were involved in encouraging vaccination, i would be surprised if any of the drivers and majority of team are not vaccinated given the internatinal travel and strict covid bubbles they have had to be in. But for sure the Victorian govt will not allow unvaccinated team members in just the same as tennis players and support people. Charter flights for the Tennis arrive next week.

  3. Remember when you needed ear protection when a F1 engine fired up? These people are indoors and aren’t even wincing from the noise.

    Take me back to this:

    1. you are wrong…if you watch the start of the mercedes soon as the engine kicks in can see a sound deadening muffler being put over the exhaust to muffle the sound..

      1. That’s not a muffler, it’s the extraction system @spiderman.
        Without it, the (toxic) exhaust gases build up inside.

        1. okay agreed…though it served the purpose of muffling the sound as well the moment it covered the exhaust.

      2. @spiderman I am wrong? Wow I love the internet, total and absolute lack of critical thinking sometimes, just knee jerk reactions. Can you not listen with your own ears? Do you think the exhaust is the only place sound comes out when the engine is not mounted inside the chassis?

        Also, as S mentioned above, that is a system to extract the exhaust fumes. I mean honestly, it’s like you only watched the video to find a reason that someone was wrong, instead of actually paying attention to what was happening.

        1. Oh the irony Pasta. When do you see a human and the engine running at the same time? Critical thinking, lol.

          1. @darryn How about when they cover the exhaust pipe? Is that not an engine running with a human in the background? What is it with you people? I am merely pointing out that these engines are a lot quieter than previous generations, and that V10s sounded better. How is this even a right/wrong thing? Sheesh

          2. pastaman, the exact volume levels do not seem to have been fully defined, given that there will not just be the question of what decibel reading was attained, but also at what distance it was measured and where in the engine rpm range that occurred.

            As shown in the clip, it would seem that the engine was operating at a fairly low rpm, so even if the noise at peak operating rpm may be higher, if operating at close to tickover, it’s unlikely that the engines would be that loud. It is also worth noting that it seems that it was the individuals on the upper floor gallery – i.e. those that were actually a fairly significant distance away – that were not using hearing protection, whereas those closest to the car were wearing hearing protection (the type that is inserted into the ear canal).

            In that sense, it’s actually not that dissimilar to what I’ve also seen happen when some historic V10 engined F1 cars have been fired up in the pits. The mechanics who are operating closest to the cars will usually be the ones with the hearing protection, but if the car is only ticking over in the pit garage, then those further away might not necessarily require hearing protection either.

            I do think that perhaps you are also being a little too dismissive of the impact of having the exhaust gasses vent directly into that collector in terms of mitigating the noise impact.
            Whilst, yes, sound pressure waves will be transmitted through other means, given that it is the most direct means by which sound pressure waves can be transmitted from burning fuel within the cylinders into the atmosphere, the exhaust does tend to be where most noise from an internal combustion engine is emitted from. You might note that it is for collecting the exhaust gas, but it will also have a noticeable impact on noise emissions.

            As for “better”, well, that really is a rather subjective assessment.

          3. I can’t even come onto a F1 site and say that V10s sound better than V6s without the pedant brigade marching onto the field. What is this world coming to. Thank you anon for at least a thoughtful comment.

  4. Victoria doesn’t require quarantine for fully vaccinated arrivals anymore, & overall, I’m decently confident AusGP can finally go ahead again. Yes, China lost out for the 3rd consecutive year.
    The other two-year cancellations, i.e., Australian, Canadian, Singapore, & Japanese GPs, should avoid the same fate, especially the later-scheduled ones, given their lead time.

  5. Someone joked that 2 months after the 2022 regultions were finalised Mercedes already had a working prototype
    I’d bet this latest iteration will be much faster than a lot of cars that turn up to the first race

  6. After hearing Adrian Newey comments that was for Red Bull too but that was probaly the base model then the crews are digging into the rules and that takes the most time developing ideas into working parts.

  7. Well, didn’t expect to get a COTD!

    Also didn’t expect to see Lance in 8th place in the laps stat – considering where he finished in the championship, i’m guessing he must have had a disproportionate amount of late-race retirements! Surprised Gasly isn’t up there, too… though his results were all over the place, so probably didn’t spend too much time in each position.

    Not surpirsed, however, to see the human metronome that is Alonso in 7th – exactly after the big 3 teams/drivers.

  8. RandomMallard
    24th December 2021, 9:45

    Interesting to see the Merc PU up and running already; though not particularly surprising imo. The big change this season is with the chassis and aero, not the PU, so I can understand trying to get the PU out of the way as soon as possible to devote maximum effort to the chassis (I know they’re made in different points, with the PUs in Brixworth, but I still expect Merc probably want maximum focus on the new chassis regs for next season).

    Great to see Haas getting through these important tests at this point in time. I do hope they’re a little bit more competitive than this season. It’s a good sign that they’re passing, and passing at this point in time (especially compared to Williams in 2019 who failed several times pre-season).

    Wow that model of Monaco looks incredible! Miniatur Wunderland has been on my bucket list for a while so this is just another reason to go…

    YES F1 Secret Santa is always one of my favourite videos for the year. Particularly enjoyed what Ocon bought for Mazepin.

    Seen as this is the last round-up before Christmas, Merry Christmas everybody! It’s been a long and tiring season, take a break (everyone deserves one!), relax, enjoy yourselves. Especially the brilliant team working for RaceFans: Will, Hazel, Ben, Dieter, and obviously Keith to name but a few. The work you do is absolutely brilliant. Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      24th December 2021, 11:55

      The change this year for all PUs is the increase in biofuel or ethanol content.

      Honda made it common knowledge that the upgrade for 2022 fuels will be the last from them.

      Mercedes were alleged to have been running their engine closer to party mode but creates a drop off in power so it would be expected their 2022 upgrade would target that.

      Renault have gone with the flow and split the turbo charger.

      Ferrari I think didn’t fully commit their engine upgrade for 2021 so no doubt fully upgraded for 2022.

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        24th December 2021, 11:58

        The engine people need to squeeze out the best power now as that is what they will be stuck with for 4 years.

  9. About the firing up, I have a funny memory.
    Once my elderly neighbor sat on his terrace, and asked me to fetch his hand mirror, and scissors. He was a fairly salty person. I asked: for what, why? He wanted to give himself a haircut. I said, ok. Not much later he showed up at our house, and I told him sarcastically: that haircut was a pretty quick job, it can hint on two things. Either it went superbly well or it went completely wrong.

    So I think about the early firing up something similar. Although imo it even can be a bluff to put pressure on the opposition. Who forbids bluffing :) ? I have no problems with that at competitive enviromnents like that.

    Anyway, happy holiday season for everyone, and excuse me for this salty comment :)

  10. Oh no, that Toto Wolff smile bit is pretty cringy ha!

  11. they need to remove the number 13 from that name… and make W14 or something else
    otherwise its an unlucky number…could jinx everything else…

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      24th December 2021, 13:48

      No-one suffers from triskaidekaphobia at Mercedes.

  12. There will be no round up tomorrow (25th), Saturday or Sunday.

    The round-up will return on Monday 28 December.

    I hink you must have consulted your 2020 calendar by mistake, Will.
    Tomorrow (25th) and Saturday are one and the same this year, and Monday is the 27th :D

  13. Every time there’s a huge regulation overhaul that will impact the look of the cars severly it’s super exciting!!
    1996 – cockpit side protection
    1998 – narrower cars with grooved tyres
    2009 – drastic wing dimensions change + slick tyres comeback
    2017 – comeback of the proper width cars
    2021 – almost new everything

  14. @willwood I’m not sure who is your social media manager but it seems to me that Ocon was spent so much racing laps in top ten that he was 9th and 10th overall!

    1. @qeki Yes! He spent more laps than anyone else this season in ninth place AND more laps than anyone else this season in tenth place too!

      1. @willwood Oh, I should have read more carefully! Holidays have melted my brain :)

  15. And Happy holidays to all racefans readers and also to @keithcollantine @willwood @hazelsouthwell @dieterrencken @idawood @gabrielekoslowski @benevans

  16. Wishing all the team at RaceFans and all friends and sparring partners a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

  17. I’m dying to see a new chassis on track. And really hoping it doesn’t look like that hideous FIA mock-up. I have a feeling that Newey is going his own way again and the RBR will be different. Something extreme.

  18. Regarding the Monaco miniature: should you ever find yourself in Hamburg, don’t miss out on the Miniature Wunderland, and do set aside a whole afternoon for it (the Monaco track is only a small fraction of it). It is an absolute marvel of both scope and detail, and if you have subscribed to the stereotype of “Germans have no sense of humour”, you will leave the place a changed person (I am not German, BTW)

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