George Russell, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2021

New F1 cars could match 2021 performance levels by end of year – Pirelli

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Cars built to new technical regulations for the 2022 F1 season could equal the performance of last year’s chassis, despite previous predictions they would prove much slower.

In brief

F1 cars to regain lost performance during 2022

When F1’s technical rules changes for the coming season were first announced, one team principal estimated they would be significantly slower than the cars they are replacing, by up to seven seconds.

But with the first season featuring the drastically revised cars now just weeks away, the performance loss is now expected to be significantly lower. Pirelli’s head of motor sport Mario Isola believes the 2022 cars could match last year’s by the end of the season.

“We have simulations coming from the teams, simulations that are telling us that the new cars are not much slower compared to last year’s cars,” Isola explained. “At the beginning we were talking about more than three seconds per lap, now it’s half a second, one second.

“So if they start with only one second difference, it means that during the season they will probably achieve the same level of performance that we had in 2021. So I’m happy with the result of the test, especially because we confirmed what we have found during all the development process.”

‘New audio’ of Abu Dhabi GP row isn’t new

Wheatley also urged Masi to restart the Abu Dhabi GP
Footage from the final race of last season has been widely shared on social media by users claiming it reveals previously unheard radio communications from the controversial race. However although the footage, including audio of a discussion between FIA F1 race director Michael Masi and Red Bull sporting director Jonathan Wheatley, was not broadcast live during the race, it was published a few days after the contentious end to the championship.

In it, Wheatley is heard urging Masi to hasten the restart of the race, telling him: “Those lapped cars, you don’t need to let them go right the way round and catch up the back of the pack, you only need to let them go and then we’ve got a motor race on our hands.” Many sharing the video have drawn attention to the similarity between his choice of words and Masi’s later response to Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff following his vociferous complaint over the race’s conclusion: “Toto, it’s called a motor race.”

Envision to switch to Jaguar power

Formula E team Envision has confirmed it will switch to Jaguar power units when the series introduces its new ‘Gen3’ cars next year. The team currently uses Audi motors and will be the first customers for Jaguar, who finished second to Mercedes in last year’s championship.

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Comment of the day

Will last season be remembered for the title fight or the controversial finale?

The very fact that we are all still debating and talking about this means there has to be some kind of shadow hanging over Max’s title. I am no ultra Lewis fan but my view is that without that safety car on the last lap, and the consequences of it, Lewis would have his eighth championship. Lewis was quite a way behind on points compared to Max at one stage but over the last three races he and his car caught up. He was on course to be champion but for Masi’s controversial, and in my view very difficult to justify, decision.

Both drivers were good enough to deserve the title. Max deserves it as much as Lewis but the course of history was changed. This is nothing unique. We could easily argue that some of titles won by Senna or Schumacher had marks against them. It’s all part of F1 history and F1 2021 will be remembered for this always.
Phil Norman (@phil-f1-21)

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Bullfrog and Akshay!

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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50 comments on “New F1 cars could match 2021 performance levels by end of year – Pirelli”

  1. In relation to COTD. As I said yesterday.

    He won because Masi decided not to follow the normal procedures. If he had then the race would have ended behind the SC & Max wouldn’t have had the opportunity to perform the pass. That is why there is & will always be controversy over the end of that race & the way Max became champion which is why to many it will always be somewhat tainted.

    And I hate the narrative that many Max supporters keep pushing that the only people that think are are Lewis/Mercedes fans who are simply sore losers. I’m neither a fan of Lewis or Mercedes just as i’m also not a fan of Max or Red Bull.

    I’m a fan of the sport before anything else & couldn’t care a less who won yet for me the end of that race, the end of the championship & the way it was won feels unsatisfying, It feels tainted & it feels like the show was put above the sport in a way that makes it feel manipulated. That is the problem, Not who won but the way things happened because the show was clearly pushed above the sport.

    I feel about the 2021 championship & Max’s win the same way I did Schumacher’s after Adelaide 1994, Senna’s after Suzuka 1990 & Prost’s after Suzuka 1989. The thing that will always be remembered is the circumstances that led to it been decided & that will always be the problem as it will always be tainted regardless of how much Max may have earned or deserved it over the rest of the season.

    1. If you said it yesterday why do we need to say it again? Cotd usually doesn’t and shouldn’t come out of the round up. It can just keep the same converstaion with the same arguments going day after day after day…

      The bent of this site towards a controversy baiting, social media echo chamber is disappointing. Bring on the new cars, there seriously needs to be something new to talk about.

      1. can just keep the same converstaion with the same arguments going day after day after day…

        But seems to be the whole purpose of this site nowadays.
        Even a broken record with deja vu syndrome is less predictable.

        1. You could choose to comment on any other of the 10 or 11 stories linked to but no, you have to say something inane about the one story you claim is being repeated…

          1. Not sure if your noticed Emma, but I commented on a comment, and stuck to the discussion thread.

            No sure why this got you so upset.

            PS see my other comments further down. Still working on the other 8 or 9 stories :P

    2. “That is why there is & will always be controversy over the end of that race & the way Max became champion which is why to many it will always be somewhat tainted.”

      But then you remember that Lewis won a race after punting him into the wall and you don’t feel so bad.

      1. @tommy-c Punted? That’s just not what happened.

        Regardless of how you feel about Silverstone, it’s the sport that was damaged in Abu Dhabi, and that shouldn’t be acceptable to anyone.

      2. @tommy-c Silverstone was nothing more than a racing incident, Perhaps more Hamilton’s fault but still a racing incident.

        There was a gap, Lewis went for it & it resulted in contact. Same in Monza where there was a gap which Max went for which resulted in contact. When you have 2 cars racing hard, racing closely then sometimes there will be contact.

        And remember that was the view of most of the other actual racing drivers (Both current & past in both F1 & elsewhere) who have a far greater understanding of racing than any of us & frankly i’d take there opinions on such things over anyone else.

        @jerejj Normal procedures WOULD have resulted in the race ending behind the safety car as the normal procedure was to allow lapped cars to overtake with the safety car coming in at the end of the following lap which would have meant the race ending behind the safety car.

        1. @roger-ayles “And remember that was the view of most of the other actual racing drivers (Both current & past in both F1 & elsewhere) who have a far greater understanding of racing than any of us & frankly i’d take there opinions on such things over anyone else.”

          So…completely ignore the stewards who are the ones who are actually charged with the job and actually have all the info at their disposal, lol. You even admit “perhaps more Hamilton’s fault” whereas “but still a racing incident” is saying the opposite because racing incidents are the ones where it was deemed nobody was at fault.

          “There was a gap” because Max did the fair and proper thing and left LH that. “Lewis went for it” even though he should have known he was too late and Max had already put himself in the dominant position, and as a result LH hit Max as per the stewards’ ruling. Not sure what’s so hard about this. Max was penalized in Monza for also over-optimistically taking a gap that was never going to last.

          Hey I’m all for a good non-call and some incidents being deemed racing incidents, but when there is contact, especially in the form that Silverstone and Monza took, I don’t think it should be a surprise when fault is laid and penalties handed out. Perhaps different if in both incidents they had just tapped and remained unharmed and carried on. ie. Give the stewards some credit here, rather than completely ignoring them as the very ones tasked with the job of dealing with this stuff.

          1. Hamilton chose his line, and stuck to it– a line that was wide, yes, but would have allowed him to make the corner without any more steering input.

            Max, by the steward’s decision, steered into the corner, expecting Hamilton to yield– something Hamilton had said before the race, he wasn’t going to do.

            Max should have let Hamilton have the corner, and passed him on the next lap. Instead, Max threw away 18+ points.

    3. Nico Rosberg didn’t win the 2016 title.

      1. Sure he did. He had some luck on the way, but he was close enough to Hamilton that the blown engine in Malysia (or the engine problems early in the season) were enough to put Rosberg in front. That’s how a racing championship works.

        By comparison, in 2020, it would have taken 3 or 4 DNF’s from Hamilton for Bottas to be in contention for the championship.

    4. Hamilton lost because Mercedes decided not to pit and keep racing on old worn tyres. Had they have pitted Hamilton, yes, he would have lost track position, but, he would had the advantage of fresh tyres.

      To say that the race would have ended behind the safety car had Hamilton have pitted is nothing more than speculation and conspiracy. It is time this whole topic was left alone and focus shifted onto the new season ahead, rather than looking back at the last season with saltiness and vitriol.

      1. @maddme No one in the same situation as Hamilton would have pitted. If the rules had been followed, whoever was in P2 would have come home second. This isn’t speculation, but fact.

        The rules state that all lapped cars should unlap themselves. Anything less than that makes no sporting sense, as all drivers are meant to be equal under the rules.

        Most of the field was disadvantaged in order to give Verstappen – and only him – a chance to move up the order.

        The implication is that Verstappen was given preferential treatment, without which he wouldn’t have won the title.

        Race control cynically sacrificed the sport’s integrity in the name of spectacle. Taking issue with that has nothing to do with saltiness or vitriol, but whether or not you know right from wrong.

        1. @maichael

          If the rules had been followed, whoever was in P2 would have come home second. This isn’t speculation, but fact.

          This is the same problem I think Mercedes would have run into with their appeal. On my understanding of the law (and I’ll throw a disclaimer, I am by no means qualified in law by any stretch of the imagination, but I do find this kinda stuff quite interesting), this would probably not be classed as a fact as such, but more a hypothetical scenario, which is much harder to utilise than the facts of the matter (that being, the race did restart and Verstappen passed Lewis). It would be on Mercedes to prove that Hamilton would have finished first, which while likely, would be very, very difficult to prove, because of the sheer number of mitigating factors that could have come into play. I’m not sure what the standard of proof is in an FIA court, but I’d assume the FIA would try and make it as high as possible to try and avoid admitting they were wrong.

          For the record, I absolutely believe the FIA were wrong and that rules were broken, and that Masi should be replaced. But to prove to a court that their hypothetical should take preference over the facts of the matter is extremely difficult I believe. Especially to an FIA court…

        2. @maichael. Of course and Mercedes didn’t beg Masi to not release a safety car during the VSC.

          1. @maddme And that’s obviously wrong, as is the entire concept of letting teams lobby the race director – as it has been from the start – let alone while he’s trying to do his job.

            That’s a completely different argument, maddme. What’s your point?

            Bringing up the fact that P1 has to option to pit in this scenario – which no one would ever utilize – is a red herring.

            It was illegal, and deeply cynical, to restart the race in the way that they did. The sport deserves better.

      2. And if Hamilton had pitted, Wheatley and Horner would have strenuously protested unlapping any cars whatsoever, and the race would have finished with Hamilton 6 cars back from Verstappen.

        Anyone who says Mercedes made the wrong call on tires when Latifi crashed has zero understanding of F1 strategy.

    5. @roger-ayles Following normal procedures wouldn’t have required an SC finish, though, but pointless anymore.

    6. Yeah, this is how I feel too. I spent years as chief steward of a sim racing site, and stewarded hundreds of incidents. While I am not a fan of Lewis or Max, and have no bias toward them, I do have bias toward good/consistent/fair stewarding, and we certainly did not have that here. Last year’s championship will forever be tarnished.

  2. Two things to note for me:

    1. That radio message doesn’t really vindicate Masi. It might very slightly incriminate RB but it’s Masi’s responsibility to know and follow the rules.

    2. Apparently that is actually Horner who won that factory tour auction! However, I’ve heard that Mercedes put a clause in the T&Cs that says employees of other F1 teams are not eligible (and if they didn’t, that was just plain foolish), so I expect it will go to the second highest bidder. Still a good laugh though, and more importantly, £4000 going to charity.

    1. It shouldn’t even be here. Why is some random Lewis Hamilton fans twitter post even being mentioned. It would almost make sense if it was a publication they were correcting, but they’ve taken to correcting random clearly biased fans twitter posts. It’s shameful.

      1. Why not. The guy has 20,000 followers, its been retweeted thousands of times, trending, and therefore probably has over a million impressions. This site caters for how many?
        That guy and others operate where the new, growing F1 audience is. And its sites such as RaceFans and people such as Medland, Saward, etc who have a presence on these sites who are correctly their errors and educating them in the ways of F1 that will hopefully lead them to sites such as this one.
        And in this case maybe there are one of two Racefan members who having read the above are now putting this guy straight.

        1. Damn! I should have posted the above two hours ago and convinced myself Damon read it and acted upon it.

    2. Going back to number 1, I’ve had a look at the thread (and immediately regret it not gonna lie) and one thing that kept being mentioned was this was evidence of fixing/rigging etc. As far as I can tell from my understanding of the law, it isn’t.

      Fixing or rigging (I believe, any lawyers please correct me if I’m wrong) requires evidence that the race was manipulated to achieve a pre-deternined result. That would require evidence of some kind of agreement from before the event I believe. That would be evidence of rigging or fixing.

      The rules absolutely were not followed, and you could definitely argue the result was manipulated. But without evidence of teying to achieve a pre-determined result, it I don’t think it counts as rigging.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        9th February 2022, 15:35

        It’s not rigging. If their plan was to make Max champion, they had multiple options during the race and those proceeding it to ensure that happened.

        They wanted the race to finish under green so that it was exciting – if the positions were reveresed, they’d have done the same thing and it would have benefitted Lewis.

        1. if the positions were reveresed, they’d have done the same thing and it would have benefitted Lewis

          You can’t possibly claim to know this for sure.

    3. And now Andrew Benson’s got onto the radio messages. I don’t usually mind him that much, but the article he’s just posted is not great. I kinda wish the BBC could just make Jolyon Palmer or Jack Nicholls their permanent F1 writers.

  3. New cars matching old cars does not highlight the ingenuity and brilliance of f1 technology but rather politics. You don’t have to be an engineer to figure out that, bigger tyres, ever so slightly less massive wings and more downforce from the floor, very quickly negates the increase in weight and the loss of continuity. teams made these rules themselves they always pretend the rules are going to achieve their set goals.

    1. teams made these rules themselves

      Not really, it was an F1 management team that decided the aero rules, bigger tyres, etc… Teams were more involved with the new financial and engine regulations. For sure the teams were told about the direction of the aero regs and could have input, but I remember teams at points complaining about how they weren’t necessarily listened to and just sort of told this is the way it would be.

      The big question is whether teams are still generating vortexes and getting additional downforce from the wings with the features available to them within the regulations, or whether this performance is coming from the underbody, and how this will affect wheel to wheel racing.

      It’s surprising news that nearly all aero performance has been regained, and arguably improved considering news of the engine performance dropping. I don’t think anyone was expecting that in the first year, even if you say from the armchair that it’s obvious.

      1. If Pirelli is right that the larger wheels will improve grip and handling, and that is a pretty easy one to assume, and the tyres will last more than one lap, then my money will be on the new cars being faster over a single lap and over a race distance than the 2021 cars.
        We probably won’t see it in testing due to all the sand-bags being deployed, but by the second race, we should have a good picture. Bring it on …..

      2. I don’t think anyone was expecting that

        Some of us certainly aren’t surprised by it at all @skpigamer.
        F1’s history keeps repeating itself…

      3. @peartree @skipgamer My understanding is the reality is somewhere in the middle of your two comments. The teams didn’t make the rules, nor were they ignored. The teams had input and were involved in the process as Brawn and his team continued their unprecedented two-car nose-to-tail wind tunnel research, and the teams signed off on the concept ultimately, and I certainly don’t recall them stirring up all that much of a fuss. They themselves have known that those clean-air dependent cars “that you can’t pass in” had to go.

        I’m not that surprised at their projected performance level (and let’s wait and see what actually translates to the track and especially when they are all racing closely in anger), because the data gathered by Brawn and everyone involved has been massive. I don’t envision that there will be enough room in the regs for any team to get their car anywhere near back to creating significant and harmful dirty air off the backs of their cars in order to disrupt trailing cars. The rear wings and diffusers will be sending their (decreased amount of) dirty air upwards and over the trailing cars. The cars themselves will no longer be dependent on clean air over wings for optimum performance.

        If presumably there has been less room to innovate both through the regs and through the budget caps, I envision no cars having any big technical find that sees them dominate, so to me the performance differential will come from the finer details, and the drivers, and how well the drivers adapt to the totally new feel of these cars. Some may love it, some may not, or maybe they’ll all be having more fun out there and be way more confident in their cars while trailing coming up to a turn. Obviously we’ll only really know come race one, although it won’t surprise me if the teams informally agree to try to do a little ‘racing’ with each other in the testing about to happen, so they can start to get a feel for things. Driving around alone is only going to teach themselves so much.

      4. @skipgamer @robbie the rules have to be passed by the teams, the fia does not have enough votes to pass anything, so the rules were made by the teams.

  4. Magnussen’s opinion is the most interesting. I wonder how many mid field losers could go on to do better things and given the opportunity to win races. It would have to be pretty frustrating. That he wouldn’t be willing to come back given the opportunity is telling.

    Politics being entwined with motorsports is the most fascinating thing. I don’t think it’s possible to separate because somebody needs to pay for the cars at the end of the day.

  5. The other thing that has struck me is with the estimates that this year cars may be a bit quicker than expected, maybe only 1-3 seconds slower than last year, is it, if all their year of development solely for 2022 paid off, entirely out the question that the 2022 Haas is quicker than 2021 car, at least at some circuits?

    If they get the rules somewhat right, and the cars are quicker than we thought, it might just be possible…

    1. Completely forgetting the title of this round up about the cats maybe being as quick this year as they were last year, I should clarify that I meant could Haas be quicker at the start of the season than they were at the same point in 2021?

  6. Ref comment of the day

    Will last season be remembered for the title fight or the controversial finale?

    No, not at all, except maybe with some Lewis fans but that will fade too. Look at so many other sports. Most importantly, it is a season sport, not a single race sport so a single race really doesn’t have such influence.

  7. 3-3.5 was the original estimation coming from FIA until Symonds first gave 0.5, which is effectively what Pirelli also gave slightly later.
    The 7-sec one from AM was (over)exaggerated, but anyway, what I care about is outright faster than everything pre-2017 technical reg changes.

    Indeed not ‘new’ but a motor race can equally happen with all lapped drivers mixing up, although pointless this long afterwards.

    I’d argue the opposite concerning BBC’s claim on how one should interpret his factory attendance.

    I like the charity auction joke.

    K-Mag’s motive is fully understandable & I assume some other former regulars share this.

    A good COTD.

  8. It is very unfortunate that Masi used the ‘it’s called a motor race’ words when Wheatley also used the exact words ‘motor race’. It implies that his thinking was affected. Mainly because ‘motor race’ isn’t the first word combination that comes to mind. It’s a shame too because I loved Masi’s putdown of Wolff. Can’t really say that it’s effective anymore if he was using words subconsciously planted in his mind by Wheatley.

    1. It is very unfortunate that Masi used the ‘it’s called a motor race’ words when Wheatley also used the exact words ‘motor race’. It implies that his thinking was affected.

      It is very normal that people use the same words (combinations) as those they hear around them.
      It doesn’t necessarily mean that they are influenced (as in ‘tainted’) by them any more than taking it in as another piece of information.

  9. Maybe it is the beauty and cruelty of F1 coming together. F1 has been the pinnacle of motorsport for decades now and only handfull of racers will ever get there. Nowadays the amount is even lower. If you’re a racing driver you want to win. Some achieved it and some don’t. I get what Magnussen is talking about. Still he had his chance at Mclaren but maybe it was the wrong year and maybe it was something to do with himself.
    For a racing driver it is a huge thing to get to the top level but to be on the top level of top level it takes something special. Some drivers can accept the fate and some will chase it as long as they can.

  10. I think that is the case in most dual-nationality sport winners. Some say Finland has 3 1/2 champions, some say Keke is half swedish so techanically sweden has one champion and Nico is half finnish so does that make 3 total champions, which is the actual number but in the end is it?
    If Mazepin somehow becomes a champion Russia will still not have a champion but russian automobile federation will have one.
    There is also one example in WRC Petter Solberg was a norwegian champion but if his son wins he will win for Sweden because they live so close to the border (and his mom is swedish) that he chose the blue and yellow over blue and red. But can someone say he still is 1/4 of norwegian even though he is swedish?
    If an apple falls from a tree but before hitting the ground it has crossed the border because the tree was between two countries. Who does it belong to? The one where it was grown up or one where it landed?

    1. If an apple falls from a tree but before hitting the ground it has crossed the border because the tree was between two countries. Who does it belong to? The one where it was grown up or one where it landed?

      legal answer (in most countries): the country where it landed ;)

      Picking the fruit is a whole different story though. Even if the branches overhang the boundary (border) it is mostly (not always) not allowed to pick the fruit.
      But in most cases you can cut back the branch from which the fruit is hanging (and then pick it) ;)

    2. If it’s a driver it lands in the country that gives it the most support, merchandise outlets, publicity, sponsors, £$£$£$.

  11. Thank you @keithcollantine for comment of the day. Only just seen it.

    Let’s see what 2022 brings us. Better, more clear rules I hope and better racing.

  12. Webber’s comments irk me. Sorry I don’t care much for the ‘clean fight, one guy with his arm tied behind his back’ thing at all, given this is pretty common in F1 – it’s rarely fair. A straight fight for position between a Haas and a Ferrari isn’t fair. I’ve watched Hamilton benefit repeatedly from opportune red flags, perfect timing safety cars and stewarding choices that swing wildly in his favour and I’ve also seen him lose to them. This time it didn’t swing in his favour and it cost him a championship – it could quite as easily been the other way.

    Complaints about inconsistent stewarding and weird application of the rules I agree with because this is uncomfortably regular in F1 and if you have a rulebook then where it cannot be bent and modified needs to be clear, just as much where the grey areas are and why. But this narrative Hamilton was ‘robbed’, it wasn’t ‘fair’ or it was ‘manipulated’ is complete nonsense.

    1. I’ve watched Hamilton benefit repeatedly from opportune red flags, perfect timing safety cars and stewarding choices that swing wildly in his favour

      And you’ve had a lot to say in those cases so I’m not sure why you have a problem with Webber having his say about this particular case?

    2. A straight fight for position between a Haas and a Ferrari isn’t fair.

      On the contrary, a straight fight (comparable fuel loads, same tire choice, similar tire age) is a fair fight. The inherent performance differences gap the two cars doesn’t affect the fairness of the fight – both teams had an opportunity to build a car within the rules as well as they could. The situation in Abu Dhabi was two cars of arguably similar performance (based on the season results), on comparable fuel loads, but with not only differing tire compounds, but vastly different tire age. That’s the crux of Webber’s argument. And that doesn’t even introduce the events that led to those circumstances.

      1. It was fair as both had the same opportunity to change tires.

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