Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, Silverstone, 2022

Stroll says new F1 cars feel ‘very different’ after being first to drive a 2022 machine

2022 F1 season

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Lance Stroll says Formula 1’s new rules for the 2022 season have produced cars which feel very different behind the wheel after becoming the first person to drive one.

The Aston Martin driver took the team’s new AMR22 onto the track for the first time at Silverstone last Friday. The team used one of its two permitted ‘filming days’ to conduct a shakedown test of its first 2022-specifiction chasses.

“I didn’t know I was the first driver to get behind the wheel of these new cars,” Stroll admitted afterwards. “It feels great.”

Under the new rules teams have had to cut back the upper surface aerodynamics of their cars and instead rely on more heavily sculpted sections beneath the floor to generate the huge downforce which allows F1 cars to corner so quickly. The 2022 cars also run on 18-inch wheels instead of 13-inches and their suspension systems have been simplified.

The changes have been made largely to encourage cars to race together more closely.

“They’re very different, that’s for sure, they behave differently,” said Stroll. “But hopefully the racing is really exciting this season with the new cars and gives an opportunity for all the teams to come up with some new ideas.”

Aston Martin’s performance director Tom McCullough said the team made “an absolutely huge effort” to run the car on Friday following its launch the day before in Gaydon.

“It’s a huge regulation change. Nearly every component of the car – bar, I think, the steering wheel – is different.

“The car launched [on Thursday], it was then back to the factory overnight, it arrived here early in the morning.”

“It’s always exciting to be the first team to run,” McCullough added. “Obviously for us, we wanted to get a good systems check, make sure the car was all good, get both drivers in and make sure they’re comfortable with the seat fit.

“We don’t get a lot of valuable data from a day like [this] from a performance side, it’s just really reliability and systems checking and a good start to the year.”

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Aston Martin AMR22 shakedown test in pictures

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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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21 comments on “Stroll says new F1 cars feel ‘very different’ after being first to drive a 2022 machine”

  1. I see a Mexico FE image has ended up in the mix.

  2. “I didn’t know I was the first driver to get behind the wheel of these new cars”

    Who do you think was, then?!

    Shame they couldn’t run two cars (haven’t built them yet or, more likely, there’s a rule against it) and give us an early clue whether or not the aero lets them run together!

  3. Did they change the driver number on the car from 18 to 5 before Vettel drove or did they actually have 2 cars?

    1. They just changed the numbers.
      Even if the rules allowed two cars on a filming day, no team has two fully functioning cars at this stage of the year, the second chassis usually gets built during testing to be ready for race one.

      Often there’s only a single copy on some of the parts like wings, floor, etc and the reason why it’s so costly (in terms of development) to have a crash in the first days of testing.

  4. That front wing looks like it lets a lot of air under the car to help with down force.

    1. @blueruck Yeah it looks like that is a feature of all the cars we’ve seen so far, and to me it makes perfect sense.

  5. Would be nice if drivers elaborated, how different is it..

    Just different is not exactly descriptive.

    1. Exactly. A burger with a lizard meat patty could be described as “different”.

      1. 😂 True and I was hoping for more too but perhaps that’s a bit much to expect when they’re not exactly pushing anything on a filming day.

    2. I think only saying “they behave differently” already a good sign. It could be The Great Reset we all hoping for.

  6. Look like a two ton tank

    1. A tank, @melthom? Perhaps an aero tank… more of a single seat aero limo.

      Similar to before, but heavier with run-flat tyres. Or pre-flattened. Probably saving the spinners for the 1st race.

    2. These cars are a touch smaller than their predecessors. But this one may look particularly thicc because of their cooling system relying on a lot of louvers over a big void instead of just chopping the sidepod like McLaren.

  7. Can they just ask mercedes whether tge steering wheel is new or not?

    1. @peartree The steering wheel design has remained unchanged, so not new.

      1. @jerejj must be because of the pesky chip shortages.

  8. I wish he would say what the difference is like you have to keep the throttle on it while going through the corner to keep the downforce active for example!
    Or is it just much less downforce also filmday the speeds are not at 100% that could be the reason the car feels different…

  9. “They’re very different, that’s for sure”

    Oh, my… What cr@p insight into the news cars. We will have to wait Alonso to describe how it feels exactly to drive those cars.

    1. You think FA will have more to contribute from a filming day?

  10. The fake “blanks” next to the cooling inlets are perplexing. It suggests that the car was rushed or that this area is not finished on purpose, to keep open design options or mislead competitors. After all, it’s the first car on track. But why would you not put sponsorship there like every other highly visible square inch of the car to complete the ruse?

    1. Perhaps the “black bit” can be changed easily in order to get more cooling at hotter tracks, and less at cooler tracks.

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