Ferrari, McLaren and Alpine cars - and Sergio Perez's Red Bull - in parc ferme after qualifying, Circuti de Catalunya, 2021

F1 reveals format of its new ‘Show and Tell’ sessions for 2022

2022 F1 season

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Formula 1 is a multi-faceted sport with many areas of interest which attract the millions of international viewers who tune in to watch.

Whether it’s the sheer spectacle of watching the fastest racing machines on the planet lap circuits quicker than any other form of motorsport, the thrill of competition itself or the personalities that are present in the sport either on or off the track, a variety of reasons that draw audiences to Formula 1 and create such a passionate fanbase.

But the technical side of the sport – car design, research and development – has often been somewhat overlooked, particularly given how critical it is to deciding the race order at the chequered flag

That will change this season with the introduction of the all-new ‘Automobile Displays’, which are designed to open up the technical side of the sport to fans and make understanding car development more accessible than ever.

Ferrari F175 launch, 2022
This year’s cars will draw increased interest
First proposed by Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn and confirmed in the new 2022 sporting regulations published earlier this week, the new automobile displays have been likened to a ‘show and tell’ session. They promise to offer unprecedented transparency for fans and viewers into the technical side of the sport by requiring teams to share access and information about upgrades to their cars throughout the season.

Formula 1’s revised race weekend schedule beginning in 2022 will see the traditional Thursday media day scrapped with practice sessions will be moved later in the day on Friday to allow for pre-weekend media work to be held in the mornings. Instead on Thursdays, under Article 19.1 a), all ten teams must now submit a summary document to the FIA that briefly outlines “all major aerodynamic and bodywork components and assemblies that have not been run at a previous event… and are intended to be run at the event,” no less than 23 hours before the start of the first practice session.

This rundown of all changes to visible bodywork on their cars will remain sealed until around 90 minutes until first practice when the pre-event Automobile Display will now take place. All 20 cars will then sit on show for up to a full hour, with all of the major bodywork changes the team intends to run on their cars present on the car during their first run out on the circuit at the beginning of the first practice session.

The display will provide media at the circuit with an opportunity to identify the key changes to each of the 10 teams’ cars for the upcoming race weekend before a wheel is turned. While F1 media and technical experts have rarely struggled to recognise the big alterations teams make to cars to suit each circuit’s characteristics or upgrade packages intended to improve their overall performance, they have relied on trying to capture their own images showing the various parts from when the cars are out on the track. Now, fans will be able to enjoy extensive breakdowns and analysis of each team’s revised models before a single lap time is set.

Teams can be excused from being forced to display their cars as demanded by the regulations in the event of a major problem, but only at the discretion of the race director after submitting a formal request.

But the Friday morning display is not the only time over the race weekend teams will be made to show off their cars in this way. Half an hour after qualifying has finished on Saturday afternoon, a second automobile display session of the weekend will take place.

Mercedes W13 launch, 2022
Teams will put technical staff forward
The two major differences in the Saturday display is that only five teams, chosen by the race director and technical delegate, will be compelled to present one of their cars with which they have completed qualifying. Of the teams that are chosen, each must put forward a “senior” representative of their technical or sporting teams for at least ten minutes to answer questions about their cars and any alterations made to them since the first display session on Friday morning.

In a sport as aggressively secretive as Formula 1, these new displays amount to a striking new level of clarity and access for both the media and F1 fans. While it might be easy to think that the teams might be less than pleased at being made to bare all in such a public manner, there are a few important reasons why this new element of the race weekend is not as revealing as it may seem.

Teams are naturally protective over not giving away information about their cars unnecessarily, but it is also true that by the time the cars are sat in the garage in Bahrain, waiting for the green light to signal the start of the first practice session of the season, teams will already have analysed thousands of gigabytes worth of images of their nine competitors over two pre-season tests. With teams only required to disclose changes to visible bodywork and aerodynamics, it’s all information that teams will inevitably discover about their rivals through the weekend anyway, making it less of a concern for each of the competitors.

There’s also the fact that the radical new regulations for 2022 have taken the emphasis away from aerodynamic performance generated by the car’s upper surface and instead reintroduced ground effect, making car underbodies far more crucial an area, even if they will be much less conspicuous.

In a season where the rate of car development is expected to be extreme, Formula 1’s cars will evolve extensively between the pre-season testing, the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix and the finale in Abu Dhabi, 23 races later. With this new feature introduced to the sport, fans should be able to follow the technical war throughout 2022 better than ever before.

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Author information

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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29 comments on “F1 reveals format of its new ‘Show and Tell’ sessions for 2022”

  1. So, I guess it will be interesting to see how this goes.

    I like the technical side of the sport, and it’s a good point that everything visible is likely known soon if not already before by the competition anyway.

    1. @bosyber it does, however, also introduce a few issues with reducing flexibility for the teams because they are also required to lock in their car at the start of the race weekend.

      For example, because of the change in rear wing regulations, it makes it a lot harder to increase the rear wing angle because of the way it is now blended in. If you want to make a more significant wing angle change, your only option is to put a new rear wing on entirely – which you would not be allowed to do because that would then count as a change in “major aerodynamic and bodywork components” and violate the new parc ferme regulations which are being introduced that are linked to this change.

  2. Spygate flashbacks..

    If there is a crash I think none of the 10 teams are particulary happy if their car will be upside down so all the world can see what they have done there.

  3. I have mixed views on this. I like the idea. I love the technical side of F1, it’s fascinating. Half of it I’m not clever enough to understand, but enjoy trying to understand it. So to see the cars close up and their “secret bits” will be brilliant.

    But the secrecy of F1 is what makes it great. I love it when the engineers all try to hide the cars, it makes it all the more gratifying when you get to see a snippet of a zoomed in photo of the “knee hole of the s duct”

  4. To be honest, I am not particularly worried about the concern that this reveals secrets to other teams. If a team brings upgrades now, every other team will have pictures of it in 4K at the end of the first practice session at the very latest anyway; anything else would be silly, knowing what the competition does is crucial in this high tech sport. All in all, I think this rule change makes the media’s job easier without actually bringing much harm to anyone.

  5. everyday we stray further away from sport

    1. Not +1, but +100…this is what makes me angry

    2. Coventry Climax
      19th February 2022, 22:38

      F1 erodes at F1 speed. And so is my interest.
      The more the merrier, they say. Well, not for me.
      The more people like it, the more mainstream it is and that is never beneficial to the art, sport or whatever itself, only to the people making money of it. Example is the lousy music that ends up in the top charts and is plugged to be played on the radio all the time.
      Usually something new emerges from somewhere. Can’t wait, bring it on!

      1. So you stopped liking the sport because… it’s popular? Or is it because they’re changing something that has nothing to do with the actual racing?

        That’s stupid.

    3. What on earth are you on about?

      This is a completely reasonable, common sense, fan focused initiative.

  6. More important is ‘explain and justify’ by stewards and Race Director after each race.

    After all of its good for the team goose it’s good for the almighty and secret FIA.

    1. I agree. I want color glossy 8×10 photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explainin’ what it means, for each stewards’ decision.


      1. Not going to happen. I think I saw them in the back of a red VW microbus with shovels ,rakes and implements of destruction…. or on the group W bench 🤔

    2. I think the opposite. I believe that half of the prpblem is that Michael Masi was out in front of the Media too often, having to justify stewarding decisions that were not of his making. All it did was give the media and fans more to pick at and more.opportunity to criticise….Masi himself always became the focus of that criticism whether justified or not.

      Charlie Whiting rarely used to explain the decisions made by the stewards or himself. I remember him doing the odd presentation to explain certain controversial decisions that he thought needed more understanding but he was never out after every race fielding questions from journalists. The decision was the decision and that was that.

  7. I am now guessing that some cosy relationships between teams and media will be developed. I can easily see MB accidentally on purpose providing questions to friendly media for asking RBR (and vice-versa).

    Also be interesting how the FIA will police the answering of questions as teams will be providing the most vague and mis-directional answers possible which is clearly not what the FIA are wanting, therefore providing a platform for various cat-and-mouse games.

  8. Why don’t they just have Seb walking through parc ferme with a cameraman? I’d pay to watch that.

  9. I think this is good. Hopefully all these new fans they talked about that might not be so technically inclined will get a better understanding of this important part of the sport. The technical race is fairly unique for a formula series and a bigger part of the competition than some might think. I think its a part of f1 that has been a bit underdeveloped during the years.

  10. I don’t know how to feel about this because on one hand as someone who enjoys the technical side of the sport it will be nice to see the updates, But on the other hand part of what i enjoy is looking for the updates and trying to figure out what they do myself.

    I also like the element of teams having to do the same.

    You take something like DAS as a recent example. Nobody really knew exactly what it was doing at first orhow it worked & that aspect to it created far more interest than if we had had just been told what it was & how it worked.

    It’s funny because years ago i often said the more data & information we got the better it would be. However as we have started to get more data/information on broadcasts & stuff I’ve actually found that i preferd having far less as having to work stuff out myself not only made me feel more engaged but that extra bit of uncertainty & unknowns also made things feel a bit less predictable.

    1. It’s funny because years ago i often said the more data & information we got the better it would be. However as we have started to get more data/information on broadcasts & stuff I’ve actually found that i preferd having far less as having to work stuff out myself not only made me feel more engaged but that extra bit of uncertainty & unknowns also made things feel a bit less predictable.

      Exactly, @stefmeister.
      It’s what I keep saying. Nobody likes someone telling you everything that’s about to happen and how it will end when you watch a movie. Sport is the same.

      And DAS was never that mysterious. A little engineering knowledge and the typical creative interpretation of F1’s regs made it clear straight away what they were doing.
      But if the media gave you all the details straight away, it wouldn’t have been any fun, would it? ;)

  11. Like many others I’m a bit torn by this. Could be a good thing, could be a bad thing. It all depends on the actual implementation. I think those that are interested already have a way of getting the information they want, or have fun speculating until the truth is finally revealed. My fear is that this will be aimed at the “casual viewer” like so much else these days. That means that the technical explanations will probably be simplified to the point of being outright wrong. Every time I see something like that I just cringe. Those that are actually interested wouldn’t get anything from it. And worse, the “casuals” would be ill-informed. That’s even worse than un-informed.
    But who knows, maybe it turns out to be a great thing. Like the article discusses, the teams wont really be revealing anything that their competitors won’t know anyway.
    Personally though, I would rather see the teams do actual in-depth reveals of last years secrets than have them awkwardly try to disclose as little as possible about current tech while still fulfilling their obligation to participate. I think there must be plenty of juicy stuff that just gets forgotten over time.

  12. This is another terrible idea, and suspect it’ll only last a season in this guise.

    The focus for performance has switched to the floor and underside of the car this season, so any developments are going to be difficult to openly show unless they put each car on a raised platform …

  13. I don’t see the problem that others here seem to. It’s a massive part of the sport but outside of the occasional 5 minute VT on Sky F1 it’s a massively under discussed element of the sport. This brings it front and centre and helps open it up to more casual fans. And guess what many casual fans will actually develop into deeper fans, how else did most of us get interested in F1 other than catching it on the tv and it sparking something inside us. Really disappointed at the sort of elitist gate keeping some F1 fans have about their sport.

  14. Ferrari should hire Kimi for their “senior” representative of sporting team role.

  15. I can see Pro’s & Con’s, it will be interesting to see how this plays out especially in a year that will have so much car evolution.

  16. Just waiting for AWS graphics which will tell after Ferrari has brought their 3rd front wing upgrade that they have gained 1,5s after one weekend.

  17. The post quali one will be interesting. Although the pre practice one I suspect will see the cars in “installation lap” condition and not necessarily have all of the new trick bits fitted…yet.

    1. “…sit on show for up to a full hour, with all of the major bodywork changes the team intends to run on their cars present on the car during their first run out on the circuit at the beginning of the first practice session.”

      This sentence from the article is really messy. But if my understanding of it is correct, then for that first show-and-tell session they will have to bolt on everything new for that week. Which in itself is madness because often parts are designed to be used in specific combinations with other specific parts, not necessarily all at once.

  18. Just waiting for one of the teams (or more likely several) to intentionally mislead the press. That will be fun to watch.
    Reporting on the new carbon fiber assemblies stashed in the footwell to hold the silica granules that are being used to improve the steering, around a number of issues.
    Having a technical rep do the presentation is nice, but does anyone really think he is going to expose what is really going on? Not (insert (red) colorful metaphor) likely.

  19. I knew this could be diminished the thrill of secrecy of the sport for old fans.

    But I welcome this initiative as it would drive many new fans to start to talked about F1 technicality in social media rather than just constant spite against drivers they hate.

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