George Russell, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2022

Do Mercedes have a surprise in store? Is there a clear leader? Six testing talking points

2022 F1 season

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Formula 1’s second and final pre-season test will begin tomorrow amid rumours Mercedes have produced something special. What’s in store for the last three days of running before the championship begins?

Mercedes rumours

There have been various claims one team or another might pull out a surprise for the final three days of testing. But one report captured the imaginations of many. Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra yesterday claimed Mercedes is about to present a drastically overhauled W13 which lacks conventional sidepods. The rumours spread rapidly across social media yesterday.

If any team does have a radical idea up their sleeves, now would be a good time to produce it. After this test the contenders head straight into two races on consecutive weekends, meaning any early advantage will be locked in for the first couple of events.

But how realistic such a design would be is open to debate. Removing or drastically downsizing the sidepods while passing F1’s side impact tests would be a formidable challenge. It would also place far greater demands upon the car’s airbox to provide cooling. However other teams have already pursued aggressive solutions in this respect, notably Red Bull’s ultra-slim sidepods.

Mileage shortage

Guanyu Zhou, Alfa Romeo, Circuit de Catalunya, 2022
Alfa Romeo used a special livery for the first test
Two teams left Circuit de Catalunya especially displeased with their progress: The two Ferrari power unit customers Alfa Romeo and Haas.

Alfa Romeo covered the lowest mileage of any team. “In the past we’ve been usually very good in reliability,” said the team’s technical director Jan Monchaux. “For this new car we had to go very extreme on some design features essentially because of the weight impact. So yes, we had a few issues to solve but I’m relatively confident we’ll be on top of them.”

It was a particular setback to the team as running the only rookie driver in the field – Guanyu Zhou – and a second newcomer to the team in Valtteri Bottas.

Haas also lost a significant amount of running. This was initially due to problems with the floor striking the track and later an engine oil leak cost them even more running. Of course, that turned out to be just the beginning of their troubles during the opening test.

Mazepin out – Fittipaldi in?

Haas severed its ties to Uralkali and Mazepin
When Haas rolled their cars out for the final day of the first test shown of their Uralkali logos and colour scheme, the writing was on the wall for the future of their relationship with their sponsor and driver Nikita Mazepin. Sure enough, Haas subsequently confirmed neither will return following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine two weeks ago, which has already claimed many lives and led two million people to flee the country in the biggest refugee crisis since World War Two.

The team is yet to confirm who will take Mazepin’s place. Team principal Guenther Steiner indicated in Spain that Pietro Fittipaldi, who drove two races for them in 2020 as a substitute for the injured Romain Grosjean, is at the front of the queue. However team owner Gene Haas later said the team wants to put a more experienced driver in the seat for the long-term.

Fittipaldi may therefore get another two-race run in the car for the opening rounds at Bahrain and Jeddah, but have to give up his seat afterwards.

The empty slot on the calendar

Sochi was due to hold its final F1 race in September
The other consequence of Russia’s attack on Ukraine has been the cancellation of the Russian Grand Prix, which was due to be the 17th round of the world championship. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said the series would have “no problem at all” replacing the event.

Istanbul Park in Turkey was immediately named by some publications as a likely replacement, but RaceFans understands it is not under active consideration. Jerez has been rumoured as an alternative, though it would mean a lengthy trek from southern Spain to Singapore for the next round.

The Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, another mooted venue, seems a better fit geographically. However F1 is not under pressure to name a replacement immediately, and as the pandemic seasons have demonstrated, it is now well-practiced in arranging substitute events.

The ‘real’ start of the season?

Alpine livery launch, 2022
Teams have already launched their 2022 cars
F1 officially described the first test of the season in Spain as a shakedown event, and is calling the second test beginning tomorrow the first of the new season. However the two events are the same from the point of view of the regulations; this is just another test, the only difference is semantic.

The series also intends to put on a show of presenting the new cars as they return to action. “The real presentation and launch of the new cars will be in Bahrain and not in Barcelona,” AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost said. “We will have a big announcement and then spectacle and camera teams in Bahrain. This was what teams, FOM and the FIA decided.”

The decision to hold a launch event for cars everyone has already seen is a curious one. What is likely to be of more interest to most fans is this test, unlike the previous one, will be televised.

Who’s ahead?

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2022
Will a different team lead the way?
The one question everyone most wants an answer to from pre-season testing – which team is quickest – is likely to prove the hardest to answer. Only if one team has found a decisive advantage in the order of a second or more per lap is it likely to be discernible through the many variables which obscure testing times.

A succession of different teams took their turns at the head of the times in Spain. Expect to see more of the same over the next three days, and don’t expect a realistic picture to emerge until the first qualifying session of the year concludes just one week later.

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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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  • 89 comments on “Do Mercedes have a surprise in store? Is there a clear leader? Six testing talking points”

    1. The reinvention of pre-season testing as an event in itself, with all the associated hype and coverage, is one of the more remarkable achievements of the Liberty era.

      1. Yet, they failed again, to benefit from turning the Barcelona test into a televised event.
        Indy with their rookie testing etc, did and does that alot better than F1.

      2. And then they decide not to broadcast the test because of some deal with another despot from the Middle East. I’d definitely watch the first days of testing in this new era, there was excitement in the air, yet we saw nothing but a couple short video clips and photos. Sends us back to last century…

        1. @Dex Broadcasting pre-season testing is only a recent past thing anyway, so not really a last-century feeling.

          1. Well, it reminded me of F1 when I started watching it, which wasn’t in this century (as weird as it still sounds, even in ’22). Recently we got used to be seeing everything on broadcast, every minute of action and got a bit spoiled perhaps. Still, don’t provide the fans with something only to take it away. The gap feels larger than it used to be before. I wouldn’t care much last year, I don’t think I’d really watch it, but this year it is a shame… If it was a technical issue I’d get it, but it’s just to indulge some emir, sultan or whatever and whoever he is. That’s what sucks here. I’m sure they know what they are doing though, but I see things from my own perspective as a fan. They can’t have it both ways, avoid criticism and cash in that cheque.

    2. How I wish Merc have found two seconds blowing everyone to smithereens!

      1. I guess we all watch F1 for different reasons Joe. I would wish that all teams have by some miracle identical performance and we have a battle of the drivers with everyone in contention until race 23 ;)

        1. and then you wake up!

          Not remember A1GP? There was a good reason it got axed fairly quickly.

          1. @bobby-balboa Yes, and it was nothing to do with the cars (which were actually re-used in later years in Auto GP), but with the series’ terrible governance.

            1. @red-andy A1GP’s failure was in part down to poor management but also because the series failed to draw an audience. If it had been able to draw an audience it would have attracted sponsors & investors which would have helped it continue.

              It started out promising with some early buzz but that audience quickly dwindled.

            2. Tommy Scragend
              9th March 2022, 15:38

              @gt-racer

              Maybe it failed to draw an audience because no one was really interested in seeing Germany race against Australia? National teams aren’t generally a thing in motorsport so perhaps it just didn’t take off. I did watch it, couldn’t really get into it but I did persevere with it.

              I thought it got worse as a spectacle when they turned it from sprint race with no stops + feature race with one stop, into sprint race with one stop + feature race with two stops.

              None of that was anything to do with the cars having equal performance though.

        2. F1 used to be an innovation competition and it is actually sad go see the FIA has increasingly taken away this competition. I would like to see F1 stay that way. There are always spec series to see competition between similar performance cars.

          1. While I agree about innovation, I’m not sure I want to see Hamilton win a 12th WDC crown in a new era dominated again by Mercedes. Hopefully it’s a bit mixed.

            1. I don’t want to see Hamilton or anyone dominating in that way as well (at least not because of car performance, if the was a far superior driver that would be interesting to see, we all love hero stories). I don’t want rules to prevent that though, then it’s not a story, it’s not exciting. I was hoping for someone to beat them as that was a challenge worthy of attention. If everyone gets a fighting chance not on merit, then it means nothing to me at all. I don’t care for equal performance of the cars if it was orchestrated, I want us to remember legendary teams which performed great in their era. I can’t say I’ll enjoy Aston Martin winning this, or Alfa Romeo, if it’s just a random thing. I want it to be an amazing story of a great achievement, a memorable event. If we get different winners all the time then we know it’s not on merit and if there’s a different champion each year then how much is that title really worth? I don’t want either extreme, that’s all. But I do want more big teams. We lost big teams (Williams and McLaren became backmarkers or midfielders at best, not to mention Renault), we need someone to play their role, be that their revival or someone new jumping in. But then, there are no more team owners from that sort, only corporations and tycoons.

          2. Agree 100%

          3. Strange remark in a year where innovation is written with a capital.
            Just looking at the difference in cars shows there are lot of alternate tracks.
            I get it you want Mercedes to lead the way once again. But that would really kill competition.

          4. F1 used to be an innovation competition and it is actually sad go see the FIA has increasingly taken away this competition. I would like to see F1 stay that way. There are always spec series to see competition between similar performance cars.

            @Joe Yes, FIA started to take away competition after teams like Mercedes started spending absurd amounts of money. Independent teams from past have done it for reasonable amount of money without the need for limits.

            1. @Denis, yes. Independent teams that get stuck as back-markers, or midfield at best; unless of-course you are Brawn GP and you get an innovation worth millions for just $1 from Honda, and guess what, history repeats itself. F1 should see all the big car companies slugging it out without limitations. That’s what they should work on IMHO. This is capitalism at its worst, if they can’t afford it, let them go and compete in another series. Apologies about the rant.

          5. Joe. With more interest in F1 than ever, you would rather it go back to an era that was killing the sport and boring everyone to death? I hope there is never a driver with such a dominant car ever again, only then can we start to think about calling it a sport.

            1. @G, don’t buy into the hype mate. What is it to you and me if Liberty manged to attract more fans into the sport or not, either you love F1 or not, you are a petrol head or not. You don’t watch it just because its popular on Netflix.

          6. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
            9th March 2022, 15:16

            Innovation is not what makes F1… it is the “formula” that makes F1 what it is. That formula is the technical regulations that do change over time and it is that in which dictates what sort of innovation is allowed by teams. I think that is an important distinction to make when trying to describe this series.

      2. Agree 100% Joe, if only for justice to be served for the F1X.

        It would be most satisfying to see the racist team with their asterisked “champ” in the midfield.

        1. Absolutely!

        2. Asterix as in…. *won championship with equal/lesser machinery?
          It doesn’t happen often, but we all witnessed something special last year.

          1. Errr … less said about last year the better…

      3. I’d quite like to see Red Bull and Mercedes falter so we can break free from the toxic 2021 rivalry. Bring on a classic McLaren vs Ferrari I say!

        1. “I’d quite like to see Red Bull and Mercedes falter so we can break free from the toxic 2021 rivalry. Bring on a classic McLaren vs Ferrari I say!”

          I guess you never watched F1 back in 2007/2008, lol.

          1. I sure did. What makes you think otherwise? Spygate or Alonso v Hamilton is all I can think of but 2021 has been on a whole other level thanks to social media.

      4. Aren’t you bored by their dominance?

        I always rooted for Vettel, but I was bored AF in 2011 and especially in 2013, and those two years I strongly wished for a more balanced challenge like 2010 or 2012

        But I guess you Merc fans (everyone born in 2014, never seen anybody caring about Mercedes prior to that year) are used to enjoy watching a single car basically racing alone

        Maybe Merc should also make a sub series with only Lewis racing 60 laps by himself, so you’re all happy about that :)

        1. “Aren’t you bored by their dominance?”

          Not at all, I am honest about it. Which fan, in their right minds, wants their team to lose, for the sake of seeing “closely fought championships” if you are really honest about it? I want a walk in the park. I want to see Merc crush the competition, vindicate AB 2021, then justice is served.

          1. Not to lose, just to have a nice fight, I was way more satisfied when Vettel won 2010 and 2012 with such a small margin and after such an intense fight, when in 2013 he won all the races of course I was happy for the championship but didn’t even bothered with watching the last six races, I knew it would have been Seb starts first and wins leavng everyone miles behind

            But I guess Lewis fans don’t even know my 2010 and 2012 feeling of the driver winning the title after a such intense season, after all the last two times Lewis fought for the title to the last race he lost

            I mean, I can’t blame you to be happy watching a single driver and car racing by himself without any opponent, I just can’t understand how is this even enjoyable since I couldn’t enjoy the Seb dominant championships despite being a huge fan

            1. @Manto: not sure what you mean by “the last two times Lewis fought for the title to the last race he lost”. Do you mean 2016 and 2021? Or 2007 and 2021? What about 2008?
              If you mean 2016 and 2021, then I have to say that for 2016, it was lost before the last race. Lewis dominated that last race and deliberately slowed down to back Rosberg into Vettel in 3rd but he Vettel didn’t want to get involve so stayed back. Lewis won the race but the points situation meant he lost before the last race. For 2021, well enough has been said already; that last race wasn’t a fight, was it? Just like 2016, Lewis was dominating the race until that travesty on the last lap, which most neutral fans and pundits agree he was robbed!

            2. The last two times it’s a pretty easy concept to comprehend, in 2016 and 2021 there was a high chance he would have won, just see the points difference at the end

              You decided that he already lost 2016, a Rosberg puncture, pit stop issue, not managing to overtake Verstappen, there were a lot of factors that could result in Lewis winning

          2. Joe, I respect your honesty. If I’m honest for sure a part of me hopes for a cakewalk for Max this season. Just curious…in all honesty would you be saying the same thing, as a Mercedes fan, if RBR had won the last 8 WCCs and 7 WDCs? Or even worse lol, if RBR carried on from 2010 even with the switch to hybrid in 2014, and made it 13 WCC in a row?

            Realistically, the overall new regs (financial and technical) are meant to prevent these long runs of dominance and predictability. That’s not to say going forward a team or two won’t ‘dominate,’ but I think not by nearly the margins, and I don’t think the predictability will be there, or certainly at least not for season after season. I think that if this year and next show one team dominating ala previous gens, they will tweak things to try to prevent that well before it becomes 8 seasons straight.

            I think F1 knows that the dominant multi-season runs, especially if they become relative cakewalks for one driver, are only good for that one team/driver and their fans. There generally needs to be at least some hope for the other teams and drivers, and I think these new overall regs go a long way towards heading there. Not back to previous gens though where even privateer teams had a solid chance, but at least back to where lesser teams see some possibility of growing themselves towards the top, rather than none at all.

            1. Meant to add, for the foreseeable future I still think the competition for the titles will be amongst the factory works teams, and customers will not be beating their suppliers as they will simply be half a step behind in the crucial marriage of pu to chassis, but F1 should become more plug and play for customers come 2026 with the next pu. Customers will have a better chance then, albeit it should still bode well for factory teams too.

          3. That’s really sad man. I guess some people are happy in their grey world of boredom where everyone follows the rules and nothing exciting happens. It makes a championship win more worthwhile when you have to battle and earn it. I can’t watch 50 parade laps where a trophy gets handed out at the end, which is pretty much how the majority of the hybrid era has went. Nothing against Lewis, he can hardly slow the car down to produce a show for everyone but the rules going forward will hopefully set up some proper championships where the driver’s make the difference.

          4. I think this is where F1 differs from other sports. I’ve been obsessed since I was about 10 but I’ve never been a huge fan of any one driver in particular (except maybe Mark Webber but he only had a handful of seasons with machinery capable of winning). I’ve always been a fan of McLaren but I’m just as happy seeing Alpine or Aston Martin do well for example.

    3. I agree, but you choose Mercedes to be the dominant team, the team that has 8 consecutive dominant contractor champions. As I understand you are not searching for innovation and completion, but for your favourite driver to have another walk in the park. I think everyone that is not a fanboy , would like to see another team on top and not by a big mirgin.

      1. Yes, I want justice served in the most dominant fashion, with a car and driver, without their hands tied behind their back. If anyone else can match them and beat them, so be it. Now that is competition.

        1. “If anyone else can match them and beat them, so be it. Now that is competition”

          And when it happens let all watch Wolff and the fans claim that the competitor’s (wing, engine, pit stops, or insert anything else) is illegal, go to the fia and ask for a rule change mid season.

          No thanks, I have enough of that

    4. Lets hope it actually makes them slower. Would be terrible for the sport if Mercedes came out and were miles ahead of everyone again. A decade of domination is long enough, especially in this sport. Lets hope Ferrari and Mclaren are the quickest at the first race so we have some different teams (and very talented drivers) in the spotlight. Would be the breath of fresh air the sport REALLY needs.

      1. I think no sidepods is a failure coming…. to be honest the sidepack protection is really big and is on a fixed spot. So without sidepods are you going to see a wing? Just look at the Red Bull i think those are the smallest sidepods on the grid and we know Adriaan loves to be on the border of things. If Mercedes Sidepods are even smaller than Red Bull’s there will be cooling problems coming up.

        But if it’s allowed we will see others coming afront as they probaly also have it made.

        1. @macleod You can look to the 1st generation Formula E car to see how the side impact protection could be done with smaller/no sidepods.

          The 2 wings either side of the cockpit at the top/bottom were added to cover up the side impact structure.
          https://i.imgur.com/6v2b1Ni.jpeg

          1. @gt-racer yes that was the 1st gen car with almost no side protection but last year that was buffed up check the 2021 cars reveals as they had bigger sideprotection and they had to redesing the sidepods…

            But you think Mercedes created something like your picture that would be very daring and why didn’t they do that sooner (but that is for a other time) Without side pods you throw the only ear where you could use aero away.
            I don’t think that is very good allround.

            But tomorrow we will see the new cars … :)

        2. How are the Red Bull sidepods smaller again?

      2. That would be awesome indeed. Imagine a season without hearing clowns Horner and Wolff all the time. Wow, just the thought of it makes me happy

        1. They should consider taking out constructor points every time these two open their mouth

          1. Mainly just Christian

            1. Mainly wolff!

            2. Wolff isn’t annoying at all huh?
              They won 8 championships and he still says thing like “I’ll never talk to Masi again”
              Just ridiculous, he will make lose the brand reputation

            3. They are both called Christian

    5. You want freah air stick your head out the window… Just kidding yes i also want mclaren up there.

    6. Return to Sepang could be a possibility unless the Chinese offers F1 a sweet deal for another Chinese GP in another track.

      Besides Sepang, Malaysia, maybe Indonesia or Thailand?

      But I wouldn’t mind Adelaide to replace the Russian GP.

    7. Imagine if Mercedes really wasted 3 of the 6 testing days on a design they were never going to run. While wasting their now limited resources on making a completely fake-but-real-looking design. Just to get a perceived edge of one week longer of their competition not knowing what they have up their sleeves (as if they could copy such a vital part of their design during the season at all, let alone with another week’s heads up).

      If that’s really what they did, I hope missing out on 3 days of testing really messes them up for the first half of the season lol.

      1. Agreed, it would be a stupid thing to do and does not fit Mercedes.
        On the other hand, if there is really a B speck it shows Mercedes made some very wrong turns during winter in the developing of the new car.
        Both options show some serious issues at Mercedes.

        1. They really did that but i am not going see a total different design here. Just keep the floor in mind that is going to major.

        2. Yeah Erikje, coz the 2019 season provide to be a struggle after showing a B spec in the second half of testing. Funny.

          1. You seem to have missed some essential info. There is a budget and consequently development cap this year.
            In the past Mercedes just threw a lot of money in and solved the problem. Not now anymore.

        3. Lol – the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. But it is hilarious to see such comments – do you really think the most successful team in recent years doesn’t know what it’s doing?

          1. If they need a complete b spec it’s indeed ver worrying.
            Only after three testing days the work can be redone.. Yes that’s really worse.

      2. I think they would do that only for aero, can’t believe they would arrive with a significantly revised packaging for the 2nd test. the rumoured sidepods must have been already in place but just hidden.

    8. We’ll see if Mercedes does anything similar to 2019 or any team for that matter.

      Haas & AR very much need more running.

      Announcing Mazepin’s replacement has taken surprisingly long, considering the season-opener lead time.

      I’ve already made quite lengthy points on Russian GP replacements, so shortly here, surprising if Istanbul Park isn’t in active consideration, given this track was the first choice for both Canadian & Singapore GP cancellations last season.

      Indeed only semantic.

      Definitive competitive order judgments are impossible at this point.

    9. Why is Sepang a better circuit geographically? Any European circuit is closer to Sochi than Sepang, let alone St. Petersburg.

      1. @ryanoceros For Singapore proximity, of course, this should’ve been clear-cut immediately.
        Far closer to Singapore than European circuits & Istanbul Park, which matters rather than what locations are closer to Sochi Autodrom.

        1. @jerejj
          There is only the Singapore race between the last race in Europe and the cancelled Russian event. I don’t think it would make much difference logistically. The teams have several sets of equipment and regardless some of it will be flown to Japan and some will be shipped probably to Austin. Whether the flights are from Malaysia to Japan or from Portugal for example to Japan doesn’t make much difference. It would be better to have an event where people will attend.

          The Malaysian GP has had quite low attendance. Better to hold races where people will attend them. Apparently it’s also not such a good event for foreigners to visit because the track location is isolated from places if interest. Airport -> hotel -> track. Everyone I’ve talked to who has been there mentions this.

          1. But the decision will probably be made based on whoever will pay the largest fee.

          2. @ryanoceros Decent points, although more favorable for travelling people going from Malaysia to Singapore than Europe or Istanbul to Singapore since the distance is far shorter.
            The attendance point is good, & yes, probably the one paying the largest fee, although transportation logistics also play a part & Istanbul Park seems most fitting on both these fronts.

    10. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      9th March 2022, 9:11

      It is amazing how before Barcelona here and elsewhere folk were talking up how good Adrian Newey’s cars are, were and will be and here some are now uncertain that in fact it is Allison who may just be the guy at the moment.

      1. Is it? If you really developt a car that needs a complete overhaul after three days of testing does not bode well for the future.
        But we will know soon.

        1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
          9th March 2022, 10:48

          Allison has spoken of previous cars looking vastly different but not because it is a new car but what the fast speed of development has lead them to.

          1. They do not have the money nor the tunnet time like they used to.

      2. I think the name is Owen. John Owen. It still amazes me how Merc’s chief designer is pretty much unknown to many fans. Here is a guy who bucked the high rake trend and did his own thing and ended up winning all those WCCs and yet I’d bet many people on this site would probably not be able to identify him in a group. @KeithCollantine – a feature on this genius would be very welcome.

        1. Here is to all the unsung heroes that never get mentioned, when we are bored to the point where “the brilliant” seemed Newey’s first name. No disrespect to Newey by the way.

    11. I seriously doubt that Mercedes has wasted funds on something they’re not going to use so I don’t expect a huge radical change.

      Even if they bring a new development it might well be designed for certain tracks much like every team has specific high and low downforce setups in previous years.

      Tomorrow’s going to be interesting to say the least.

      1. That is what i also expect but also from the other teams….

        1. @dbradock @macleod Yeah I tend towards this thinking too. I expect all teams to have further developments not just for tomorrow, but for the next two days after that, and then for the first race, and then throughout the season.

          You’d think, and of course I could be wrong, that there will be little time to sandbag given the newness of these cars. I think the last test was genuinely a ‘shakedown’ test as it has been described, and this one that is upon them is more of a ‘real’ test, and you’d think over the next 3 days they really need to have their cars quite close to what they will be like for the first race, again, given the unique newness of these cars.

          I’ll be really surprised if the teams are going to for example change the underside of their cars, and I think the changes we see will be more about the front wing, and the sidepods, and the rear diffuser. Of course set up work, and dealing with porpoising in mind all the while. I think we can expect teams to do genuine speed runs on various fuel loads. They really need to get a handle on what they have wrt race trim ahead of the first races. How are the cars going to really feel and perform when they are in something much closer to race trim than we have seen so far? If they can still sandbag somewhat, knowing confidently what they really have for race one, that would be just incredible and fascinating to me, again, given the drastic change to these cars.

          1. Just wanted to add that when I first saw the title of this article and read that the Mercedes “surprise” concept is coming from one Italian newspaper it didn’t really register with me as anything, since all the teams have said from day one that the cars are going to be developed and changed throughout this season. They’re probably playing off how Mercedes has come out with a B car after testing in some past seasons. Whatever they bring to the first race is no indication of how the season will look in it’s last third of the races. We do know that Mercedes in the hybrid era has usually come on very strong near the ends of seasons but I’m just not sure if that is anything to go by now, but I’m sure their competitors are going to act with the assumption that Mercedes will only get stronger and stronger as the season goes along, but nothing precludes RBR, Ferrari, and Mac from doing the same.

    12. Sepang would be a welcome return for me. Apart from occasional issues with rain, which tends to shake up things up nicely anyway, the circuit is wide and smooth with record of good overtaking. Would love to see the circus pitch up in Malaysia again. Might be a good excuse for a holiday too.

      1. Yes, also liked it and a shame to lose it after 2017.

    13. A Lando, Max, Charles battle would be nice and refreshing this season

      1. And Lewis? :-)

    14. It could be that Mercedes will do something like Williams, with a side pod design committed mostly to downwash. But I can’t see them making a new car with a totally different cooling concept at this point. Also I feel like the Renault approach in this vein didn’t look fast or draw much interest from technical circles. It was just a drastic compromise in design without much net effect.

    15. Hope McLaren and Ferrari are quick. If Mercs are also, great.

      Ultimately don’t want FIA to mess up royally again!

    16. 7 talking points, K Mag back for 22

      1. 8th talking point : Flavio Briatore back for 22.

    17. RocketTankski
      9th March 2022, 19:28

      Haas will bring sidepods that lack a conventional car?

    Comments are closed.