What to expect as F1 2022 ‘launch season’ begins

Haas kicked-off proceedings last week by becoming the first team to reveal a glimpse of F1’s 2022 rules revolution, having released images of its new car and livery for the forthcoming campaign. 

F1 has introduced a major overhaul to the technical regulations this year in the hope of making the field more competitive and improving the racing spectacle. 

Teams have been working on the new cars – which feature simplified aerodynamic components including re-shaped wings and 18-inch wheels – for two years after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the rules to be postponed until 2022. 

The first images dropped by Haas on Friday only showed digital renders of its VF-22 and are not representative of the car that will hit the track for the first time during pre-season testing in Barcelona on February 23-25. 

Haas technical director Simone Resta admitted the American outfit’s 2022 challenger will look “marginally different” at the first test in Spain. 

“It will be a nice time to see all the cars together on day one in Barcelona on the track when everyone will run,” said Resta. “I’m pretty sure there will be different ideas to look at… for thinking about how to evolve the car in a different direction.”

Given the scale of the rule changes, teams are wary of giving away any of their design secrets to their rivals. It is likely that the cars launched over the next two weeks will be basic ‘showcars’ or early development models that do not resemble the finished article. 

It is advised not to take the launches entirely at face value, as teams will be wanting to keep their cards close to their chests until testing, or perhaps even the first race in Bahrain on March 20. 

Here is what is coming up this week: 

Red Bull – February 9 

Red Bull will reveal the car with which Max Verstappen will defend his maiden F1 title on Wednesday afternoon, kicking off three straight launch days. 

The Milton Keynes outfit is planning a special virtual reveal for its RB18 challenger via social media that will involve fan participation. The event is due to begin at 4pm GMT. 

Red Bull has promised a “launch like no other” with its immersive, interactive experience that is set to include up to 5,000 fans to “deliver a multi-channel fan-first experience”. 

Aston Martin – February 10 

On Thursday, Aston Martin will become the next team to present its 2022 F1 car, the AMR22.

Aston Martin will also conduct an online launch, with drivers Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll set to take the covers off its second F1 car since its rebrand. 

The event is due to get underway from 2pm at Aston Martin Lagonda’s Gaydon headquarters and will be live-streamed, as well as being shown live on Sky Sports F1 and its official YouTube and Facebook channels. 

Last year, Aston Martin put on a flashly, star-studded launch hosted by actress and former Bond girl Gemma Arterton that saw quest appearances from James Bond actor Daniel Craig and NFL legend Tom Brady. 

McLaren – February 11 

Following Red Bull and Aston Martin, McLaren will launch its MCL36 on Friday at its Woking headquarters. 

The launch will be a hybrid online/in-person event at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, with the reveal show beginning at 7pm. It will be live-streamed on McLaren.com and the team’s YouTube channel, as well as Sky Sports F1. 

Alongside Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo revealing McLaren’s latest F1 car, the team is also conducting ‘season launches’ for its IndyCar, Extreme E and McLaren Shadow projects. 

What about the other teams?

The F1 launches will continue next week with AlphaTauri unveiling its AT03 on Monday February 14, before Ferrari and Mercedes launch their respective 2022 cars on Thursday February 17 and Friday February 18. 

Alpine is set to reveal its A522 challenger two days before testing starts on Monday February 21, while Alfa Romeo will run its C42 in an interim livery at Barcelona before formally launching its car on Sunday February 27. 

Williams is the only team yet to confirm its launch plans ahead of the new season. 




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