Formula 1: Haas kickstart revolutionary 2022 era with first look at new car and livery

Haas become the first team to reveal images of the 2022 car ahead of physical reveal at first pre-season test; Team stick to white-based livery from last year but big changes to car clear to see; New rules focused on improving racing with overhauled aerodynamics

Last Updated: 04/02/22 6:01pm

Haas have provided a first look at the all-new Formula 1 cars by unveiling their livery for the 2022 season, as the sport prepares for a shake-up amid the dramatic regulation changes.

The new F1 rules – introduced to help closer, more competitive and exciting racing – have been described as the biggest technical overhaul in 40 years, and Haas became the first team to release images of a 2022 design on Friday.

While not a physical reveal, with the American team’s challenger expected to look different when it hits the track, the renders do highlight the aesthetic changes and the overhauled aerodynamics, with a new floor, wings and 18-inch tyres the big changes.

Haas are set for an official unveiling of their car before the first morning of pre-season testing, just as they have done since joining the grid in 2016.

They have an unchanged driver line-up for this year, retaining Mick Schumacher – son of F1 legend Michael – and Nikita Mazepin, who joined the team as rookies last season.

Haas kick off F1 launches with ‘dramatically different’ look

The new rules offer all teams a clean slate to redesign their cars and reshape their fortunes, and Haas in particular will be looking to take advantage of that opportunity.

The team suffered their worst F1 season last year, finishing 10th and last in the standings and failing to score a single point in a car that was barely upgraded from 2020.

Haas have, however, been openly targeting 2022 and optimism will come from that focus.

The VF22 is the first entry to emerge from the team’s all-new design-office in Maranello, Italy – led by technical director Simone Resta, on secondment from Ferrari, who described the new car as the “most complex project”.

They say that while the design is “dramatically different, the livery of the new entry is a evolution of last year”.

“It’s that time of year where you’re naturally optimistic that the hard work and effort of everyone will translate to a competitive entry on track,” said the team’s owner, Gene Haas. “We made the decision back in 2020 to really channel time and resources into the VF-22, foregoing anything track-related for 2021 – which wasn’t easy to watch.

“Hopefully that decision bears fruit and we return to challenging for points and taking something from the weekends.”

Team principal Gunther Steiner added: “Last season was a long one but I’m confident that 2022 will see us back in the mix with the VF-22.”

Some of the aerodynamic details of the Haas car have been removed, which will likely be common in this F1 launch season as teams bid to keep most of their ideas secret until the last possible moment.

When are the new cars revealed?

February 4 Haas (livery reveal)
February 9 Red Bull
February 10 Aston Martin
February 11 McLaren
February 14 AlphaTauri
February 17 Ferrari
February 18 Mercedes
February 21 Alpine
February 27 Alfa Romeo
Williams TBC

Explaining F1’s dramatic new cars

Why is F1 changing?
You’re probably wondering why – after one of the most exciting seasons in decades – F1 is completely overhauling its rules and cars.

There’s a few explanations for that. Traditionally, regulations have been changed for safety, as if F1 just keeps letting teams make their cars faster and faster – the last era of cars were the quickest-ever – then it gets more and more difficult to make the sport as safe as possible.

That may have been a factor for this year’s revolution, although the main reason is that F1 wanted to move on from an era that has been – Max Verstappen’s title win aside – dominated by Mercedes, while also providing fewer overtaking opportunities than hoped due to the weight, speed and downforce of the cars.

The new rules, which were initially planned for 2021 before being delayed due to the pandemic, are aimed at improving the show, first and foremost, and F1 is hoping for unpredictability and plenty of excitement.

Mercedes technical director James Allison explains the challenges ahead in detail as Formula 1 prepares for one of the biggest rule and car changes in history

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Mercedes technical director James Allison explains the challenges ahead in detail as Formula 1 prepares for one of the biggest rule and car changes in history

Mercedes technical director James Allison explains the challenges ahead in detail as Formula 1 prepares for one of the biggest rule and car changes in history

What are the changes?
The rule changes mean we have a completely new generation of cars.

The concept, marking one of the biggest technical changes in F1 history, has been overhauled from recent years and is, in essence, a simplified yet striking new-look race car following a drastic aerodynamics overhaul.

The key changes are:

  • A ground-effect floor. The 2022 car has two long underfloor tunnels which create a ‘ground effect’ – meaning there is more suction under the car to pull it to the tarmac, while also ensuring more of the downforce is generated from under the car. The concept was popular back in the 1970s and ’80s in F1.
  • A simplified front wing and a sharp new rear wing. These not only look great, but the completely new parts on the 2022 cars have been designed to stop sending airflow outwards, narrowing it instead. The curved rear wing still has DRS, although it may be less impactful.
  • 18-inch tyres with wheel winglets. Another throwback addition, the bigger tyres are aesthetically pleasing while they should also improve the handling of the cars. The winglets have been added to help direct air away from the rear wing.

What will the changes do?
The new cars don’t just look a lot different, but they should have a marked effect on the on-track product, with more exciting and competitive wheel-to-wheel racing the expectation.

They are designed with a focus on shifting the aerodynamic focus from the wings to underneath the car, making it easier to follow the car in front, and thus improve racing.

F1’s estimations are that the 2021 cars lost 35 per cent of their downforce within three car lengths of the car in front and almost 50 per cent in a single car length. You may have heard the words ‘dirty air’.

The new cars? They claim to drop those numbers to just four and 18 per cent respectively.

“They’re relying a lot more on air passing underneath the car very quickly which sucks the car down onto the ground, and gives what we like to call ground effect,” said Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz.

“You’ve created a vacuum,” added Anthony Davidson. “There’s suction to the ground, and you’re relying less on the wings to give you rear grip, and more on the floor.”

Related posts