Five standout technical ideas from F1's 2022 cars – Autosport

The more restrictive regulations in terms of design freedom prompted fears that the only variation we would see among cars would be with the sidepods.
However, as the F1 season has developed, there has been a fascinating mix of ideas and solutions up and down the grid that are worth focusing on.
Here we take a look at some of the key areas where teams have allowed their own concepts to flourish with some stand-out designs.
F1’s new regulations were not only crafted to try to promote closer racing, but also as a means to prevent the car looking ugly.
One such area that’s been afflicted by abhorrent aesthetics during recent regulatory eras has been in the design of the nose, as teams took drastic measures to try and out-think the constraints imposed upon them. 
Attempting to find ways to drive more airflow under the car’s centreline led to some creative interpretations in recent years, with everything from the step nose designs of the 2012 season, to the twin tusk approach taken by Lotus in 2014.
Pastor Maldonado, Lotus E22
Photo by: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images
The new regulations have been formulated in a way in which aesthetically displeasing nose shapes seem to be a thing of the past, albeit there’s still time for teams to upset that particular apple-cart. 
In terms of the current nose design, it comes down to how the team wants it to interact with the front wing and more specifically than that, whether the nose connects with the mainplane or the secondary flap.
In this respect several teams have opted for designs that are modular; affording them the flexibility to make changes should they be able to find more performance in another solution, without the need for wholesale changes and the need to pass new crash tests. 
For example, as seen here with Ferrari and Red Bull, the inner structure of their noses is shorter than the outer facade, meaning that while they currently connect to the mainplane, they could easily be altered.
Another solution that has quickly gained traction up and down the grid, having been spotted first on the Aston Martin AMR22 at its launch, is the ‘bib wing’.
Referred to as much by several of the teams, it was swiftly adopted by Ferrari, who had a version undergo the rigours of simulation and production within the week between the launch of the AMR22 and its own F1-75.
And, while other teams weren’t as quick to respond as Ferrari, a variation of the design can also be found on the Red Bull, Mercedes and Alpine, with everyone also making changes to the shape of the car’s keel to maximise its aerodynamic potential.
Ironically, Aston Martin found that the bib wing did not add any performance to the new concept it introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix so it has been removed from its car for now.
Photo by: Giorgio Piola
Photo by: Giorgio Piola
Photo by: Giorgio Piola
Photo by: Giorgio Piola
Another area where we have seen design diversity is around the cockpit, especially the mirrors and the halo.
This is because there is some valuable real estate here in which to add winglets and/or reshape the preconceived surfaces for aerodynamic benefit.
In that respect we’ve seen teams introduce various solutions, some of which have been met with challenges from their rivals, whereas some have simply been observed and implemented by other teams in their own way.
Photo by: Giorgio Piola
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Photo by: Giorgio Piola
Photo by: Giorgio Piola
Photo by: Uncredited
An interesting but more niche solution can be seen on the Haas VF-22 and Alpine A522, both of which use cooling louvres in the rear portion of the engine cover’s spine.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen this sort of solution from teams but it is more interesting when we consider that there’s been an expansion in the cooling options available this season. Teams are now able to vent heat through cooling gills in the sidepod bodywork.
In terms of Alpine, its design is similar to the solution it used on the A521, with a short section of the engine cover’s fin detached above the rearward opening, beneath which are three louvres to help control how the heat is rejected from within. 
Meanwhile, the solution seen on the Haas VF-22 has the engine cover fin detached much further up the bodywork, exposing the 12 louvres and wastegate pipe’s hood.
Having been absent since 2014, the beam wing has returned this season. Designers are now able to use up to two elements in order to offer structural support and aerodynamic assistance for the rear wing. 
However, while most teams have taken what you’d consider to be the conventional approach to the design of these elements, Red Bull carved its own path, using a stacked arrangement, whereby one element lies on top of the other.
It’s a solution that’s recently been appropriated by Alpine too, as it made the switch from a more conventional layout. Interestingly, in order to reduce drag, Red Bull has also taken to removing the uppermost element over the course of the last few races.
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