Launch season in 2021 was an odd affair given the continued influence of the Covid-19 pandemic, forcing groups to get inventive, significantly as they had been basically unveiling up to date variations of their 2020 fashions.
However 2022 is a really completely different story as F1 embarks on the beginning of an important new rule cycle that threatens to shake up the pecking order – that means groups will need to be significantly cautious in holding any inventive design pursuits underneath wraps for so long as doable. It has made on-line launches the standard route, though some are discovering methods to get followers concerned and maintain bodily occasions.
Groups have taken a wide range of completely different approaches in direction of launching their vehicles lately. Some like Haas go for a render drop adopted by a take a look at the true automotive as soon as testing begins, whereas others akin to McLaren and Mercedes have opted to get on-track straightaway with a shakedown to coincide with the launch – albeit with out giving freely an excessive amount of.
The general presentation has additionally diversified from group to group, however there ought to be lots for followers to get enthusiastic about within the coming weeks as they cross off the times earlier than testing begins on 23 February.
Picture by: Haas F1 Crew
Haas – 4 February
The Haas VF-22 car is the first produced by the American team out of its new design office in Maranello, and provided an indication of what the brand new vehicles will seem like this yr following the overhaul of the technical rules.
Crew boss Gunther Steiner was clear that the renders present it in an earlier section of the event, with extra to come back when the VF-22 hits the observe for the primary time at Barcelona. Other than the livery, which is an evolution of final yr’s design, there was lots for us to chew over that is completely different from the renders and the present automotive that FOM offered final yr.
Maybe the obvious distinction is the group’s strategy to the sidepods, with a really slender inlet used to feed the radiators inside. A comparatively massive undercut can be noticeable underneath the sidepod, which aligns nicely with the suspension parts so that airflow may be fed across the sidepod with out stealing an excessive amount of from the doorway to the Venturi tunnels beneath.
Pink Bull Racing RB18
Picture by: Pink Bull Content material Pool
Pink Bull – 9 February
The Milton Keynes-based team hosted a virtual launch from its Milton Keynes factory for the new RB18, which will likely be pushed by Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez within the season forward.
However whereas the mannequin on show featured the group’s newest livery, which includes more exposure for title sponsor Oracle, the group gave the impression to be holding its technical secrets and techniques underneath wraps for now.
The RB18 that was unveiled gave the impression to be simply an upgraded model of the FOM idea present automotive that was revealed final yr.
Whereas having a special nostril and wing from the FOM mannequin, a lot of the automotive was similar – suggesting Pink Bull didn’t want to showcase its definitive model simply but.
Andrew Inexperienced, Technical Driector, Aston Martin, Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Tom McCullough, Aston Martin peformance director, Jessica Hawkins and Nico Hulkenberg, Reserve Driver, Aston Martin
Picture by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
Aston Martin – 10 February
The Aston Martin AMR22 features an updated livery, changing the pink parts of former main sponsor BWT with lime inexperienced, and sports activities an aggressive new design in keeping with the up to date rules for this season.
Probably the most visually hanging function of the automotive is the sidepods, with a really small box-shaped inlet with bodywork that flares out to fill out among the reference quantity that is permissible on this space.
On the highest floor of the sidepod, Aston has taken the chance to run with cooling gills alongside the automotive’s flank, which implies that, on the rear of the automotive, the bodywork can taper into an excessive.
McLaren – 11 February
McLaren has been one of many first groups to convey again in-person occasions because the Covid state of affairs has improved, and can proceed that development with a correct launch in Woking on 11 February.
The launch will likely be attended by media on-site, and the group has additionally given the chance for some followers to attend via a contest. Followers had been on the coronary heart of final yr’s digital occasion, which largely centred on the arrival of Daniel Ricciardo, however some will get the prospect to be there in particular person this time round.
McLaren will use the occasion to launch all 4 of its racing programmes for 2022 – F1, IndyCar, Excessive E and Esports – and has loads of respiratory room to finish a shakedown with the MCL36 forward of the beginning of testing in Barcelona.
AlphaTauri – 14 February
AlphaTauri has not often been one of many large hitters in relation to F1 launch season, with its solely main occasion coming after the rebrand from Toro Rosso earlier than the 2020 marketing campaign began.
The plan this yr is for an internet launch set for 14 February, however given the group’s glorious social and digital output, there isn’t a cause why it received’t supply a shock or two.
Williams – 15 February
Williams was the ultimate Method 1 group to substantiate its 2022 launch date, with the group revealing its new challenger on fifteenth February.
The Grove-based outfit is coming off the again of a extra encouraging 2021 marketing campaign, the place it moved off the underside of the constructors’ championship and completed eighth due to points-scoring finishes from each George Russell and Nicholas Latifi. Because it continues to bear a rebuilding underneath new homeowners Dorilton Capital, it hopes to make additional progress with the brand new guidelines period providing a reset that ought to assist F1’s smaller squads.
The group introduced on Tuesday that it’s going to maintain an internet reveal on the fifteenth February, which is the week earlier than pre-season testing will get underway at Barcelona in Spain.
Ferrari – 17 February
The brand new regulation cycle is a pure alternative for all groups to take a step ahead, but it’s Ferrari who arguably faces the best expectation to return to the very entrance of the pack after slipping again within the final couple of years.
The F1-75 – named to mark 75 years of Scuderia Ferrari – will likely be launched on-line on the afternoon of 17 February. The automotive accomplished its first fire-up yesterday, and can doubtless full a shakedown at Fiorano after being launched forward of pre-season testing in Barcelona.
Mercedes – 18 February
Mercedes has operated with fairly a conventional formulation for its launches lately, opting to initially reveal the automotive by way of renders earlier than then releasing photos of it on-track throughout a shakedown at Silverstone.
Like Pink Bull and Ferrari, Mercedes will likely be significantly keen to make sure it doesn’t give a lot away to its major rivals earlier than testing. However encouragement could be taken by how early the W13 was fired up again in December. Rumours of a failed crash check have additionally been scotched by way of affirmation from the group it accomplished all of its FIA necessities again in mid-January.
Continued intrigue over Lewis Hamilton’s future and the arrival of George Russell for 2022 implies that Mercedes’ unveiling will likely be some of the talked about in launch season.
Alpine – 21 February
Just like Aston Martin, the narrative across the rebranding of Alpine that was leant on so closely in 2021 is now not going to be such a narrative – nor would be the comeback of Fernando Alonso. As a substitute, it is a group that may need to sign its push to construct on its breakthrough final yr that noticed Esteban Ocon rating a shock win in Hungary, serving to it clinch fifth within the constructors’ championship.
The administration reshuffle at Alpine has been the primary speaking level over the winter, with ex-Aston Martin F1 boss Otmar Szafnauer broadly anticipated to affix following the exit of Marcin Budkowski, though nothing has but been confirmed. No agency particulars have but been revealed in regards to the launch plans for the A522 automotive moreover an unveil date of 21 February.
Alfa Romeo – 27 February
Alfa Romeo’s launch announcement initially sparked some confusion, given it was slated for after the opening pre-season check in Barcelona (23-25 February) had already been accomplished.
However the group was fast to make clear that the C42 automotive will likely be that includes within the opening check, decked out in a particular livery, earlier than the ultimate design is revealed on the launch on 27 February.
It’s an uncommon strategy, nevertheless it means the occasion will likely be extra of a ‘season launch’ for Alfa Romeo moderately than a automotive launch, given we’ll have already seen the total factor on-track. The brand new line-up of Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou means the group arguably has one of many stronger narratives going into this time of yr.
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