Former racing driver Mario Andretti is stumped by F1 having “wider car and bigger wings” in 2022.
2022 will see new regulations implemented in an attempt to shake up the sport. There have been plenty of talking points, but one drawback that has been pointed out was the amount of control teams have over experimenting with their cars and how they would look.
The new framework will be put to the test in the upcoming season. The cars and the teams will approach the season very differently to how they did 2022, with the idea being that competition will be closer than ever.
However, Andretti revealed that he was stumped by F1 having “wider car and bigger wings” in 2022, saying it was a very big surprise for him.
“From what I understand, these cars are supposed to emit less turbulence to the rear so that it’s easier to drive one behind the other,” the American told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, as quoted by f1i.com.
“The idea is to generate more downforce under the car to reduce the areas above that produce bad air. That’s why I never understood why, a few years ago, Formula 1 went to wider cars and big wings.
“That increased the turbulence and they were even more dependent on the DRS. Now they are rightly going the other way.
“But I don’t dare to predict whether that will be enough for the drivers to be able to stay close to the car in front again in the corners. If it were 30 percent better, that would progress.”
“The idea came from my experience with the March 701 from 1970,” he explained.
“Its sidepods looked like wings. During a test at Kyalami, we removed them to reduce drag. Suddenly the car became light in front. This showed us that the sidepods were obviously producing downforce. We had to run a lot more wings upfront to compensate, but that thwarted our plan because we wanted to save drag.
“We then optimized the diffuser and the ground clearance for this principle. The two channels in the sidepods were consistently freed to get a clean flow through the whole car.”