F1 will see new regulations introduced in 2022. They will make their impact on the cars for the season as well, with the machines set to be different to their 2021 counterparts. The pace will drop off a little bit in exchange for other improvisations and new features.
Minimum weigh will increase from 752 kg to 795 kg, while there will be more safety parts and new 18-inch tyres. All this makes a car heavier and subsequently slower, but the German reckoned that was not quite the case.
Hulkenberg gave his verdict on the 2022 cars, saying that he felt they were extremely rapid and not very different from their predecessors.
“From my initial experience… the new cars are pretty damn fast and not necessarily slower than the last generation,” the former Renault driver wrote in a post on LinkedIn.
“The driving experience hasn’t changed that much either, at least in the simulator.”
“One thing that immediately stands out is that the cars look more futuristic and will have 18-inch rims instead of 13-inch ones in the future,” the Hulk explained.
“These larger (tyres) make no difference to the drivers’ visibility. The driver will just see more rim instead of tyre wall like in the past.
“The wheat will be separated from the chaff, and it’s the guys who learn quickly, adapt quickly and adjust well to new conditions who will be right at the front initially.
“Later in the year things can change because it will be a huge learning curve for everybody involved. The development race teams are in will move the order in such a long season.
“It’s too early for predictions, although I would be very surprised if the top teams from previous years will not be near the front,” he concluded.