What’s new for the 2022 season in Formula 1? Rule changes and more

Max Verstappen is the defending world champion after pipping key title rival Lewis Hamilton to glory on a hugely controversial night in Abu Dhabi in December.

There are plenty of changes in store for the new campaign, with different rules, car improvements, driver switches, calendar swaps and much more.

On the eve of the 2022 season in Bahrain, Standard Sport takes a look at some of the new things to look out for ahead of the resumption of racing.

The cars

For four years a Formula 1 think tank headed by Ross Brawn has worked on changing the cars to improve overtaking and tighten up the grid. Effectively what that means is an overhaul of the aerodynamics.


Essentially the violent bouncing motion of the cars down the straights. It is the result of airflow to the car’s revised underbodies causing it to stall. Not envisioned in tunnel tests, F1 teams are confident of overcoming it.

The tyres

The eagle eyed will have spotted bigger tyres in testing, the Pirelli rubber having increased in size from 13 to 18 inches. But in addition, the aim is for them to be stronger and less liable to overheating, enabling the drivers to push the new cars more.


The races

The much-anticipated Miami Grand Prix will make its debut on the calendar in May while, following Covid absences for two years, Australia, Canada, Japan and Singapore are all back. Currently the calendar is at 22 races after the Russian Grand Prix was scrapped.

Driver changes

The big one is George Russell making the switch for an all-British lineup at Mercedes with Valtteri Bottas heading to Alfa Romeo. Alex Albon is back in Russell’s seat at Williams while Guanyu Zhou is Bottas’ team-mate and Kevin Magnussen a late replacement for Nikita Mazepin.

The race weekend

Gone is FIA race director Michael Masi, replaced by a new pair to oversee a race weekend: Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas. There will also be a new virtual race control system as well as F1’s answer to VAR.

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