I have no doubt that teams will already have discovered loopholes and areas in where they can play around with, and as such, cars will look different here and there.
Unfortunately the mandated design rules will indeed make cars look more or less similar in general.
It is pretty much the same now anyway, the sidepods really don't look that different between cars.
That said, it's not REALLY like it has been MUCH different throughout F1 since the late 90's i would argue,
with SOME exemptions from time to time.
There have been exemptions, but that is more a case of rarity than anything of the norm.
Designs like the U-pods of Mclaren almost a decade ago was something of an example, but let's be honest,
it's not the prettiest and it really didn't work either.
Things like blown diffusers and f-ducts were far more effective, and it's not impossible for gimmicks like that to suddenly pop up.
All f1 cars in the 2021 field generally have similar looks to them, if you'd ignore the colours. Still, we have varieties like the noses of a Alfa Romeo and that of the Alpine and that of the Mercedes.
What also is interesting to concider though is that the example of the Pink Mercedes just shows that similar design doesn't equal similar results.
I'm very curious for 2022 on how the cars are really going to look and what variations we're going to see, and how much it'll affect racing. I also think the wheels are going to play a huge role.
With a little luck, there might be a future where after this reset, some rules will be opened up.
After all though a good part of rules is there for safety measures, and in part also for aesthetics,
there is also a good bunch introduced because of financial reasons - to prevent excessive spending.
With the budget cap in place, this makes certain of these 'gimmick rules' unneccesary, and perhaps this can
thus be aliviated.
Let's put it like this: if budget cap would mandate every team 'just' has 100 million to spend,
then no matter whether a team has a F-duct,
it's not going to cost them more than 100 million anyway.
So simply put, Mclaren can invent something like a new F-duct, but they haven't spend more than 100 million.
Williams or Haas can not argue it's unfair because they don't have the funds for something like that, because the budget remains the same: 100 million. As such, Mclaren 'simply' had better brains or more creative people.
Likewise, it can be Williams who comes up with a genius 'gimmick', and because of the budget cap, it's not going to get banned. UNLESS it's something that causes a safety concern for example.
I must say though, despite not being overly joyed by the new design, i don't think it looks bad at all.
I am glad first and foremost that the cars are smaller / shorter. The current cars are just rediculous.
Also, i like that we don't have those giant floor boards anymore. I would imagine with 2022 design, there is less risk of cars popping tires against floors, and since there isn't so much floor anymore, wheels can come closer to sidepods causing closer racing and less contact risk.
All i would like to see is narrower front wings. I never liked those super wide front wings. I much prefer the wings to be limited in width to the inner tire walls / the end tip of the suspension arms.
Dumpster sounds so much more classy. It's the diamond of the cesspools.