gcdugas wrote: ↑
Sat Feb 05, 2022 11:07 pm
1. I think that there will be more emphasis on suspension than ever before. Maintaining an effective "seal" with the new underbody tunnels will be high on everyone's list. Added to that the 18" lower profile tyres will require more movement and compliance from the actual suspension components than the old 13" tyres with taller sidewalls. Traditionally McLaren has always excelled in this area.
2. But also traditionally, in any year with massive new aero rules, Adrian Newey cars were the best out of the chute right away. True in 1996, 1998 and 2010 after the 2009 blown diffuser was outlawed. Adrian always debuted his cars very mature and it took the rest of the grid a full year to achieve 85% aero parity.
3. And we can't rule out that some midfield team sees something in the regs that everyone else misses. Look at 2009 when Ross Brawn saw the blown diffuser and they owned the rest of the grid for the first dozen races before Newey and Vettel could give them any trouble.
4. Merc traditionally excels at tyre temp management. Supposedly the 2022 tyres can be raced more aggressively for longer. This could gather the field closer if less is to be gained via brake heat to the rims etc.
5. Because of suspension issues, I would not be surprised to see McLaren beat Mercedes on merit for 2022 before Merc catches up in 2023. I think Red Bull is the favorite to win both titles this year... unless Ferrari surprises, and it would be a huge surprise. A dark horse would be for Renault's new engine architecture to bear fruit and move them into the top four a head of Ferrari.
1. Red Bull
2. Mac or Merc
3. Merc or Mac
5. Alpha Tauri
6. Aston Martin
8. Alfa Romeo
With 2 years old chassis and engine in 2020, and 3 years old chassis and engine in 2021, Renault/Alpine finished 5th in the championship (and fought for P3 when that car wasnt too old). So I doubt they finish 7th in 2022, with a chassis and engine that they focussed on in the last 3 years... and with the capped budget...*
Renault scarified 2020 for 2022, and they didn't do that to finish behind their closest competitors in 2022... Their closest competitors, MCL/AM/AT are in no way better, they just focused more on the short term, while Renault scarified the short term by freezing their 2019 chassis and engine, and gambled with 2020 (they couldn't predict Covid), to put all the saved ressources and time on 2022.
*Unless they do an R29/E22/F14T/Mp4-24 of course...