F1 2022: What really happens behind the scenes? Plus: Alpine car walkaround + Alonso/Ocon

F1 2022: What really happens behind the scenes? Plus: Alpine car walkaround + Alonso/Ocon

FineAuto

Formula One is back! And for 2022, there’s a whole new set of car design rules for the teams to chew over: regulations supposed to reduce the ‘dirty air’ made by all those wings and vanes. Less dirty air means cars can follow closely. Cars that can follow can overtake. And more overtaking = exciting races and a more unpredictable championship… One of the teams hoping to chase down Red Bull and Mercedes is Alpine, the Renault-backed, British-based outfit sporting a new blue’n’pink livery on its fresh contender – and on the overalls of its returning driver line-up: double F1 world champion Fernando Alonso and Hungarian GP winner Esteban Ocon. Grab your pit-lane pass and join magazine’s Ollie Kew for chats with Alonso, Ocon, test driver Oscar Piastri and an exclusive look at a (slightly) chaotic day back at the office for an F1 team as we interrupt Alpine’s official filming day while they run their new car for the very first time. YouTube chapters:00:00 Intro00:45 2022 F1 car walkaround04:20 Oscar Piastri interview08:45 Fernando Alonso interview10:47 Esteban Ocon interview13:54 Outro Want to watch a bit of on the internet? Welcome to the most comprehensive collection of official clips you’ll find on YouTube. Whether you’re searching for a caravan challenge, Ken Block in the Hoonicorn, cars versus fighter jets, Stig power laps or the latest Chris Harris Drives, you can find all the iconic films here.Want to share your views with the team?

can you imagine what it’s like to be a formula one driver all the training the diet plans the technical debriefs just for that moment of pure competition when you can do a slow motion walk to make all the sponsors pleased bit awkward isn’t it really formula one postponed its new rules designed to give us more overtaking and exciting racing until 2022 and then the 2021 season with the old cars the most exciting title battle in decades so as fernando alonso walks past we’ve been invited to catalonia to join the alpine formula one team for the first time running the new car morning esteban let’s go and get in their way shall we all right then here’s what we’re here to see then a 2022 formula one car not a real one i confess they do have a real one in the garage i asked if we could shoot around that and what the engineers told me to go and do with myself isn’t broadcastable so here’s the dummy car instead but we can still see with an f1 driver looking in behind me um some of the new changes big one here 18 inch wheels up from 13s why is that impressive apart from the aero cover over the wheel well the tyre is now much more low profile that means you’re completely redesigning the suspension because the tyre is no longer squishing and absorbing some of those bumps now come and have a look down here front wing profile’s entirely changed this isn’t the real nose but it gives you some sort of idea how high you have the wing off the floor is going to be a really critical thing do you want the air going underneath it or do you want to kind of deflect it over now come down here these parts these wheel spats these are supposed to calm the airflow down coming all off this turbulent tire that’s doing 200 miles an hour that is going to calm down some of that horrible dirty air that’s what the whole philosophy of these cars about calm down the dirty air all these turbulence coming off the back of the car that makes them really really hard to follow critical for that in here there’s big tunnels that are sucking air under the car that’s where the car is generating loads of its downfall so you’re depending less on the wings more on the underfloor it’s old-school 1970s style downforce okay back here cooling for the alpine that’s much better this time the cooling package is 15 smaller also means that the turbo the split the turbo got always there but yeah it’s a bit rushed here as you can see we’ve got in the way and the ferrari needs to come out now so um i’ll tell you about the rest of the car later yeah sorry man hey don’t you apologize i guess you must be frustrated you want to go for a drive okay back in the garage ignore that pesky ferrari interrupting us earlier let’s get back having a look around this 2022 not real alpine f1 car the halo obviously that’s back a safety device that protects the driver’s head but on the real car just over there that i’m not allowed to show you they’ve got little winglets here give you more downforce from the safety device interesting come with me engine cover this has got a lot smaller for the latest alpine i said some rubbish earlier about the turbo being smaller it’s not smaller what they’ve done is they’ve split the turbines for the turbo either side the engine block that means that the bits of the engine need to keep cool stay a bit cooler and that means you get more horsepower mercedes came up with that very very clever innovation eight years ago and since then they’ve won eight constructors world titles so um good one renault for catching on come with me down here look at this rear wing this is all mandated now the shape of this look how steep this angle is at the back and what that’s here to do obviously this is generating downforce pushing the car into the track but by having it so steep the air shoots off the back almost vertically and the dirty air that the other cars are having to drive through when you use that when you’ve got the venturi tunnels under the car generating the downforce means it should be easy to follow now i’ve had a weber small peen engineers and they’ve said that whereas in the old formula one cars if you got within five or six seconds of following the car was horrible to drive these cars can follow each other a second apart and they’re still really really fast really drivable and shouldn’t wreck their tires which means that we the fans should get some great races thing is of course well alpine and everyone else they don’t want their cars to be easy to follow they want them to be a nightmare to overtake so on the real car over there i imagine what they’re working on is complying with all those rules but making their car as annoying as possible for everyone else there’s no one better to talk to about exciting new race cars than exciting new racing drivers first up 20 year old australian and reigning formula 2 champion oscar piastre oscar thanks very much for your time i know this is a quiet day by formula 1 standards but can you give us an idea of how the formula one circus compares to a day in f2 or f3 it’s actually surprisingly busy so i’ve been doing media the whole morning um no that’s okay which is uh i think it’s probably the most i’ve done you know for my whole career in one day so and there’s still only what what time we’re at 11 so we’ve still got a long way to go um but no it’s it’s busy um and yeah i’m sure we only get busy there’s a lot of people here obviously compared to f2 and f3 i think there’s probably more more people in one team than the whole f2 paddock so yeah it’s a bit uh a bit different now you’re the reserve driver which you explained for alpene this year can you give people watching an idea who don’t know what a reserve driver really does what your day-to-day job is yep so the first i guess role of being a reserve driver is it’s basically the backup driver so fernando esteban uh can’t race for whatever reason then then i’ll take their place on the race weekend and so that’s that’s the main role of reserve driver um and then a lot of my other work will be in the simulator back at back at end stone back at the factory um trying to make the new car as fast as possible and help esteban and fernando as much as i can um and that’s really the the two main areas where i can assist so have you driven the car in the simulator yet already i have yes but not in real life not in real life no how much can you glean from driving it on what is basically the world’s greatest computer game um you sense the differences for the new the new rules yes you can you can definitely feel it’s different um obviously you know it’s it’s very accurate to real life but without driving the real car in real life uh there’s always a bit of uncertainty so i’m sure after testing we’ll have a better model back in the sim um but yeah this you can definitely tell there’s some differences to the previous generation of car it’s it’s a bit more tricky to drive um the the way the the aero works is much more focused on the floor um and trying to keep that as close to the ground as possible so the cars are much stiffer or i’m sure a lot of people will be running them much stiffer so it’s a bit more uncomfortable and also just the way the aero works it behaves a bit differently there’s a bit of a high speed versus low speed split so yeah in low speed there’s probably going to be a bit less grip and high speed the same if not even more grip than previously wow so high speed corners you’re really going to be able to send it yes so it’s a little bit of an odd dynamic because you know the difference in in group and high speed and low speed is going to be quite a bit different to the previous generation i’d love to ask you for a title prediction but given the pyjamas you’re wearing i’m sure you’re not going to give me a straight up answer but um do you think we’re likely to see with the new rules at the leveling of the playing field like you see shocks or do you think similar teams in positions where they were in the championship last year uh i think we could see a few shocks obviously the last time we had such a big rage change like this was probably 2009 um when you were how old i was yep seven just about eight um and braun you know came in out of nowhere and and smashed the field for the first year yeah such a hollywood story exactly so you know we could see something like that again i’m not 100 sure we will i’m you know i’m sure the the usual suspects will be somewhere at the front and obviously hopefully alpine can can make some more progress towards the front but um yeah i guess we’ll find out in the first qualifying session that’s usually when all the sandbags get dropped out and everyone’s real pace comes out we look forward to it perfect thank you very much no worries thank you formula one might be the fastest motorsport in the world but on an early test day like this there’s an awful lot of hurry up and wait i’ve just seen esteban walking around the car looking impatient really wanting to go out on it we heard that it was about to be turned on so we legged it down here got all the cameras set up but now they’ve got to do some adjustments on the seat belts and what’s really funny is on the one hand you’ve got a guy a mechanic making minute adjustments to the front wing with a little tool that looks like it should be used by a dentist to do keyhole surgery and then on the other side there’s a mechanic literally punching one of the brake ducts to get it to fit obviously this is the first time the car has been properly assembled and they’re learning for the very first time it’s really fascinating to watch and quite incredibly stressful right let’s hear from someone with real experience of formula one racing going back through decades two-time formula one world champion and deck chair enthusiast fernando alonso fernando thanks very much for your time uh 20 years in formula one this is your 20th pre-season um you’ve been here for v8 v10s for turbo hybrid big wings how do you think this rule change is going to compare for you well let’s see i think ferrari is yeah still i mean to to be discovered i don’t think that anyone has any idea yet everything is meant to to be a little bit closer and uh having more action on track as well able to to follow cars a little bit closer so let’s see i mean when you um you started the cars were a lot smaller and lighter what do you think of your career has been the the car that you’ve most enjoyed driving the earlier ones yeah the early ones for sure yeah i think when they were yeah much lighter they were more reactive and the v10 also the the sound of those engines were part of the dna probably of f1 so yeah i missed those days yeah now is like the most experienced guy in the field what is it that keeps you coming back what is it that motivates you to just do all of this every season well i love driving and i love yeah i love competing and formula one gives you that adrenaline for sure to be against the best and yeah the teams they are so professional they are so sophisticated this car that is obviously a pure joy to drive and uh yeah i’m yeah i love driving so that’s why i keep going what are the chances for a shock this season a brawn gp moment do you think possible or do you think similar standings to last year yeah i don’t think that we will have a huge surprise i think fia was on top of any any gray area that the teams may discover but we saw you know the cars they have all different philosophies some of them they will be right some of them they will be wrong and uh let’s see if alpinis is the right one that’s great thanks very much alpine’s other driver won the 2021 hungarian grand prix it’s the fantastically humble approachable frenchman that is esteban ocon esteban thank you for your time uh esteban ocon race winner of course last season how many times have you watched that replay on youtube now not i have actu actually re-watched the full race but thank you very much it sounds very nice to to here but now i’ve watched the highlights and um and obviously the radio communication that we had with my team and my engineers so um so now it feels good obviously a lot of work has been you know done over over many many years to arrive to that position so yeah it’s great and of course you won that race by avoiding carnage at the start and then leading from the front um these new rules are designed to make cars that are easier to follow so how do you think that’s going to help your team yeah i mean we definitely hope that would be the case i think we’re going to get interrupted by the ferrari just now he’s leaving now actually he’s actually just doing pit stops that’s very clever look at this okay they’ve they’ve calmed down for us that’s very polite of them so you’re saying about how how is this going to help your team the the new regulator yeah i mean you know the cars are redistributed so we restart from scratch which is a big help because obviously mercedes and red bull have been dominating this era a little bit the previous one so so it’s good that we start from from zero again it’s very different to any past f1 cars that we’ve we’ve had and it’s going to be very exciting you know to to develop it’s not necessarily where you’re gonna start uh that you’re gonna end up so there’s gonna be a big rate of development all the way through the season and uh and yeah we are gonna have to be on it from day one i think the the having the slimmer tyres and the different way of generating downfalls does that make the car more demanding to drive i’ve heard that it’s going to make it even faster through high-speed corners which sounds terrifying yeah i mean we will see we’ll see about that so far it’s only speculations but for sure the cars are going to be very low i mean we’ve seen the ferrari passing on the straight and it was bumping touching a lot the tires as you were saying before they are quite thin so that’s going to impact a lot the ride on the curbs and everything um you know it’s a heavy car now you know heavy wheels a lot of technology on board a lot of safety as well but yeah i mean i think it’s going to develop so fast that you know quite quickly the cars are going to become i think the fastest machine again i know alpine have said they’re only targeting maybe fifth this this season they’re still seeing it’s like the start of a development curve fifth sounds a bit conservative to me you have you got a personal target is that just to get more points than fernando no i mean my my uh target is to continue the progress that i’ve done over the last uh the last year uh you know we’ve put ourselves into great position and we want to do that you know more often of course you know if we have a competitive car you know some top five some podiums that would be fantastic but we want to come out of weekends thinking okay i’ve done the maximum i had uh with with the car that we had in hands and uh and not nothing left on the table thank you so much thanks buddy well hopefully that was an interesting look around a formula one car being run for 2022 for the very first time been quite chaotic hasn’t it not normally formula one style normally every second is accounted for but quite likely it’s been mad it sort of shows formula one’s more human side and just goes to show how much effort and how many people are involved in getting one of those monsters to run as fast as it can just absolutely tremendous stuff okay come with me i need to go and get ready um the team have said unbelievably that i’m going to be allowed to quit go in the car so this is my moment this is my formula one audition let’s go get stuck in it’s not quite as easy as fernando makes it look actually you

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