As teams put the finishing touches on their 2022 challengers, it’s hoped the more restrictive regulations won’t make all designs the same.
Because although there are many more limits in terms of body shape, hopefully there is enough leeway for each team to have their own interpretations – which will make the cars different.
But with teams expected to make rapid progress in refining the best solutions adopted by their rivals, there is a good chance, according to Mekies, that the cars will look much more alike as the rules enter their second year.
“There is less freedom, definitely,” he explained. “We’re all excited because it’s going to be completely different compared to . But how different will the cars be from each other? We will see.
“I think the first time we might see enough of a difference for our liking, all of us. I think the first time you go there, you say, ‘OK, that’s not too bad.’
“But I think the question we all have to ask ourselves is that once six months has passed, and more importantly, once a year has passed, so once you get your car redone for 2023, will we all have exactly the same?
“I’m not telling you that it’s not enough yet. I’m just telling you, let’s take a good look, including the media and, at the start of 2023, to see if there is still enough differentiation and margin for the teams to make a difference.
Laurent Mekies, Race Director, Ferrari
Photo by: Ferrari
The much stricter regulations for 2022 sparked fears when it was first announced that all cars would look the same from the start.
While the final verdict on this aspect will not be possible until teams have all launched their final cars next month, the FIA is optimistic that there will be as much variation between designs as there is. there have been in recent years.
Nikolas Tombazis, head of single-seater business at the governing body, said last year he was optimistic the 2022 cars would not be identical to one another for those with keen eyes.
“It’s hard to say, because it depends on the expertise of your eye and your point of reference,” he said.
“I specify that with the current [pre-2022] generation cars, when in fact the conversation [about new rules] took place in 2019, were all made white and shown to team members like team managers etc.
“Not all of them could tune all the cars correctly and tell which cars were which. So even current  the cars look a lot alike, and it’s hard to tell when they start to look different.
“I think you will be able to recognize different cars if you are expert enough in Formula 1.”