The Return of Formula 1

By Duane Bollig, 9th Grade

This past weekend the long-awaited return of Formula 1 returns this year after the controversial title finish in Abu Dhabi by Max Verstappen, saw various new changes in regulations and in staff.

One of the major changes was the decision to replace the race director Michael Massi, who delivered one of the most controversial finishes to a Grand Prix when he decided to let all lapped cars overtake. This gave Max Verstappen, who had come out of the pit lane with fresh tires, the advantage over Lewis Hamilton, who was running on old tires, which caused Max Verstappen to become the 2021 World Driver’s Championship. For the 2022 season, Ross Brawn has taken the position of Michael Massi.

As for the cars, 2022 brought the biggest changes to its cars since the start of the turbo-hybrid engine era. Using the effects of downforce generated by the car, this year promised to bring closer racing, allowing the front chases to be closer without losing speed. Another key addition to the cars is the new rear wing, which allows for more downforce and the turbulent air produced from the car to be sent upwards with the wing. 

Besides this, Formula 1 has been developing more environmentally efficient methods to their fuel mixture by using E10 with a 10% ethanol mix. The most important addition to the new cars involves driver safety, as technology was installed that improves the amount of energy it can absorb in the case of a crash. The 2022 Formula 1 cars can absorb nearly 48% more energy from frontal impacts, and 15% more in rear impacts, which can prevent a freak accident like Anthoine Hubert’s fatal crash in the Belgian Grand Prix in 2019. With all these new changes coming to F1, we could only see the opening race of the season, the Bahrain Grand Prix, as an example of what is to come.

The favorites for Bahrain included Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and new to the team George Russell, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz—a team that has fallen from greatness since 2019, where it hit an all-time low in 2020, finishing 6th in the Constructors’ Championship. Ferrari has finally seen great improvements to its cars, especially the engine, which is proven to be the best in the grid so far. As for the race, Ferrari took the win with a 1-2 victory, which means that Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz took the 1st and 2nd place at the podium, with Lewis Hamilton scoring 3rd, as Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez’s car both fell out of the race in the last laps, allowing Mercedes to take the 3rd and 4th positions.

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