The New Formula 1 Era

There’s no doubt about it: Formula 1’s thrilling new era with its futuristic cars has already been a massive success with closer racing – across the first seven rounds – with a largely shuffled grid, Red Bull and Ferrari stoush upfront, and hyper-competitive midfield. Where will we be come the return of F1’s original night race, in Singapore, on September 30 to October 2?

The answer is, trackside and on the edge of our seats, as F1’s top guns take on Marina Bay in vastly more challenging cars – with no room for error, just one tiny lapse in concentration sending them straight to the scene of the accident. Add in cockpit temperatures of up to 60 degrees Celsius at racing speeds, and you have the world’s best racers on the absolute limit.

Will Red Bull Racing, though, get its first Singapore victory since 2013, given Sergio Pérez’s win at tight and twisty Monaco in May?
But, what’s different about these new cars? They use what’s known as ground effect aerodynamics (under the car) that pulls it closer to the track for higher cornering speeds, but also directs the air skyward as it leaves the rear wing to allow the pursuing car to close up, make a move and overtake.

That was the theory, but it’s no surprise we’ve seen success on-track with the project overseen by Formula 1’s esteemed managing director of motorsports, Ross Brawn – the mastermind behind Michael Schumacher’s titles at Benetton and Ferrari, and Mercedes’ recent dominance (2014-2020).

What are the new cars like to drive, though?

“At the end of the day it’s still a Formula One car and a lot of things are still the same on the system side and the way you set-up the car,” says Haas F1 Team’s Kevin Magnussen, who returned to the grid in 2022 after a year out.

“But, the new era cars drive a little differently, the tyres are different, and the way the car produces downforce comes from different places.”

As Magnussen says, the new cars are on different Pirelli tyres, with the sport switching from 13-inch wheels (that have featured in F1 since the 1960s) to more road-relevant low-profile 18-inch rubber.

The development work done by Pirelli was exhaustive, with more than 10,000 hours of indoor testing, and over 5000 of simulation. It also created more than 70 virtual prototypes and 30 physical ones, with 4267 laps driven, equating to 20,000 kilometres: half the earth’s circumference.

Given the huge technical challenge, most teams have opted to retain drivers for consistent feedback, though not all have, with the Silver Arrows opting to bring in highly rated young gun George Russell alongside Sir Lewis Hamilton. And he’s already proven quite the revelation, outpacing his illustrious teammate.

Russell replaced Flying Finn Valtteri Bottas, who’s now at Alfa Romeo Racing, alongside 2022’s sole rookie, Zhou Guanyu as China’s first ever F1 race driver. Over at Williams, Alex Albon has returned to the grid, after a season out as Red Bull reserve, pairing Nicholas Latifi. The Canadian is one of four drivers yet to race in Singapore, along with Zhou, Mick Schumacher who drives for Haas, and Yuki Tsunoda at AlphaTauri.

There’s much to look forward to, with races galore before the sport flies out to the hot nights and bright lights of the Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix 2022. Bring it on!

The Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix 2022 will be held from September 30-October 2, with more information at