Both fans of the sport and Formula 1 executives will be pleased with Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc’s forecast for 2022.
In perhaps the best endorsement yet of the sport’s recent regulatory change, Charles Leclerc claims that the new breed of Formula 1 cars can follow significantly closer during the most vital phases of overtaking.
The new 2022 technical standards were created with overtaking in mind, with the goal of preventing cars from leaving behind ‘dirty air,’ which has been wreaking havoc on the downforce levels of following vehicles for far too long.
The most significant alterations include the addition of a ground effect floor, simplified front and rear wings, and wheel winglets, all of which are intended to improve racing.
When the new cars first took the racetrack together last week in Barcelona, the sport was eager to see if their strategy had worked and if vehicles could follow each other closer.
And ahead of next month’s season start in Bahrain, Leclerc’s verdict is optimistic and thrilling.
Are the new cars easier to follow?
“It is quite interesting,” replied Leclerc, keen to shed some light on how following felt in his new Ferrari F1-75, when speaking to Formula1.com.
“I’ll say from three seconds to one second behind the car in front, you actually can follow closer.
“Then from one second to five-tenths, I will say it’s similar to the feeling I had last year [when following cars].
“And then from five-tenths to extremely close, it is much better than last year.”
The gap between 3 seconds and 1 second has been one of the most annoying for following drivers in previous seasons, and his response will be warmly appreciated by both fans of the sport and Formula 1 executives.
Drivers have frequently struggled to enter the DRS range (one second) of the car in front of them, leaving them stranded. Such incidents, it is hoped, are no longer occurring.
Added Leclerc: “It’s nice, it’s interesting. I mean, I’ll have to do a few more laps behind a car, but it’s looking good for now.”
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Abu Dhabi, F1, F1 2022, Formula 1, Grand Prix, Ferrari, Charles Leclerc