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F1 cars could be all similar by 2023, says Ferrari

Formula 1 designs could converge so the cars all look pretty similar by 2023, reckons Ferrari racing director Laurent Mekies.

2022 F1 car

With teams putting the finishing touches to their 2022 challengers, there is some hope that the more restrictive regulations won’t make all the designs identical.

For although there are far more limits in terms of bodywork shape, it is hoped that there is enough scope for each team to have their own interpretations – which will make the cars look different.

But with teams expected to make rapid progress in honing in on the best solutions adopted by their rivals, there is a high chance, according to Mekies, that the cars could look much more the same as the rules move in to their second year.

“There is less freedom, definitely,” he explained. “We are all excited, because it’s going to be completely different compared to [2021]. But how different the cars will be from each other? We will see.

“I think the first go at it, we may see enough difference to our liking, all of us. I think the first go at it, you say: 'OK, that’s not too bad.'

“But then I think the question we all need to ask ourselves is once six months have passed, and more importantly, once one year has passed, so once you have redone your car for 2023, will we all turn out to have exactly the same?

“I’m not telling you that it’s not enough yet. I’m just telling you, let’s have a good look, including the media and, in early 2023, to see if there is still enough differentiations and room for teams to make a difference.”

Laurent Mekies, Racing Director, Ferrari

Laurent Mekies, Racing Director, Ferrari

Photo by: Ferrari

The much tighter regulations for 2022 prompted fears when they were first announced that all the cars would look the same from the off.

While the final verdict on that aspect will not be possible until teams have all launched their definitive cars next month, the FIA is optimistic that there will be as much variation between designs as there has been in recent years.

Nikolas Tombazis, who is the head of single seater matters at the governing body, said last year that he was optimistic that 2022 cars would not be identical to each other for those with sharp eyes.

“It is difficult to say, because it depends on how expert your eye is and your point of reference,” he said.

“I will point out that with the current [pre-2022] generation cars, when actually the conversation [about new rules] was had in 2019, were all rendered to be white and shown to team members like teams principals and so on.

“Not all of them could get all the cars right and say which cars were which. So even current [2021] cars look quite similar, and it's difficult to say at what point they start looking different.

“I think you will be able to recognise different cars if you're sufficiently expert in Formula 1.”

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