Mercedes chief points out ‘biggest challenge’ Lewis Hamilton will face for F1 2022 season

Mercedes boss hopes ‘robbed’ Lewis Hamilton will continue racing

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Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin has spoken out on one of the biggest changes to F1 for the upcoming season which will cause plenty of teams some headaches along the way. New regulations in place for the 2022 season have forced teams up and down the grid to start from scratch when it comes to designing their new car.

With bigger tyres, a complete aerodynamic transformation and heavier cars, the drivers will also face some challenge in getting used to everything in a short space of time.

The changes have been made largely to encourage closer racing on track, but there has also been significant changes to the calendar this year.

A record 23 Grands Prix will take place in 2022 and F1 bosses have moved to condense the race weekends from the previous four-day schedule to just three days.

Friday’s session will now be longer with Shovlin pointing out that the second practice session will finish in the early evening.

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That gives race engineers just three hours to put the finishing touches on their car heading into Saturday.

Given how close things were between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen last year, getting that set up right could well be key on every race weekend.

And Shovlin admits the change to the race weekend format will take some getting used to.


“The race weekend format itself changes quite considerably,” he said on Mercedes’ Road to 2022 series.

“The purpose there is trying to give the teams less time to work on the cars, give them more time away from the track.

“This has really come from the fact that the calendar is getting busier and busier. They’re adding more and more races and we need to make sure we’re not working people too hard.

“So the weekend starts later. The biggest changes are actually on the Friday, where the first session is at 2pm and the final session at 5pm, running until 6pm.

“In Europe, the track’s going to be cooling down at that time of day and then you’ve got much less time in the evening. You’ve only got three hours where the mechanics will be working on the car.

“The teams will be allowed to stay in the offices for five hours, but that’s still giving us quite a lot less time than we would have normally gotten in that period.

“You’re trying to get the car’s specification finalised, trying to collate all the learning from the running that day, refine the set-up and come up with the base set-up you’re going to carry into Saturday and qualifying.”

He added: “The big challenge will just be adapting to that new layout on Friday.”

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