How slow was F1 2022?

2022 Formula 1 cars are slower than their predecessors, but by how much? Try to analyze.

The new Formula 1 technical regulations introduced in 2022 were clearly not intended to improve the overall speed of single-seaters. Rather, it was quickly announced that the main goal was to strip some single-seater of its intrinsic performance (most notably through aerodynamic simplification) and/or make it less damaging to in-flight combat. iz. (especially by increasing the ground effect part in the creation of support).

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Thus, the authorities took a position on a technical level opposite to the previous scale change, namely 2017, where the new rules were precisely aimed at improving the performance of F1 and in particular the turns. Although this was successful and led to the generation of some of the most competitive single-seaters in history, the negative effects on track struggles were numerous, starting with increased car-following breaks and widening of the cars (chassis and wheels). .

Comparison of qualifying times between 2021 and 2022

It was therefore fully expected that the F1 2022 version, in addition to being 46 kg heavier than the 2021 version, would be slower than its predecessors. Overall, even if anyone could make their own predictions, the earliest was sometimes disastrous, with the estimated range of performance drops in the final months before the track debut being between half a second and two seconds, depending on the circuit. tracks.

And based on the best times recorded in the 3rd quarter, it is clear that in comparable situations (weather, track) the differences are often in this range, with the “anomaly” of Baku and the times for the lap over six kilometers almost identical. After all, this anomaly is part of a clear trend, namely that 2022 F1s will lag less on tracks with very long full loads.

Period Best time in Q3
Best time in Q3
2022 (deviation)


1’28″997 1’30″558 (+1″561)
Jeddah 1’27″511 1’28″200 (+0″689)
Barcelona 1’16″741 1’18″750 (+2″009)
Monaco 1’10″346 1’11″376 (+1″030)
Baku 1’41″218 1’41″359 (+0″141)

Red Bull Ring

1’03″720 1’04″984 (+1″264)

Paul Rickard

1’29″990 1’30″872 (+0″892)
Hungaring 1’15″419 1’17″377 (+1″958)
Zandvoort 1’08″885 1’10″342 (+1″457)
Monza 1’19″555 1’20″161 (+0″606)
Austin 1’32″910 1’34″356 (+1″446)
Mexico City 1’15″875 1’17″775 (+1″900)
Yas Marina 1’22″109 1’23″824 (+1″715)
Average difference between 2021 and 2022 +1″347

Comparison of qualifying times between 2019 and 2022

Perhaps more interesting is the comparison with 2019. It was during this campaign that the 2021 rules (the COVID pandemic was finally pushed back to 2022) were announced.

At the time, the one-man manager of the FIA, Nicolas Tombazis, explained that the authorities were waiting for F1 cars. “About 3-3.5 seconds slower per lap” Compared to 2019, however, this is only a quantitative observation, not an objective one.

In this area, again in comparable cases (air, route), this estimate turned out to be pessimistic, because depending on the laps, the difference is more between one and three seconds.

Period Best time in Q3
Best time in Q3
2022 (deviation)
Sakhir 1’27″866 1’30″558 (+2″692)
Baku 1’40″495 1’41″359 (+0″864)
Monaco 1’10″166 1’11″376 (+1″210)
Paul Rickard 1’28″319 1’30″872 (+2″553)
Red Bull Ring 1’03″003 1’04″984 (+1″981)
Hungaring 1’14″572 1’17″377 (+2″805)
Spa 1’42″519 1’43″665 (+1″146)
Monza 1’19″307 1’20″161 (+0″854)
Suzuki 1’27″064 1’29″304 (+2″240)
Austin 1’32″029 1’34″356 (+2″327)
Mexico City 1’14″758 1’17″775 (+3″017)
Average difference between 2019 and 2022

Comparison of qualifying times between 2020 and 2022

For the sake of completeness, and even if the sample of comparable performances is slimmer due to schedule reductions and the pandemic, changes to certain routes or weather conditions, it should be noted that, without surprise, the 2020 F1s are still 2022 compared to 2019 and 2021 It is one step faster than single-seaters.

This is mainly due to the fact that 2020 is the second year of the front fin simplification implemented in 2019, better understanding of the issues in this area and real regulatory stability. It should also be noted that the most efficient classification was in place until the Italian GP that year, when engine modes were effectively restricted by the obligation to use a single mode between qualifying and the race. Finally, it must be admitted that the Mercedes W11, which hit 15 out of 17 poles that season, was particularly fast and one of the most efficient single-seaters in the history of the discipline in practice.

Then, between 2020 and 2021, the authorities took a number of measures to help slow down F1 cars and reduce their aerodynamic potential.

Period Best time in Q3
Best time in Q3
2022 (deviation)
Sakhir 1’27″264 1’30″558 (+3″294)
Red Bull Ring 1’02″939 1’04″984 (+2″045)
Hungaring 1’13″447 1’17″377 (+3″930)
Spa 1’41″252 1’43″665 (+2″413)
Monza 1’18″887 1’20″161 (+1″274)
Average difference between 2020 and 2022 +2″636

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