F1 cars 2022: Alfa Romeo rounds off the set
The 2022 season is around the corner. Here’s every car on the grid...
It doesn’t feel like the dust has truly settled on the 2021 F1 season, not least because the ramifications of that controversial finale in Abu Dhabi are still playing out in the background. Michael Masi has been removed from his role as race director, and even the points system has had a shake-up.
Whatever your views on what happened, the stakes are - to put it mildly - rather high. But the travelling circus doesn’t stop for long and the 2022 season is now just around the corner. We’ve even had the first testing session in Barcelona, although for some reason F1 bosses didn’t think it was worth televising. Anyway, after running in full camo on track, Alfa Romeo has now become the final team to reveal its livery, meaning we have a full house of 2022 cars. And with the rulebook undergoing a massive shake-up this year, the new generation designs are fascinating.
Simplified aero, a return to ground effect, low-profile tyres, wheel covers; all of these things are being introduced for 2022 in the name of closer, more exciting racing, which means teams have had to put their old ideas in the bin and spend Christmas coming up with entirely new ones.
F1 even made a mock-up design of what the new cars would look like (see the gallery above), remember?
And then there’s the even tighter budget cap, which should make it much harder for the biggest teams to simply spend their way out of midfield mediocrity and leave the minnows at the back of the grid. Here’s hoping...
Alfa Romeo C42
Alfa has updated its classic livery for 2022, with more of that glorious red, a bare carbon front wing and brilliantly black louvres on the side pods. Looks lovely, no? Alfa is also one of the only teams to properly design its new wheel covers.
There’s a shout-out for the Tonale under the retro Alfa script, and the C42 gets a remarkably short wheelbase compared to most of the other cars on the grid. Clever packaging from Alfa?
Alpine has finally pulled the wraps off the A522 – which it assures us is not named after the road between Uttoxeter and Cheadle in Staffordshire. Yeah right.
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Anyway, the A522 gets a striking new livery that combines the traditional blue of Alpine with the pink of ex-Racing Point and Aston Martin sponsor BWT. Looks fantastic, doesn’t it? For the first two races of the season, though, the Enstone-based French firm will run the ultra-pink flipped livery in the pictures you see above. That’s apparently to ‘highlight’ its new partnership with the Austrian water treatment company.
Mercedes-AMG F1 W13 E Performance
After two seasons in an all-black, awareness-raising anti-racism livery, Mercedes is back to its iconic silver for 2022. Yep, it’s the return of the Silver Arrows, complete with dashes of Ineos red and Petronas green. Bit of a looker, isn’t it? Worth noting that the floor of the car on Merc’s online reveal looked different to the car you see in these pictures, though.
He left us all guessing after the controversial end to the 2021 campaign, but Lewis Hamilton is also back and will take his seat alongside new teammate George Russell. The pair have a shakedown session at Silverstone on launch day, with the small matter of Storm Eunice to contend with in the UK. Hope Merc packed their full wet Pirellis.
Ferrari’s new F1-75 is perhaps the most radical interpretation of the 2022 rules we’ve seen so far (although Red Bull has only revealed its livery on a show car, of course). The Scuderia have been busy with those sidepods, coming up with an extreme-looking sunken design that sets it apart from the pack.
We’re loving the retro look of that pointy noise with the black front wing too, and the graphic design team seems to have worked wonders for the myriad of sponsors. Will 2022 finally be the year that Ferrari gets back to its best?
Williams hasn't been afraid to freshen up its livery over the last few years, and 2022 is no different with last year's white nose making way for a full carbon fibre garment of many hues of blue, plus red accents.
Is this really the FW44 though? The consensus is that it isn't, with the team copying Red Bull's approach and saving the actual car for pre-season testing. Hopefully this means Williams has a few tricks up its sleeve, and that it isn't about to miss the first shakedown day as it did back in 2019.
In keeping with everyone else so far, AlphaTauri has decided to smother its latest-generation car with a heap of continuity. But that's ok, because the team's dark-blue-and-white livery is one of the most handsome colour schemes on the grid. To our eyes, anyway.
Also, AlphaTauri has got one over parent outfit Red Bull in that it appears to have revealed an actual car - as opposed to a dummy template fresh out of the 3D printer - with unique shapes and elements and whatnot. How novel.
Cast your mind back to last year’s Monaco Grand Prix, and you may remember that McLaren ran a special Gulf-liveried car around the streets of Monte Carlo. You may also recall that a lot of people really liked it. Well, it seems as though McLaren’s design team took note of that reaction because the 2022 livery appears to take more than a pinch of inspiration from that one-off scheme.
Perhaps they had some paint left over? In any case he MCL36 has shunned the intense papaya of last season for a gentler orange and blue combo with a matte finish. And is this just a model (as we’ve seen with the Haas and Red Bull below), or is this the real deal? “It absolutely is, it’s the car we’ll be taking to Barcelona,” says technical director James Key, before adding that a couple of “sensitive areas” have been hidden ahead of testing. So there you go.
Aston Martin AMR22
There was much chat about British Racing Green last year as the once-pink Racing Point team was rebranded as Aston Martin. We loved it here at TG, but a few of Aston’s sponsors weren’t so keen as apparently it didn’t show up as well on screen.
The AMR22 rectifies that by being an ever-so-slightly lighter shade of BRG. Perfect. The pink accents are replaced with AMR’s familiar fluro yellow, and new partner company Aramco gets lots of real estate for ads. Oh, and the team name is now nice and succinct – from now on it’ll be known as the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team. Rolls off the tongue.
Red Bull RB18
Red Bull and Mercedes spent much (ok, all) of 2021 slugging it out for championship glory, so you have to wonder how long they left it before finally throwing their weight behind the 2022 machinery. The proof is, as they say, in the pudding, so in the meantime we simply have to admire the work done by Red Bull's graphic design team.
The livery doesn't really depart from that of previous years, although you'll notice the absence of any Honda branding now: the engine provider has departed F1 for good (again), leaving the Milton Keynes outfit in charge of the power unit for the first time. A tall order, although development in this area is frozen until 2025 so they only really need to work out how to build it...
Haas was the first team to reveal it's challenger for 2022, although based on the team's zero-point haul and 10th place finish in the championship last year, this will probably be the only time they'll beat the rest of the pack to anything.
In fairness, the team opted to effectively write off 2021 in a bid to make this year's car as good as it can possibly be, and team boss Gunther Steiner says the VF-22 is the result of "a tremendous effort by everyone involved". Let's hope the engineering has more going for it than the, er, rather bland white livery.
Want more F1 content ahead of the season opener in Bahrain? Here are 10 things we’re looking forward to about the new campaign.