Valtteri Bottas Says 2022 Formula 1 Cars “Not Crazy Different” in the Simulator

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With 2022 just around the corner, Formula 1 teams across the grid are hard at work on their next-gen race cars, which will feature ground effect-based aerodynamics. Such a setup is supposed to make for better racing by allowing drivers to follow each other more closely. As you can imagine, many drivers have already driven those cars in the simulator and several of them described them as being more difficult to drive compared to 2021 cars, especially on the limit where they apparently move around a lot more. However, former Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas (now with Alfa Romeo), feels differently about the matter, after having sampled the 2022 car in both Mercedes’ as well as Alfa Romeo’s simulators, reports Autosport. “At least at that point, it felt like the cars are a bit off in terms of downforce,” said Bottas while referencing his run in the Mercedes simulator earlier this year, as well as his experience with Alfa Romeo. “But the overall feeling, at least in the sim, wasn’t that dissimilar in either of the simulators. We can’t simulate following other cars and stuff like that, but it’s not crazy different. Maybe still a bit less downforce but, like I said, that will change.” Interestingly enough, Bottas’ comments about 2022 cars in the sim don’t match what McLaren’s Lando Norris had to say about these next-gen racers, which he likened to F2. “I don’t think it’ll be as nice to drive in a way. I think it’ll be a little bit more on the limit in terms of pushing and so on. A little bit like F2 in a way, I think, where you see more fighting the car and stuff,” he stated. At this point, it’s quite possible that we’ll never see cars like the ones from 2021 or 2020 in particular (even more downforce) again in Formula 1, as it would mean returning to rules that made it harder for drivers to overtake without a clear horsepower or tire wear advantage.