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2022 cars not "crazy different" claims Bottas

NEWS STORY
02/01/2022

Following time in the Alfa Romeo simulator, Valtteri Bottas' first impression is that the 2022 cars doesn't handle entirely differently to its predecessor.

Before panicking however, fans should remember that the simulators cannot recreate the impact of dirty air from the car in front, one of the key factors when Ross Brawn and his team set about developing the rules overhaul.

Indeed, the intention is to lessen the impact of wings and instead look to the ground effect of the cars' undersides as the main source of downforce.

"At this point, it feels like the cars are a bit off in terms of downforce," Bottas, who has had the opportunity to try the simulators at both Mercedes and his new team, Alfa Romeo, told Motorsport.com.

"But the overall feeling, at least in the sim, wasn't that dissimilar in either of the simulators," he admitted. "We can't simulate following other cars and stuff like that, but it's not crazy different. Maybe still a bit less downforce but that will change."

Reflecting on the cars of 2020/2021 he said: "It's been fun, especially last year (2020), the cars were even faster than this year, with more downforce. They've been nice but I'll let you know next year how the new ones are.

"If the racing is better and we can follow more closer, then it should be even more fun," he continued, "and I think the cars in the future will be as quick as now pretty quickly. Hopefully that's going to be the case."

Meanwhile, as Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz insist their simulator experience tells them the 2022 car will be vastly different, based on his experience in the mule car at the Abu Dhabi test, Daniel Ricciardo believes the new breed of car will be less demanding physically.

"We definitely anticipate the cars to be a bit slower," he tells Speedcafe.com, "so potentially a little less physically demanding.

"But the cars will be a bit bigger and heavier, so maybe that then makes it a little a little more difficult to handle... man handle," he adds.

"I heard, I think Gasly talk a little bit about visibility, which already is not that good, so maybe that will be another challenge. But I think from a physical demand, the cars now are so quick, I can't imagine it getting more physical than it is at the moment."

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