One key change is the switch to front pullrod suspension, the diagonal strut now running from the upper wishbones to a lower point on the chassis, opening up more space lower down the car, where airflow into the underfloor tunnels will be crucial to generate ground effect.
The team has made progress in recent seasons back towards the front of F1 but it hasn’t quite bridged the gap from upper midfield to contender at the front just yet. Last year it slipped behind its Italian foe in the championship after a disappointing final third of the season but the 2022 rules could be the opportunity McLaren needs to get itself back in race-winning contention.
Lando Norris has signed a new five-year deal to lock him into the team; Daniel Ricciardo will hope that last year’s teething troubles are over and he can show the pace that he’s capable of.
2022 McLaren MCL36 livery
Last year’s one-off Gulf livery was on McLaren’s mind when designing the 2022 colour scheme, and no wonder given the almost universally positive attention and publicity it received. The historic papaya livery remains but gone is the accompanying vibrant blue of last year’s car, to be replaced by what McLaren terms as “new blue”. The Gulf colour runs the length of the car, following the lines of the sidepods around the logo of its principal sponsor, the British American Tobacco nicotine pouch brand Velo.
A new black strip runs along the middle of the car, dividing the sidepods from the engine cover. A new tie-up with the food delivery firm Gopuff sees its logo added to the nose, no doubt along with comedy delivery videos featuring Norris and Ricciardo.
When: February 21
Alpine’s launch will take place on February 21 two days before the first pre-season test in Barcelona is set to get underway.
Something's coming… We're edging closer to the new era of #Alpine innovation.
Save the Date 🗓️ 21.02.22#A522 @alpinecars @alpineracing pic.twitter.com/eYk9459ylb
— BWT Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) January 26, 2022
The team has undergone a great deal of change in the winter. Its leadership line-up has morphed with both Marcin Budkowski and Alain Prost leaving their positions. Budkowski’s departure comes just a year after he was appointed as executive director of the F1 team.
It leaves an opening that the team is rumoured to have a replacement for in mind already. Whether former Aston Martin CEO and team boss Otmar Szafnauer makes the switch from green to blue remains to be confirmed: is he the man to drive Alpine back to the forefront of F1?
AlphaTauri will be aiming to restore itself to the top-end of the midfield fight with its 2022 creation, which was unveiled in a short video on February 14.
Each of its last cars has carried a driver to the podium, and it will be looking to build on that, once again powered by the proven Honda engine. However, it’s difficult to judge the new car for now, with several crucial details missing: the nose appears similar to last year’s F1 show car and the floor is missing aerodynamic aids.
introducing the AT03 💙 the Style of a New Era is here! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/FBmqzx6ggE
— Scuderia AlphaTauri (@AlphaTauriF1) February 14, 2022
Arguably one of 2021’s underperforming teams, AlphaTauri showed the potential to race at the front of the midfield ‚ if the car and drivers come together.
Yuki Tsunoda struggled in his rookie season, but showed flashes of pace. Pierre Gasly performed admirably in qualifying but struggled to replicate those lofty highs in the race.
2022 AlphaTauri AT03 livery
Without the red Honda logo on this year’s car, the 2022 AlphaTauri is even more colour-coordinated than before; its blue and white colour scheme barely interrupted by any sponsors. Last year’s livery was a relatively simple split between white, on the lower sections and blue up top. This year’s is more of a blend, which follows the curvier lines of this year’s car. A white strip running from the side of the nose, runs down to the bottom of the sidepods, underneath a middle blue strip that carries the AlphaTauri livery. A small white HRC (Honda Racing Corporation) logo maintains some form of Honda branding.
The engine cover once more is a combination of the AlphaTauri fashion brand logo, and the bull from parent company Red Bull. New sponsor FlexBox breaks the colour scheme with its impudent orange coloured ‘x’s on the front wing.