With six days of running before the first grand prix of the season, Daniel Ricciardo says that is enough time for the drivers to adjust to the new 2022 cars.
Formula 1 enters a new era this season, the sport introducing sweeping regulation changes based on ground-effect aerodynamics.
Billed as the biggest technical change seen in 30 years, Formula 1’s powers-that-be are hoping the new rules will be just the next step in their attempts to bunch up the field by designing cars that can follow easily.
As yet, none of the teams have turned a wheel in anger with the new cars, the drivers’ learning having been done solely on the simulators.
McLaren driver Ricciardo says expect more F2, less dragster.
“The cars will be so much lower,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.
“Obviously, the Formula 1 cars have looked like dragsters for years. They will now look more like Formula 2 cars with significantly lower tails.
“I think that will affect the road holding and handling on kerbs. I’m sure that will affect the balance. The feeling in the car should be completely different.
“I really hope it will be a new era for Formula 1.
“While last season was incredible, there are still circuits where it’s very difficult to follow and overtake. I hope that will be different with the new cars.
“In Formula 2 we see pretty exciting races. Of course, all cars are the same there. But I think some of the rules could help Formula 1 with its problem.”
Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto is among those who believe it will take the drivers a bit of time to adapt to the new cars, such is the difference.
Ricciardo says the six days of running they will have during pre-season, three days for each team-mate, will give them enough time to rework their driving styles if needed.
“I think we drivers are good enough to be there more or less straight away,” said the 32-year-old.
“As the season progresses, we will fine-tune ourselves in parallel with the development of the cars.
“Last year, in retrospect, it was quite difficult for me with only one and a half days in the car before the start of the season. With three days in the winter tests, it’s twice as many. Therefore, it should be fine.”
The first pre-season test, dubbed a shakedown, will begin on 23 February at the Circuit de Catalunya where the teams will spend three days putting in the laps before heading to Bahrain on 10 March for the only official test.
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