Aston Martin become first F1 team to announce launch date for new 2022 car
Aston Martin become the first F1 team to reveal the launch date for their new 2022 car, which will be designed according to new technical regulations. F1 pre-season begins in Barcelona in February
Last Updated: 14/01/22 11:12am
Aston Martin have announced that they will unveil their new AMR22 car for the upcoming Formula 1 season on February 10.
The British team are F1's first to reveal their launch date as they gear up for their second campaign on the grid, which starts in Bahrain on March 20.
Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll remain partnered in an unchanged driver line-up, while there will be new leadership after Otmar Szafnauer left his position as team principal.
Aston Martin placed seventh in the 2021 constructors' championship under the ownership of Lawrence Stroll and will be looking to build on that with their new car, which will meet F1's new technical regulations.
As far as a new team principal goes, Aston Martin said in a recent statement that Szafnauer's former role "will be managed within the leadership team until a replacement is appointed".
Szafnauer was made team boss in 2018 after the Silverstone-based outfit was taken over by a consortium led by Stroll having originally joined what was known as Force India in 2009.
The statement from the team did not give a reason for the 57-year-old's exit, but it comes only a day after the publication of an interview in which he spoke enthusiastically about the team's prospects for 2022.
Testing for the new season gets underway in Barcelona on February 23.
The need-to-know Q&A on 2022
Why are the cars being changed?
While cars are tweaked most seasons, every once in a while F1 introduces a major rules shake-up to change the cars, and very often, the competitive order.
After the big changes in 2009 and 2014 comes a 2022 refresh, with F1 moving on from an era that has been - Max Verstappen's title win aside - dominated by Mercedes, while also providing fewer overtaking opportunities than hoped due to the weight, speed and downforce of the cars.
The new rules are aimed at improving the show, first and foremost, and F1 is hoping for unpredictability and plenty of excitement.
What are the changes and how will they help?
The 2022 overhaul is arguably the most radical in F1's long history.
The biggest changes come in the shape of throwback 18-inch wheels and a complete rethink of aerodynamics. Gone is the very technical old front wing, with a more simplified, yet modern, front wing now apparent. The rear wing is also notable for its sleek look, while there are now also underfloor tunnels.
Those are just a few of the changes which have been worked on for many years, with the end goal of getting rid of disruptive airflow, making it easier for cars to follow each other, and thus easier to overtake.
It's been an amazing season on track, and a funny one off it. Watch back on some of the funniest moments and outtakes from this season's filming.
Who will the changes favour?
Rule changes are always exciting for F1 teams as they essentially reset the pecking order and give them a blank slate to redesign a competitive car.
That being said, Mercedes and Red Bull will still start the season as the teams to beat due to their talent and resource, although look out for teams like Ferrari - the sport's most successful team have been working on their 2022 car for longer than most.
In terms of drivers, the cars will likely be a few seconds slower than last year's due to the loss of downforce, though they should all relish the renewed on-track battles and overtaking opportunities.