The 2022 Formula One season is set to get underway soon, with teams getting ready to release new liveries and hit the track for testing in February. There’s just one problem, two Motorsport Italy reports suggest. Red Bull Racing and Mercedes aren’t quite ready to join the party after failing their crash tests.
The outlet reported that Red Bull failed its front crash test will Mercedes failed the side impact test. Basically, this means that neither team has an FIA-approved car. The situation isn’t dire yet, since teams are able to refine their car design and try again later — but it’s definitely not ideal.
Here’s a little more info on the Red Bull, from Motorsport Italy (translated to English):
At Cranfield, where the British teams converge for dynamic tests, Red Bull would have registered a failure in the front of the car that would force Milton Keynes’s team to review the ability to absorb energy from the nose and the chassis in the front.
The news does not seem to have worried the technicians about the validity of the project, but it certainly has an… impact on the timing of the RB18 resolution which is longer than the initial plans.
In Red Bull’s working philosophy it is not the first time that the front crash has been failed.
The reason is very simple: Newey prefers to decide on an extreme car, perhaps adding a carbon skin to overcome the stringent FIA rules in compliance with safety regulations, but without upsetting a very ambitious project.
And here’s some info from the Mercedes report (again, translated to English):
The static test was not passed a few days ago so the body of the silver arrow is not yet approved by the FIA: Allison and Elliot have ventured an extreme solution for the bellies and now they will resort to a plan B that they had already outlined. No problem other than a slight delay in the planned plans.
That the top two teams — the ones that most recently fought for a Championship — are struggling is interesting. It shows that both teams have tried to push the new ruleset to its absolute limits, which is to be expected from the two most competitive outfits on the grid.
Red Bull and Mercedes are also two of the bigger-budget teams, which means they can afford to try something funky, fail, and go back to the drawing board. But this is definitely an interesting start to a new season and a new set of regulations. Here’s to hoping things are just as interesting on track.