The development of the cars throughout the 2022 season has been different to previous years, as teams have had to balance their desire to update cars against the cost of manufacturing new parts.
Some, like Alpine, have chosen to introduce small changes at each race, while other teams have chosen to introduce their new parts in larger packages throughout the course.
But even though that limit sometimes seems to have slowed teams’ efforts to develop their F1 cars, Ferrari performance engineer Jock Clear says the work in the factories has been just as intense in figuring out where benefits can be obtained.
Asked by Motorsport.com if the work in the factories was further along than the teams could take to the circuit, Clear said: “The state of the championship obviously influences whether further development is pushed and obviously towards the end of the year, you know more or less what the ceiling is on what you can spend, because the year has a cost limit”.
“Inevitably, there will be some decisions to be made based on the current situation. And of course, you never stop developing.”
“Whether you decide to spend on packages you take to the track or not, real brainpower doesn’t cost much.”
“There are very smart people in all the teams who come up with ideas. So even if you don’t see those ideas on the track, they are going to show up probably early next season.”
“I repeat, you choose when you wear them. The cost limit hasn’t stopped people from coming up with great ideas. In the factory, that always happens and it’s very exciting.”
McLaren was one of the teams that had to temporarily halt its development mid-season due to uncertainty over budget limits during the energy cost crisis.
Once an agreement was reached to give all teams a bit more leeway in spending, McLaren was able to bring further improvements to their car.
At the time, team principal Andreas Seidl said: “I hope that it is not just us who have to put on the handbrake in terms of new developments, because of the restrictions we are having mainly on the speed limit side. costs”.
“But there are also the restrictions that you have today in terms of time limits on the use of the wind tunnel, so you really have to be very careful with all of that.”