F1 2022 vs 2021 Speed Comparison

F1 cars are going to be slower in 2022 vs 2021. But how much? This guide shows you a direct comparison of the speed difference of an F1 2022 vs 2021 car

F1 2022 vs 2021 Car Speed Comparison
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As we’re approaching the first race of the 2022 F1 season at Bahrain, I thought I’d run a side by side comparison of just how much slower F1 cars are going to be in 2022.

Below, I’ll examine both laps in true Anthony Davidson style, showing exactly where time is lost with the 2022 car.

In this guide, I will be using the Race Sim Studios 2022 concept car and the 2021 F1 car mods for Assetto Corsa. This is the closest I could get to a direct comparison since we haven’t had real-world data yet, and we don’t have an F1 2022 game just yet to compare. I’ll be racing around a lap of Bahrain using these cars in Assetto Corsa.


F1 2022 vs 2021 side by side comparison

Below is the video of our side by side comparison of the F1 2022 vs 2021 cars. If you don’t fancy watching our video comparison, continue to read on below where I’ll show you where time is gained and lost.


Sector 1

You will see on the entry to turn one if I slow it down at the apex, that I get much closer to the inside kerb in the 2021 McLaren. This is because the 2021 car has much higher levels of downforce at slower speeds thanks to all of the extra aero parts.

The 2022 car is much more streamlined from an aero perspective, meaning it does suffer from a lack of downforce in lower speed corners.

As we approach the DRS activation line, you will already see that I’ve gained time in the 2021 car.

F1 2022 vs 2021 Comparison 1

Heading through turn 4 you’ll see that I can get on the power earlier in the 2021 car, and really attack the exit. While in the 2022 car, I have to be more considerate with just how much power I’m applying.


Sector 2

I take a similar line in both cars through turns 5, 6 and 7 but I can once again get on the power earlier in the 2021 car. And it’s much easier to break traction in the 2022 car.

If I look at the apex of turn 8 you can see just how much time I’ve lost in the 2022 car. The slower corners in sector 1 is where I’ve lost the majority of the time, but the first half of sector 2 is also primarily slower turns resulting in more lost time. In sector 3 I won’t lose as much time due to the faster nature of the corners.


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F1 2022 vs 2021 Comparison 3

Again, I take a similar line through the tricky turn 9 and 10, but I’m over a second and a half ahead in the 2021 car already.

A running theme of this lap is that the 2022 car suffers more from understeer on the way into corners and a lack of traction on the corner exits.

I use all of the track available through turns 11 and 12, but I have a slight hesitation on applying the power in the 2022 car.


Sector 3

Turn 12 is completely flat in both cars, but I can hit the apex of turn 13 much cleaner in the 2021 car, with the 2022 car just understeering a little further away from the inside kerb.

F1 2022 vs 2021 Comparison 4

That impacts how early I can get on the power coming out of turn 13 in the 2022 McLaren and affects my top speed down the long straight before the final corners of the lap.

I get a little too high on the inside kerb of turn 14 in the 2021 car, with my line being much cleaner in the 2022 car, but you can already see the difference in lap time.


Exactly how much slower are 2022 F1 cars vs 2021?

As I run down to the line, I cross the finish line in the 2021 car, with the 2022 McLaren MCL36 crossing the line 2.97 seconds slower.

F1 2022 vs 2021 Comparison 5

I hope the video above and this guide showcases a rough speed difference between the 2021 and 2022 F1 cars.

The 2022 car does suffer from reduced downforce enforced by this year’s regulations. This goes towards limiting front downforce on the entry to slower corners resulting in understeer. And the reduced rear downforce generated by the much simpler rear wing this year makes traction trickier to find while accelerating out of corners.

Luckily for us, we don’t have to wait long until we can see how this plays out in reality with the Bahrain Grand Prix only a week away.

Read our complete F1 2022 Bahrain track guide. This guide will run you through the best racing line, braking points and tips to give you the best lap time possible.


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Article written by Mjolnir

Mjolnir is one of the main setup creators and content writers for SimRacingSetups. He has had years of experience in sim racing, both competitively and casually. After a decade of sim racing experience, he co-founded SimRacingSetup.com to share his passion and knowledge of sim racing and Formula 1 with other sim racers.
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