In that of Silverstone the 2022 Formula 1 World Championship is preparing to experience the tenth round of the season. We have talked with the journalist and television commentator Giorgio Piola about the improvements that will be made on the cars on British soil, examining from a technical point of view the various modifications produced by Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes.
There is no shortage of interesting focuses on Prancing Horse’s global ambitions, on the rivalry between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez and on porpoising, a theme around which doubts related to safety arise. Below is the complete interview.
Red-Bull and Max Verstappen were flawless last Sunday, but reliability betrayed Sergio Perez.
“Ferrari also accused reliability problems, but they have been identified and in theory they shouldn’t be repeated. Instead, the alarm relating to Sergio Perez concerns the same component of the car that had caused the previous stops: it means that the hydraulic problem has not yet been solved at Red-Bull and this thing could be very important for the rest of the race. season”.
During these first races, Perez often seemed to have more than Verstappen …
“The Federation’s technical revolution has generated completely different cars. All the riders when they tried them said ‘We have to learn how to drive them again’. At Ferrari, Leclerc immediately found himself well while Sainz had some difficulties; at Red Bull last year there were even doubts about the renewal of Perez, who was not totally at ease. This year there is the opposite situation: in theory Perez should have one more victory, which despite him has succumbed to his teammate, and we often see him faster than Verstappen. The Dutchman blamed his learning about the new vehicle for this, but I think he never feared Ferrari overtaking in the last race. It was a bit like playing cat and mouse, Max was comfortable with his top speed, Sainz drove flawlessly by appearing under several times, but even with DRS open the Red Bull would go away, thanks also to the traction outside. from turn 10 and driving Verstappen ”.
Last Sunday on Leclerc’s car we saw a new wing from a Silverstone perspective…
“A very important wing, given only to Leclerc because given the atmospheric conditions there was a risk that it could get damaged and since there was only one example if something had happened to Sainz, Ferrari would have had two cars penalized. The piece is interesting, a little less spoon-shaped, with a different flap designed to have more speed on the straight and a greater delta in the opening of the DRS. We will see the winger at Silverstone on both cars, I think that race will be a bit of the crux of the season. Mercedes and Alpine will also bring some changes, the Alpine itself could play an important role in the World Championship by stealing a few points from time to time. The two Mercedes drivers in Canada had an excellent race, Hamilton was not tired at all, the porpoising problem has been reduced, I think we will go to Silverstone with many question marks and hopefully there will be many interesting answers for the World Championship “.
Mercedes has adopted several solutions over the Canadian weekend.
“On Friday in FP1 the two cars had two different aerodynamic solutions, both of which failed. The car was practically undriveable. Being in the pits, I saw that the aerodynamic problem was circumscribed by returning to the usual ground and the mechanics concentrated a lot on the suspension: they changed the third shock absorber, changed the heights from the ground and changed the balance of the car, solutions that eventually made it possible to find a square. There is hope that Mercedes can get back competitive at Silverstone, it would be nice because ending the season without a win would not be good for the 7-time World Champion and George Russell, who is the rising star, must be in the game. This would reshuffle the cards even more to the advantage of Ferrari, still fighting for the World Championship. I don’t think Ferrari is on the same level as Red Bull, they’ve been superior on a couple of occasions but their rivals still have a margin of advantage. “
A theme that continues to arise is that of porpoising. Do you think it is correct not to change the regulations during construction?
Russell said it’s not just a porpoising problem but suspension stiffness, as Mercedes drivers get hit on the back when passing curbs. I am of the idea that safety always comes first, then of course, whoever has made a car that suffers less from porpoising has an advantage. From a technical and sporting point of view Horner is right, who says that Red Bull has developed a better job in that particular and should not be penalized, but it must be seen to what extent it is a health problem for the drivers. Some have long noses and in order to win they hide physical discomfort, the Federation must carry out a serious investigation to understand how to move, taking into account that safety is more important than performance.
VIDEO: THE INTERVIEW WITH GIORGIO PIOLA