Esteban Ocon not impressed with 2022 car

2022 saw the start of the new aerodynamic era of Formula 1, with the cars having become bigger and heavier than their predecessors.

Esteban Ocon has revealed that the new aerodynamic era of Formula 1 hasn’t resulted in exciting racing cars, with the Frenchman admitting that the 2021 machinery is more fun to drive than the current fleet.

2022 saw the introduction of drastically different looking cars, all of which were bigger and heavier than their predecessors.

The regulation changes implemented by the FIA saw ground effects reintroduced to Formula 1, with a car’s floor becoming the source of downforce.

Whilst this did cause the horrific porpoising phenomena, which increased the physical demands placed on the 20 drivers, the new regulations did see considerably more overtaking take place.

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2022 saw over 700 overtakes, whilst 2021 saw around 200.

The numbers do suggest that the new regulations were a success in regard to entertainment, but the drivers seemingly believe otherwise.

Ocon is aware that 2022 was, of course, the first season of the new regulations so admits it’s difficult to give a definitive answer; however, based on last season’s cars, the Alpine driver found 2021 more enjoyable.

“Unfortunately, no,” said Ocon, when asked by reporters if the new cars are fun to drive.

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“First of all, it’s the first year of the new regulations, so it is going to get better and hopefully our car [for 2023] will go in the right direction.

“But they are heavy, it has less grip, but the degradation is a bit less I would say, so that is a good thing.

“I tested [the 2021 car] at Monza with Jacques Villeneuve, and I enjoyed it much more, and it definitely felt more of a quicker car.

“As long as this year’s car is not quicker, [then it is not a problem]. It is the same for everyone.”

Ocon went on to admit that he’d love the sport to return to what it was like in 2005 and 2006, a time when Renault went head-to-head with Ferrari in cars which “sounded great” and were mega light”.

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“The years that made me dream about Formula 1 were 2005, 2006 when they had the tyre war [between Bridgestone and Michelin], it was impressive because the technology was [improving] so much, the fight between Ferrari and Renault,” Ocon explained, when asked what era of F1 he’d like to return to in a time machine.

“But I also think that everything Formula 1 has put now in terms of regulations to get the cars closer together, and racing wise, it is better now.

“It was a cool engine which sounded great, the cars were mega light and it was very fast, but I think if I had to choose, I will still take the [current era].”