An admittedly small part of the raft of technical and sporting regulations coming into effect for the 2022 Formula 1 season is the brand new ‘show-and-tell’ media presentations, with final details finally revealed by F1.
Public car update reveal presentations will put all aerodynamic and bodywork upgrades on display for the world to see before practice and after qualifying.
Even though this is indeed a small component of the new ruleset, in comparison to the huge changes to the cars themselves, it could radically impact the blatant nature of how teams’ introduce updates and the lengths they may go to camouflage their efforts.
The introduction of these new presentations has seemingly been made possible in the first place through the revised Grand Prix weekend schedule. ‘Media day’ has been moved to Friday morning prior to FP1 and FP2 which both shift to later in the day.
The condensing of the schedule reduces the strain on travel and logistics requirements between different Grands Prix, and essentially provides more scope for an increase in double and triple headers.
How does the ‘Show-and-Tell’ work?
The presentation has been officially labelled the ‘pre-event automobile display’, whereby teams will place both of their cars outside their garage area for up to an hour, two and a half hours before the start of FP1.
They must also provide a senior technical representative to talk through “major aerodynamic and bodywork component updates”. However it is thought this element will be utilised more readily in the post-qualifying show, which takes place half an hour after qualifying concludes.
Only half of the ten teams will be selected by the race director for the post-qualifying display. Nevertheless this session is perhaps the more relevant with all cars in parc ferme conditions at this point of the weekend.
Before the cars are actually presented, teams must provide a document to the FIA of all notable changes to the cars since the previous race session or test, but crucially teams will be allowed to miss these ‘obligatory’ presentations but only after written permission is granted from the FIA – a good reason would therefore be needed.
It’s surely a certainty that teams will do everything in their power not to show-off all their brand new innovations for all their rivals to see. Engineers from every team will be glued to the screens watching rivals display their machinery to the world.
It will certainly be interesting to uncover how the chief engineers and aerodynamicists find their way around this predicament – perhaps races targeted as the first for certain updates will result in extravagant excuses being made and cars shut well away in the garages.