The Best, or Nothing – A New Grand Prix Formula for 2022

Racing Daydream - Lewis Hamilton

Director Sailer, who was in great form at the Mercedes dinner, made a most amusing speech concerning his early motor-racing career, and ended up by saying,

“Some people think that motor-racing is no longer interesting, because Mercedes-Benz always win – we cannot help this, as we have been winning races for forty years, and do not propose to stop now, whether the formula is for 1½-litre racing cars, or 4½-litre sports cars, or whatever the ‘Powers that be’ like to make it. Mercedes with their forty years of experience and tradition, and the best racing organisation in the world will be on the starting line.”.

George Monkhouse – ‘Motor Racing with Mercedes-Benz’, 1938

Racing Daydreams - Max Sailer, with Uhlenhaut & Lang, Reims 1938
Max Sailer, with Uhlenhaut & Lang, Reims 1938

For forty years read one hundred & twenty-one years.

One hundred & twenty-one years, and one day since the first Mercédès took to the race track, ‘Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team’ will unveil their W13. The latest in a very long line of remarkable Mercedes Grand Prix cars.

Changes in the Grand Prix formula seem rather constant and small, if significant, these days – but 2022 will see a dramatic change in how a Grand Prix car appears, operates and is raced. Rather like the changes of 1983 and 1958 combined.

Will the changes generate the overtaking fest that the big brains have calculated… and the marketers & Drive-to-Survive-ists are praying for? Perhaps… although with any new formula you can expect greater field-spread. Keeping your competitor in sight may be a greater priority, initially.

Will the new regulations shake-up the ‘pecking order’? Unlikely, I would say. We know who will be at, or near the front of the field. As ever with a new Grand Prix formula, Mercedes-Benz will be in the vanguard.

I was all set to compare it to 1938, but I changed my mind this week. Mercedes-AMG will line up for 2022, with their entirely new Grand Prix car. Leading the team is a man who is the best of his generation, and likely the greatest of all time. In support, a promoted Mercedes junior.

2022 isn’t 1954, and W13 won’t be a W196R – but after the debacle of Abu Dhabi, I know of more than a few fans who are hoping Bahrain ’22 evokes Reims ’54.

With one hundred & twenty-one years of experience and tradition, and the best racing organisation in the world on the starting line, you would be a fool to bet against it.

Racing Daydreams - Scherenberg, Nallinger and Uhlenhaut with W 196 R, Reims 1954
Scherenberg, Nallinger and Uhlenhaut with W 196 R, Reims 1954

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