Valtteri Bottas says his first hours spent in Alfa Romeo Racing's simulator have given him the impression that next year's all-new cars won't be significantly different to drive than their predecessors.
Formula 1's big regulation overhaul was written with one priority in mind: to allow for closer racing, with more overtaking opportunities.
To fulfill that aim, F1's in-house technical team led by managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn has brought back 'ground effects', or the ability for a car's underside or floor – rather than its wings - to generate the bulk of downforce, a principal that should considerably reduce the massive amount of dirty air spiraling in the wake of a car which leads to downforce loss for the machine immediately following behind.
Both McLaren's Lando Norris and Ferrari's Carlos Sainz have described their future 2022 car as feeling very different in the sim relative to its predecessor, with Norris stating that drivers will need to adapt their driving style to the new designs.
But Bottas feels there is currently little difference between the two concepts based on his sim experience at Brackely and recently at Hinwil.
"At least at this point, it feels like the cars are a bit off in terms of downforce," he said, quoted by Motorsport.com.
"But the overall feeling, at least in the sim, wasn’t that dissimilar in either of the simulators.
"We can’t simulate following other cars and stuff like that, but it’s not crazy different. Maybe still a bit less downforce but that will change."
The Finn admitted to being a fan of the cars fielded in the past two years in F1. But if the sport's new regs reach their intended purpose, he expects to have even more fun out on the track.
"It’s been fun, especially last year , the cars were even faster than this year, with more downforce," he said.
"They’ve been nice but I’ll let you know next year how the new ones [are].
"If the racing is better and we can follow more closer, then it should be even more fun, and I think the cars in the future will be as quick as now pretty quickly.
"Hopefully that’s going to be the case."