I have just seen the first wind tunnel versions of the next gen F1 car and I have to say – I am underwhelmed.
The wind tunnel design is being honed in the Alfa Romeo/Sauber wind tunnel in Switzerland and this is the first ‘real’ images that the FIA have shown us of the new Formula 1 car for the future. Obviously the teams themselves will find any small windows that can be exploited but it looks like a mix between the current Indycar chassis and a Super Formula Nippon car and is not what we need from F1 right now.
We need something more. What that something is, I do not know but when I look back at racing cars from the F1 top class through the decades, the have the take everything from pre 1991 and accept that that will just not work in the modern era (ie. aerodynamics had begun to really shape the cars from then onwards (more so than previousy)). So looking past that, you have the mid 90’s Benetton B195. Great looking car. The Williams FW17, even better. The Mclaren MP4/13 and then one of my personal favourites, the Mclaren MP4/20 from 2005. A car that looked like it was the fastest on the grid and was in fact, the fastest car on the grid. If you take all of those, mash them together with a wee bit of added safety Halo etc and that is probably where we should be. Take that artist sketch and make rules that make that work.
We have had a run of good grand prix recently but when we were all turning off the TV sets after the French Grand Prix at the beginning of the summer, there were strong debates about what F1 needed to do to get back to the top of the podium. And this new render/model simply doesn’t convince me that the future will be any brighter than it currently is.
And that is my thoughts on the matter.