Dear all, this is my first post on this forum.
I would like to start a discussion regarding F1 cars and their aesthetics. Formula one as we all know and keep repeating is as much of a sport as a show for the spectators. Hence Formula 1 cars are meant to not just go fast and be safe but also inspire viewers to return to their tvs and pay huge tickets prices to visit races.
Modern day Formula 1 has been year after year made to look uglier by regulations. This I believe is not a matter of opinion but a fact. Here are a few things that contribute to the modern day f1 design crisis:
-1998 regulations regarding car width, probably the biggest and most painful design change in the history of f1. Sports car stance and proportion are all driven by how well the car is planted on the road. Being planted on the road is a direct consequence of width of the car vs its hight and length. Wheel size plays an important role in this equation but keeping the wheel size out of the equation (for it did not change in the 1998 rules) we ended up with cars that are much too narrow for their hight and for their length. Cars stopped looking muscular and stabile on the road instead going for a narrow, train like and unstable stance. This issue is also very hard to argue from a strictly logical perspective: why take away mechanical grip that the cars had due to their width and substitute it on more reliance on aerodynamics? and after this, complain about difficulties in overtaking cars due to turbulent wake? This in my eye is the one dumbest regulation change ever.
-constant increase in wheelbase: this has obviously happened for different reasons: tilkedromes demanding longer wheelbase to go around longer corners, the rule of one fuel tank for the whole race distance and other factors have directly contributed to modern f1 cars looking like stretch limos. Combined with the width restriction, this drives anybody with a taste for car beauty absolutely insane.
-wheel size and tire profile. As mentioned previously, stance is driven by proportions of width hight and length but also by how all the three elements relate to wheel size. If we consider what has been happening with production mainstream cars over the last decades, we can see that while overall dimensions of the cars are growing in every direction, so do the wheel sizes. Just a quick look at a golf Mk1 vs a modern day Golf Mk7 proves this point. Anybody fancy looking at a modern car with the old fashioned wheel sizes? It would look like a oversized whale on little rollerblades. Not your most athletic proportions. But, this is precisely what we have in modern F1. For various reasons, tyre suppliers and teams never agreed to make an adjustment of rim/overall tire dimensions. A good comparison for what is possible in the racing world would be sports car racing series, be it LMP1 or even DTM. This change is a must for f1 if it is to stay relevant in todays world.
-wing dimensions: the issue of the oversized front wing has been almost cured this year, but just to repeat a known fact, design elements of the car that sit wider than its wheels make the car look under wheeled and destroy the stance. We already had a car which lacked stance and the snow plough wings did a bit more to damage the stance. Narrow rear wings also make the car look like a house from the rear view. Where is the width gone?
ok, enough with this rant, I believe that addressing the basic width/hight/length issue and improving wheel sizes would do magic to these cars, MAGIC!
ugly noses? In the context of such heavy proportion issues, nose designs are irrelevant in my opinion. Our patient has problems with its skeleton, not with the make up.
Would love to hear an intelligent discussion on this subject, including, what can we fans do to change the situation?
Edited by angrysasha, 01 February 2014 - 14:10.