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F1 Aesthetics


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#101 DanardiF1

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 01:29

http://plus.autospor...-f1-to-be-ugly/

Thread inspiring article?

For the record I still believe the F1 to be the very quintessence of supercar design so Stevens' opinion should carry some weight.

 

I read that in the magazine last week and found myself agreeing with every single word... For cars that are supposedly designed with aerodynamic management in mind from the first piece of bodywork to the last, they can look remarkably disjointed conceptually, because as Stevens says they are often designed piece by piece. I actually find Adrian Newey's cars to be somewhat more graceful (when he's not overextending his reach on certain areas like perhaps on this year's car) than others because he still sits at a drawing board and uses it. Contrast that to cars like the recent Ferrari's in particular and they look a mismatch of ideas slapped on the car to fix other problems elsewhere. Even now with the lowered chassis and nose regs they have the ridiculously compromised front suspension layout for 'aero' purposes, but forgetting that it's bad for mechanical grip at the front.

 

I've always held the opinion that this recent obsession with 'clean' air is the main cause of F1's dip in aesthetic quality, and this is despite the more successful cars of this era being those with well-balanced aero-mechanical design philosophies. Red Bull's cars have never strayed too far from good solid mechanically-superior suspension and chassis design, yet produce unassailable amounts of downforce. Same for the better of McLaren's cars over the last few years, the good-to-excellent 2010/11/12 cars all utilised comparatively low chassis and 'conservative' (IMO 'proper') suspension geometries with a somewhat standalone philosophy of using well-designed bodywork to move air around the car (see the dipped sidepods of the 2011 car, the snowplough used on the '10 and '11 designs, and their always beautifully sculpted engine cover bodywork). Lotus had a successful few years by making great strides in suspension design, yet when I look at all the Ferrari cars since the 2010 car (which was actually their best looking and well-designed conceptually of this aero era and actually their best performing too... funny that eh?) I just see cars that have inherent bad design with different fixes plastered all over them, and it's no surprise that even with Alonso behind the wheel and the amount of resources at their disposal they have fallen well short of their potential.

 

The adage of 'if it looks good, it'll be fast' is pretty concrete, because the best looking cars tend to be the best thought out.



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#102 ardbeg

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 10:54


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.

 

It is definitely not a matter of fact.  As a matter of fact, it is fact that each change in regulations will be liked by some and disliked by others. As a matter of fact, most of those that are against a change are people who have followed the sport for a long time. As a matter of fact, many times the real reason they are against is spelled n o s t a l g i a.

We will get used to these cars. The fast ones will be accepted as beautiful, no matter how they look. Well, unless we hate the driver who steers it.  

That last paragraph was not a matter of fact.


Edited by ardbeg, 25 February 2014 - 10:54.


#103 Imateria

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 12:13

http://plus.autospor...-f1-to-be-ugly/

Thread inspiring article?

For the record I still believe the F1 to be the very quintessence of supercar design so Stevens' opinion should carry some weight.

I found that to be a complete load of rubbish. The mans entirely dismissive of the development push for performance in favor of aesthetics, in short style over substance. I agree that the rules are badly written and effectively force ugly designs on us but I don't find the cars having to "look good" to be a requirement of the sport, personally I'd much rather they looked aggressive and powerful.



#104 saudoso

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 12:57

I found that to be a complete load of rubbish. The mans entirely dismissive of the development push for performance in favor of aesthetics, in short style over substance. I agree that the rules are badly written and effectively force ugly designs on us but I don't find the cars having to "look good" to be a requirement of the sport, personally I'd much rather they looked aggressive and powerful.

What they currently don't. That's exactly the point.

 

It's broken and needs fixing.



#105 dau

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 13:59

I think there is not much to do to make the F1 cars less ugly : bigger wheels, bigger rims, no aero parts except the front and rear wings. Resized wings (larger and lower rear wing, narrower front wing), lower cockpit, simplified airbox.

 

In a nutshell, it looks like that : 

 

F1_projet_2020.png

 

Nevermind the position of the steering wheel (which is too close to the driver position in the cockpit)

 

No offence, but i don't find that particularly beautiful. Or even 'less ugly'. That looks like Swift Engineering made a prop for a Speed Racer movie. 

 

My job is to create art that people like enough to buy from me. I do this to eat and pay rent.  [...]

That's all great, but i don't really see how that's relevant. I mean, did you never come across a customer who just didn't like one of your works? Have you never seen someone falling in love with a piece of art you personally would only put up in your fireplace? Are they all just ...'aesthetically challenged'? Should i trust the opinion of Damien Hirst on what things should look like just because he's an artist and makes money with that? (I bet it would involve formaldehyde.) Would Da Vinci have the same vision of what a 'beautiful F1 car' should look like as Dali, Grosz or Pollock?

 

After all, there seem to be people who like certain cars and others who don't. Why is that so hard to accept? Why do you have to go for the 'i'm an artist' line and claim the aesthetic high ground on something that's nothing more than a conglomeration of basic shapes?



#106 RoutariEnjinu

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 14:14

The one thing I love about Formula 1 is that every single curve has a story to tell.

The problem lately has been a lot of the stories they tell are to fit within invisible boxes for poorly thought out regulations, or regulations from decades ago that perhaps need revisiting.

However, I'd lose interest immediately if the cars were designed by some media student or artist. Or something was mandated to be bigger or smaller just for aesthetics. That would be a supremely shallow story I'd have no interest in at all. Like a stuck on air-vent leading to nowhere on an old American sports car with leaf springs under the skin.

Maybe too much emphasis is put on the drivers, and this is driving the cars towards an ever tighter specification, all in the name of safety.

#107 RealRacing

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 14:19

Having looked at this year's cars a bit more now, I think that the low noses could look better than the high ones. The Mercedes for example looks better this year than last. But that's where it ends, mainly due to the nose "appendixes".  In general, I agree with many posters here: if the cars were a bit shorter and wider, the front wing simpler and narrower and the rear wing lower, there would be a big improvement.



#108 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 15:36

I completely agree that if there is any design discipline where form should follow function it's in an F1 aerodynamics department. No argument. But aerodynamics should dictate that the forms are as streamlined and functional as possible, sculpted by the air to maximise the flow of air over certain areas and reduce the drag in others. And this should result in inherently beautiful shapes. Look at the vortex reducing tips on modern airliners:

 

technology.jpg

Sharklets_Lufthansa_A320.jpg

 

It's a beautifully proportioned shape because of it's function. The way the tip tapers to a point and matches the delta shape of the other wing tips, this is optimised scientific calculations manifested in a physical and therefore beautiful form. But human science didn't discover this first, not by a long way.

 

Look at the profile of a great white shark and it's fin tips:

 

5-Great-White-Shark.jpg

 

Millions of years of fluid dynamics design design (read: evolution) resulted in that shape being the most efficient and effective way of packaging and propelling a big set of teeth through the water as fast as possible. And it is therefore beautiful. The pure symbiosis of form and function, the ultimate sea predator. F1 teams could spend years trying to improve on that design and they could not get close.

 

There is nothing subjective about this type of beauty, it is no coincidence that the fins of sharks and the wings of aeroplanes look similar, this beauty is the manifestation of form following function. Scientists have spent years trying to reduce the drag of aeroplane wings yet the very best they (we) can come up with is to copy nature. That is no coincidence and it's proof that there IS divinity in nature.

 

Now look at penis nose A:

 

IMG_0306.JPG

 

This is ugly because it is entirely arbitrary appendage. It is not serving a meaningful function aerodynamically and no care has been taken with regard to the aesthetic implementation of it in detail or in proportion with the rest of the car, the designers would plain rather it wasn't there. It therefore does not look beautiful as it only serves to meet an arbitrary rule being forced upon designers by people who believe that having this small part of bodywork in this area will improve safety in some meaningful way which is absolute bullshit IMO, it's merely a knee jerk reaction of Webber's crash last year (where no one was injured BTW). The real cause was open wheels, not the nose.

 

For every shape an F1 car can be it will pose a new and potentially lethal way of injuring or killing someone as long as wheels and cockpits are open. For example I foresee this appendage could, if the car left the ground in a certain way, just as easily poke into the cockpit of another car and seriously injure another driver in a way that would not happen if the penis wasn't there or was a blunter nose. It's only because an accident like that hasn't happened yet that a rule doesn't exist to prevent it. The same reason high cockpit sides only existed after Senna's death, the same reason canopies were only discussed after Massa was nearly killed by an object hitting his helmet. It's all completely knee jerk rule writing when the fact remains that the multitude of ways an injury or death can happen in F1 will always outnumber the rules that could ever be written into how the exterior of the cars are designed. As long as the wheels and cockpits are open F1 will remain extremely dangerous and all this bullshit tick box bodywork rule writing is serving no purpose other than to ruin the purity and purpose of the design of F1 cars.

 

Yes, make them pass crash tests from all imaginable angles but when it comes to the finer details of design let the teams do what they want; to make fast cars that will therefore look beautiful. The way the rules have been written for this year's cars is akin to FIFA saying footballers have to wear clown shoes to prevent any more metatarsal injuries. On the grand scheme of safety these bodywork changes are entirely insignificant but aesthetically they are hugely significant. If the FIA are serious about improving safety they should close the cockpit, cover the wheels and stop shifting the deckchairs on the titanic that F1 is fast becoming as far as beauty is concerned.

 

Look what can happen when you take away the arbitrary rules and put aerodynamics and safety first rather than as an afterthought:

 

PHOTO09A-001.jpg

 

The most beautiful motor sport concept design of all time IMO.

 

A message to the FIA: Stop fiddling, start thinking



#109 angrysasha

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 16:07

Peter Stevens did a great job contributing to this discussion. Thank him for that. 

 

But i think he is missing out completely on the issue of proportions. he makes surfacing more important than the bones, i absolutely disagree.

 

while surfacing is inedeed very poor on modern f1 cars, it is not nearly as vital to the looks of the cars as the proportions are. You do not see the geometry or read the highlights when this thing is flying past you at 300 kph, what you do see is PROPORTIONS.

 

Im risking sounding like a broken record here, but proportions are fundamental and are of no arbitrary nature. Proportions of modern f1 cars are pathetic. all the rest, including penis noses is secondary. fix the bones and the cars will start to look great again.



#110 Nemo1965

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 16:31

I completely agree that if there is any design discipline where form should follow function it's in an F1 aerodynamics department. No argument. But aerodynamics should dictate that the forms are as streamlined and functional as possible, sculpted by the air to maximise the flow of air over certain areas and reduce the drag in others. And this should result in inherently beautiful shapes. Look at the vortex reducing tips on modern airliners:

 

technology.jpg

Sharklets_Lufthansa_A320.jpg

 

It's a beautifully proportioned shape because of it's function. The way the tip tapers to a point and matches the delta shape of the other wing tips, this is optimised scientific calculations manifested in a physical and therefore beautiful form. But human science didn't discover this first, not by a long way.

 

Look at the profile of a great white shark and it's fin tips:

 

5-Great-White-Shark.jpg

 

Millions of years of fluid dynamics design design (read: evolution) resulted in that shape being the most efficient and effective way of packaging and propelling a big set of teeth through the water as fast as possible. And it is therefore beautiful. The pure symbiosis of form and function, the ultimate sea predator. F1 teams could spend years trying to improve on that design and they could not get close.

 

There is nothing subjective about this type of beauty, it is no coincidence that the fins of sharks and the wings of aeroplanes look similar, this beauty is the manifestation of form following function. Scientists have spent years trying to reduce the drag of aeroplane wings yet the very best they (we) can come up with is to copy nature. That is no coincidence and it's proof that there IS divinity in nature.

 

Now look at penis nose A:

 

IMG_0306.JPG

 

This is ugly because it is entirely arbitrary appendage. It is not serving a meaningful function aerodynamically and no care has been taken with regard to the aesthetic implementation of it in detail or in proportion with the rest of the car, the designers would plain rather it wasn't there. It therefore does not look beautiful as it only serves to meet an arbitrary rule being forced upon designers by people who believe that having this small part of bodywork in this area will improve safety in some meaningful way which is absolute bullshit IMO, it's merely a knee jerk reaction of Webber's crash last year (where no one was injured BTW). The real cause was open wheels, not the nose.

 

For every shape an F1 car can be it will pose a new and potentially lethal way of injuring or killing someone as long as wheels and cockpits are open. For example I foresee this appendage could, if the car left the ground in a certain way, just as easily poke into the cockpit of another car and seriously injure another driver in a way that would not happen if the penis wasn't there or was a blunter nose. It's only because an accident like that hasn't happened yet that a rule doesn't exist to prevent it. The same reason high cockpit sides only existed after Senna's death, the same reason canopies were only discussed after Massa was nearly killed by an object hitting his helmet. It's all completely knee jerk rule writing when the fact remains that the multitude of ways an injury or death can happen in F1 will always outnumber the rules that could ever be written into how the exterior of the cars are designed. As long as the wheels and cockpits are open F1 will remain extremely dangerous and all this bullshit tick box bodywork rule writing is serving no purpose other than to ruin the purity and purpose of the design of F1 cars.

 

Yes, make them pass crash tests from all imaginable angles but when it comes to the finer details of design let the teams do what they want; to make fast cars that will therefore look beautiful. The way the rules have been written for this year's cars is akin to FIFA saying footballers have to wear clown shoes to prevent any more metatarsal injuries. On the grand scheme of safety these bodywork changes are entirely insignificant but aesthetically they are hugely significant. If the FIA are serious about improving safety they should close the cockpit, cover the wheels and stop shifting the deckchairs on the titanic that F1 is fast becoming as far as beauty is concerned.

 

Look what can happen when you take away the arbitrary rules and put aerodynamics and safety first rather than as an afterthought:

 

PHOTO09A-001.jpg

 

The most beautiful motor sport concept design of all time IMO.

 

A message to the FIA: Stop fiddling, start thinking

 

I think you made an excellent post... untill this last line. The current whatsamadoow with the cars is NOT the fault of the FIA, but of the conflicts of interest within the Technical Workgroup (composed of F1-engineers, remember) that advises the FIA how to write down rules. I think the avid F1 fans already saw predictions about the strange noses months ago, so you can pretty much reckon the TW knew it way before that. Why did they not advise the FIA this was coming, or advise the FIA to stop it happening? Because they thought that would be against their own interest.

 

Remember the year before Brawn GP swept away with the championship? Ross Brawn WARNED in no uncertain terms that there was a loophole, regarding double diffusers. The workgroup did not want to listen, and discarded the problem. So what did the Brawn Gp Car have? A double diffuser...

 

For the last ten years, the F1 has a problem of monopoly, both financial (Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendam" andsoforth) and technical. And that is only because of the pigheadedness of the F1 teambosses and engineers, in my honest opinion.



#111 byrkus

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 16:41

How about a simple solution - just make a template for an F1 car, say like '94 Ferrari 412 T1 (or Jordan 191 :wave: ). Only the mains shape, of course -from tip of the nose till end of engine cover. Sidepods, wings etc. can be shaped as the designer wishes to, but the main shape is regulated simply by a template.

 

I don't think it's exactly a rocket science to make something like this - but who am I to judge. :)

 

Basically, I'm thinking in lines of this:

 

2lwm16w.jpg

 

Here's your shape - make the best use of it!  ;)

 



#112 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 16:50

Just to be clear, I'm operating under the assumption that the TWP work at the behest of the FIA and the FIA are ultimately responsible for this mess.

 

For example, the current TWG setup was first talked about by Jean Todt at the end of 2012:

 

http://www1.skysport...decision-making

 

Design by committee worked really well then, Jean!

 

1342027441_00000000000000000000000borat-



#113 Imateria

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 17:12

How about a simple solution - just make a template for an F1 car, say like '94 Ferrari 412 T1 (or Jordan 191 :wave: ). Only the mains shape, of course -from tip of the nose till end of engine cover. Sidepods, wings etc. can be shaped as the designer wishes to, but the main shape is regulated simply by a template.

 

I don't think it's exactly a rocket science to make something like this - but who am I to judge. :)

 

Basically, I'm thinking in lines of this:

 

2lwm16w.jpg

 

Here's your shape - make the best use of it!  ;)

For what it's worth, I find that silhouette to be rather ugly. Besides, the whole template thing would be turning it into NASCAR.

 

As for the FIA/TWG thing, it's the inmates running the asylum.



#114 danmills

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 17:27

'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'

 

'Would love to hear an intelligent discussion on this subject'

 

Great opening post, but one fundamental flaw.

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and very much relevant only to the context and time and at which it sits.

 

This is a can of worms debate, but F1 design right now is based on a massive set of rules. More rules than there ever were. The argument you imply is indeed that the RULES and RESTRICTIONS are making F1 ugly as opposed to F1 wanting to look the way it does. You can't say to someone 'screw your face up as small as possible, and then call them ugly. F1 is what it is because of these rules and restrictions.

There have always been these constraints, but in the earlier days the constraints were more to do with not physically being able to do what you wanted. Ie, metal not being able to be lighter or curve to the shapes desired etc. The boundaries were almost endless, and capped only by what man could achieve at that time. Possibilities were infinite because this was all about the pinnacle of motorsport and being one thing: fast.

 

Today, you could argue the intention of F1 has changed. The goalposts have moved. It isn't just about being fast. You need to be safe. Reliable. Cheaper. Greener. Packed in a box this big, and weighing this much. And so on.

 

This is what has changed F1.

 

But just going back to what you mentioned: Mk1 Golf wheels. These were designed FOR a MK1 Golf. Of course they would be out of proportion to something today, because the needs and reasons that car was designed that way was suited to physics, regulations, and rules set at that time for that specific thing. The same way Model Ford T wheels look wrong on a Porsche GT3; or Fokker Tri Wings on a Boeing 747.That's why all cars have different wheel sizes and proportions, and there is not a singular scientific rulebook saying Car X needs Y tyres. Full stop.

 

Design as we know it doesn't work that way - things aren't made in their purest form to be as efficient and effective because they can't. There are ALWAYS factors that govern how something is made now. Nothing is really free-for-all. And today the most common is health and safety. Fuel tanks must be XXX long; glass no higher than YYY or wheelbase no wider than ZZZ. All confinements to a rulebook and tight little box. Not just F1, but everything even down to your toothbrush.

 

To say design is now 'ugly' is a bit wrong. It is questionable. For every design that 'looks just right' there are a thousand marginal variations that could look 'slightly off'; but could equally on their own could well be 'perfect' to someone else. That's why houses are different. Why we wear out hair differently. Dress differently. And not just now, but each of those mentioned has itself changed specification over time. It's evolution.

 

In the 1600s, fat girls were all the rage. Now, you need to be a size 6 to be considered tasty in the media. Again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But all instances are governed by the constraints in which said 'thing' comes from. C16 women were fat to express wealth. Now, you're skinny because you exercise, workout and have million dollar surgery.

I am an architect, and I do a lot of design work in restoring and renovating classic buildings that were penned purely with the golden section in mind in absolute in-your-face forms. And that does indeed work...for these classic buildings.

 

HOWEVER

Apply the golden section to some of these modern organic structures, and the golden section just doesn't work. Does this make it bad design, or simply mean that the times have changed and that the golden section is no longer relevant? The golden section was an idea, a highly illustrative concept taken from the study of proportions found in the natural world. Of which a LOT of intentional design now stems from.

 

But not everything we know comes from the golden section. So do we cast everything not of this as bad? I think not.

 

Why do people put 10" wheels on a classic mini, but also have 13" on the same model? The chassis and engine, unlike the golf or indeed forumla 1, remained relatively the same over 40 years. The reason for wheel variation? 10's were commonly used for racing, but later cars of the same chassis adopted 12's and 13's from the factory. Yet some people go back and put 10's on a later mini; and some others put 13's on older minis. Yet they are the same chassis proportion. Aesthetics are merely a personal input in this example.

When cars were first designed, form FOLLOWED function. The idea to drive was the main aim. When that was achieved, form was introduced. That's why you get various coach building forms on early cars, all with the same identical chassis. You get a scientifically purposed chassis that does its job, and you design a form to finish it. Numerous options revolving around a singular principal (watch last weeks Top Gear for reference).

I don't know where I am going with this, but there may be a time when we look back at what we see now and it IS considered beautiful.

 

The world we live in is ever changing to fit our needs. If it wasn't meant to change, and we knew of set 'ideal' of everything, then things would stay the same. We would live in a constant, with no evolution or change.

Everything changes. And sometimes, we agree with it. Other times, we don't.

Just look at fashion.



#115 bobcat

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 17:49

I completely agree that if there is any design discipline where form should follow function it's in an F1 aerodynamics department. No argument. But aerodynamics should dictate that the forms are as streamlined and functional as possible, sculpted by the air to maximise the flow of air over certain areas and reduce the drag in others. And this should result in inherently beautiful shapes. Look at the vortex reducing tips on modern airliners:

 

technology.jpg

Sharklets_Lufthansa_A320.jpg

 

It's a beautifully proportioned shape because of it's function. The way the tip tapers to a point and matches the delta shape of the other wing tips, this is optimised scientific calculations manifested in a physical and therefore beautiful form. But human science didn't discover this first, not by a long way.

 

Look at the profile of a great white shark and it's fin tips:

 

5-Great-White-Shark.jpg

 

Millions of years of fluid dynamics design design (read: evolution) resulted in that shape being the most efficient and effective way of packaging and propelling a big set of teeth through the water as fast as possible. And it is therefore beautiful. The pure symbiosis of form and function, the ultimate sea predator. F1 teams could spend years trying to improve on that design and they could not get close.

 

There is nothing subjective about this type of beauty, it is no coincidence that the fins of sharks and the wings of aeroplanes look similar, this beauty is the manifestation of form following function. Scientists have spent years trying to reduce the drag of aeroplane wings yet the very best they (we) can come up with is to copy nature. That is no coincidence and it's proof that there IS divinity in nature.

 

Now look at penis nose A:

 

IMG_0306.JPG

 

This is ugly because it is entirely arbitrary appendage. It is not serving a meaningful function aerodynamically and no care has been taken with regard to the aesthetic implementation of it in detail or in proportion with the rest of the car, the designers would plain rather it wasn't there. It therefore does not look beautiful as it only serves to meet an arbitrary rule being forced upon designers by people who believe that having this small part of bodywork in this area will improve safety in some meaningful way which is absolute bullshit IMO, it's merely a knee jerk reaction of Webber's crash last year (where no one was injured BTW). The real cause was open wheels, not the nose.

 

For every shape an F1 car can be it will pose a new and potentially lethal way of injuring or killing someone as long as wheels and cockpits are open. For example I foresee this appendage could, if the car left the ground in a certain way, just as easily poke into the cockpit of another car and seriously injure another driver in a way that would not happen if the penis wasn't there or was a blunter nose. It's only because an accident like that hasn't happened yet that a rule doesn't exist to prevent it. The same reason high cockpit sides only existed after Senna's death, the same reason canopies were only discussed after Massa was nearly killed by an object hitting his helmet. It's all completely knee jerk rule writing when the fact remains that the multitude of ways an injury or death can happen in F1 will always outnumber the rules that could ever be written into how the exterior of the cars are designed. As long as the wheels and cockpits are open F1 will remain extremely dangerous and all this bullshit tick box bodywork rule writing is serving no purpose other than to ruin the purity and purpose of the design of F1 cars.

 

Yes, make them pass crash tests from all imaginable angles but when it comes to the finer details of design let the teams do what they want; to make fast cars that will therefore look beautiful. The way the rules have been written for this year's cars is akin to FIFA saying footballers have to wear clown shoes to prevent any more metatarsal injuries. On the grand scheme of safety these bodywork changes are entirely insignificant but aesthetically they are hugely significant. If the FIA are serious about improving safety they should close the cockpit, cover the wheels and stop shifting the deckchairs on the titanic that F1 is fast becoming as far as beauty is concerned.

 

Look what can happen when you take away the arbitrary rules and put aerodynamics and safety first rather than as an afterthought:

 

PHOTO09A-001.jpg

 

The most beautiful motor sport concept design of all time IMO.

 

A message to the FIA: Stop fiddling, start thinking

 

Great post (although I'm not totally on-board with the "divinity" thing...)

 

You might also observe how aircraft design has had aesthetics and classic proportions corrupted by dependencies on fly by wire, software and stealth considerations.

 

An F1 car is a funky proposition from the outset: "we'll stick four wheels out in the open that'll create and obscene amount of drag... then we'll let designers play with the bit in the middle to achieve best lift/drag ratio... oh, but they'll have to comply with spurious rules associated with weight distribution, wing area, crash structures, and side area for sponsors etc..."

 

 



#116 techspeed

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 18:03

How about a simple solution - just make a template for an F1 car, say like '94 Ferrari 412 T1 (or Jordan 191 :wave: ). Only the mains shape, of course -from tip of the nose till end of engine cover. Sidepods, wings etc. can be shaped as the designer wishes to, but the main shape is regulated simply by a template.

 

I don't think it's exactly a rocket science to make something like this - but who am I to judge. :)

 

Basically, I'm thinking in lines of this:

 

2lwm16w.jpg

 

Here's your shape - make the best use of it!  ;)

The only difference with your suggestion is that all the cars would have penis noses, assuming you have to go all the way to the front point of that template You would build a high nose car and add a flat vertical fin at the front to follow the template. Actually, there's nothing to stop a team building a car with a lower chassis and just running a fin to that profile down the middle of the car.



#117 morrino

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 18:25

2014 cars are the best looking since the big change in regulations from 2009.

 

Nothing will beat the uglyness of this piece of sh**

 

Kamui_Kobayashi_2010_Jerez_test_7.jpg

 

... and the stepped noses from 2012.

 

At least they are all very different now.


Edited by morrino, 25 February 2014 - 18:28.


#118 gold333

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 19:09

No offence, but i don't find that particularly beautiful. Or even 'less ugly'. That looks like Swift Engineering made a prop for a Speed Racer movie. 

 

That's all great, but i don't really see how that's relevant. I mean, did you never come across a customer who just didn't like one of your works? Have you never seen someone falling in love with a piece of art you personally would only put up in your fireplace? Are they all just ...'aesthetically challenged'? Should i trust the opinion of Damien Hirst on what things should look like just because he's an artist and makes money with that? (I bet it would involve formaldehyde.) Would Da Vinci have the same vision of what a 'beautiful F1 car' should look like as Dali, Grosz or Pollock?

 

After all, there seem to be people who like certain cars and others who don't. Why is that so hard to accept? Why do you have to go for the 'i'm an artist' line and claim the aesthetic high ground on something that's nothing more than a conglomeration of basic shapes?

 

 

I'm sorry if I upset you by appearing to claim moral high ground when it comes to art. This was not my intention.

 

Either you misunderstand me or I was not clear enough in bringing my point across. Please allow me a second attempt.

 

Art has rules and it has styles. They are separate.

 

Most non-artists only assume it has styles and do not realise it has rules.

 

Rules can be interchanged with the term quality if you like.

 

Take for example the world best Rap Artist, a hypothetical musician. His methods of writing and rhyming as applicable to language skills, producing beats as applicable to musical principles all adhere to qualitative rules of creating rap music.

 

If this hypothetical "World's most talented Rap artist" were to try to get his music published by going to a Classical Music Label it wouldn't work.

 

He has all the quality in the world but it is in a completely different style.

 

The same with photography, industrial design, automotive design, etc.

 

There are rules and there are styles. An artist knows the rules of art prior to using them to express his style.

 

People who are not artists or do not know the fundamental principles of art merely express their opinion and call it art. It is art if we call art the manifestation of self expression, but the quality and adherence to artistic principles is not guaranteed.

 

 

In the example of the 2014 F1 cars the primary issue is congruency, with the design being compromised by conflicting desires in intent.
 
To illustrate by way of exaggeration, an F40 with a very large mattress rolled up and duct-taped to the front bumper and presented as a whole. It would certainly qualify as a vehicle. Some might find it artistic, but in essence it would be a fragmented overall design. A compromised deviation from the original intent, it lacks purity and purpose for want of a better phrase.
 
That example, in a more nuanced form applies to the design of 2014 F1 cars in my opinion.
 
I unfortunately do think that discussing the inherent structure and methodology of artistic principles as they relate to automotive design is a moot point in this thread though. I hope you understand.

Edited by gold333, 25 February 2014 - 19:44.


#119 RealRacing

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 19:13


To say design is now 'ugly' is a bit wrong. It is questionable. For every design that 'looks just right' there are a thousand marginal variations that could look 'slightly off'; but could equally on their own could well be 'perfect' to someone else. That's why houses are different. Why we wear out hair differently. Dress differently. And not just now, but each of those mentioned has itself changed specification over time. It's evolution.

 

Saying that beauty is absolutely subjective is the same as saying it is absolutely objective. If we compare this year's cars with, for example, the 1990 cars, the overall opinion would be that the 1990 ones were better looking. Heck, if we asked a sample of people if they thought most of this year's cars are ugly, I think the majority would say yes. Yes, maybe someone thinks the Toro Rosso is pretty, but most of us would seriously question that person's judgement.  Aesthetics is not all relative.



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#120 saudoso

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 19:55

I think the discussion is drifting away from the main issue.

 

What I consider most people find ugly in the recent and current crops of cars is result of ruling. Patched up ruling trying to force things a certain way because a couple of engineers won't let go of a couple of aero points in certain areas and the governing body keeps maneuvering around it.

 

Now you can't say it was every car up to 2009 that was MET wall material, but at least the great majority was harmonious. Even in the myriad of winglets era.

 

Now every single car looks like an aberration one way or another.


Edited by saudoso, 25 February 2014 - 21:27.


#121 ElDictatore

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 00:16

I completely agree that if there is any design discipline where form should follow function it's in an F1 aerodynamics department. No argument. But aerodynamics should dictate that the forms are as streamlined and functional as possible, sculpted by the air to maximise the flow of air over certain areas and reduce the drag in others. And this should result in inherently beautiful shapes. Look at the vortex reducing tips on modern airliners:

 

technology.jpg

Sharklets_Lufthansa_A320.jpg

 

It's a beautifully proportioned shape because of it's function. The way the tip tapers to a point and matches the delta shape of the other wing tips, this is optimised scientific calculations manifested in a physical and therefore beautiful form. But human science didn't discover this first, not by a long way.

 

Look at the profile of a great white shark and it's fin tips:

 

5-Great-White-Shark.jpg

 

Millions of years of fluid dynamics design design (read: evolution) resulted in that shape being the most efficient and effective way of packaging and propelling a big set of teeth through the water as fast as possible. And it is therefore beautiful. The pure symbiosis of form and function, the ultimate sea predator. F1 teams could spend years trying to improve on that design and they could not get close.

 

There is nothing subjective about this type of beauty, it is no coincidence that the fins of sharks and the wings of aeroplanes look similar, this beauty is the manifestation of form following function. Scientists have spent years trying to reduce the drag of aeroplane wings yet the very best they (we) can come up with is to copy nature. That is no coincidence and it's proof that there IS divinity in nature.

 

Now look at penis nose A:

 

IMG_0306.JPG

 

This is ugly because it is entirely arbitrary appendage. It is not serving a meaningful function aerodynamically and no care has been taken with regard to the aesthetic implementation of it in detail or in proportion with the rest of the car, the designers would plain rather it wasn't there. It therefore does not look beautiful as it only serves to meet an arbitrary rule being forced upon designers by people who believe that having this small part of bodywork in this area will improve safety in some meaningful way which is absolute bullshit IMO, it's merely a knee jerk reaction of Webber's crash last year (where no one was injured BTW). The real cause was open wheels, not the nose.

 

For every shape an F1 car can be it will pose a new and potentially lethal way of injuring or killing someone as long as wheels and cockpits are open. For example I foresee this appendage could, if the car left the ground in a certain way, just as easily poke into the cockpit of another car and seriously injure another driver in a way that would not happen if the penis wasn't there or was a blunter nose. It's only because an accident like that hasn't happened yet that a rule doesn't exist to prevent it. The same reason high cockpit sides only existed after Senna's death, the same reason canopies were only discussed after Massa was nearly killed by an object hitting his helmet. It's all completely knee jerk rule writing when the fact remains that the multitude of ways an injury or death can happen in F1 will always outnumber the rules that could ever be written into how the exterior of the cars are designed. As long as the wheels and cockpits are open F1 will remain extremely dangerous and all this bullshit tick box bodywork rule writing is serving no purpose other than to ruin the purity and purpose of the design of F1 cars.

 

Yes, make them pass crash tests from all imaginable angles but when it comes to the finer details of design let the teams do what they want; to make fast cars that will therefore look beautiful. The way the rules have been written for this year's cars is akin to FIFA saying footballers have to wear clown shoes to prevent any more metatarsal injuries. On the grand scheme of safety these bodywork changes are entirely insignificant but aesthetically they are hugely significant. If the FIA are serious about improving safety they should close the cockpit, cover the wheels and stop shifting the deckchairs on the titanic that F1 is fast becoming as far as beauty is concerned.

 

Look what can happen when you take away the arbitrary rules and put aerodynamics and safety first rather than as an afterthought:

 

PHOTO09A-001.jpg

 

The most beautiful motor sport concept design of all time IMO.

 

A message to the FIA: Stop fiddling, start thinking

 

 

 

There are lots of things in nature that don't look very pleasing nor look like they have a purpose. Evolution doesn't have a set target, it doesn't evolve to be the best. It mutates and it either survives and produces enough offspring or not but it's not like the same kind of evolution which a formula 1 cars go through within a season. It's totally random. The mutation itself doesn't even have to have much purpose and there might even be better ways to 'design' a shark but it never mutated that way. There are many kinds of sharks anyway, so you might find one beautiful and another one ugly.

 

There are also lots of things IN that shark (like organs) which are astonishing things when you look at how they work but I bet you don't find them beautiful in an esthetic way. Just because something has a purpose doesn't make it really beautiful nor divine.

Yes we do have certain 'rules' to what we find appealing (proportions and that stuff) but these apply more to humans than anything else and not to objects which just have been there for a few decades.

 

I don't even wanna defend this years' caterham or force india but I think people get overboard with why they look bad. They just look bad, that's it. It might change for next season, who knows. Rules are hard to make I guess, especially for such a fast-evolving sport.


Edited by ElDictatore, 26 February 2014 - 03:15.


#122 oetzi

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 01:07

My job is to create art that people like enough to buy from me. I do this to eat and pay rent.

 

People who think that art is only subjective are not familiar with it.

 

I am not one to talk about computational fluid dynamics and how coefficients of various elements interact with each other on micro scales to explain macro scale observations. That is the field of a scientist or engineer, people who have studied years, perhaps a lifetime dedicated to that science.

 

 

It is very easy for a layman to offer an opinion on art and deem it equally valid as a statement made by an engineer on CFD. Art is seen as "just an opinion" so everyone is entitled to one right?

 

 

That is true but art is not an opinion (to be precise it is a manifestation of self expression), about which opinions can be formed by different people.

 

To non-artists that opinion is held in the same regard as the intrinsic artistic quality of a subject of discussion.

 

Just as CFD (by way of example) has rules, so does art. But art being primarily described in emotive terms is easily discussed in common everyday knowledge that betrays its inherent rules and methodologies.

 

 

Just as a lifelong scientist must be respected for his views on a certain scientific issue, as must a knowledgeable artist about the science of art.

 

 

Only someone who truly has no knowledge at all about art would dismiss outright that art has an objectively definable set of rules and by consequence dismiss the views of an artist.

Like a creationist dismissing scientific proof in a way,.. no knowledge leads to outright subjective dismissal or denial.

 

To be fair the design of cars (or any object with a primary function) has a set of rules regarding ratios, composition, the use of negative and positive spaces, congruity, etc. that follow a set of (quite mathematic) rules.

 

The Fibonacci sequence referred to above is accurate but it is used incorrectly as an example.

 

 

Racing cars did indeed change over the course of years to deviate to and from an ideal set of parameters in terms of the knowledge we have about their function and about art. 

 

Opinion on these parameters is subjective, but the match of the parameters to idealised manifestations of artistic principles is not.

 

 

In my view the 2014 F1 cars fail aesthetically in that congruence of their overall shape is compromised. The ideal or desired shape is visibly altered throughout a section due to external conflicting desires. The design is therefore fractured and not an ideal. It is therefore flawed. Which makes it ugly.

 

Before that in 2009 the ratio of elements of more or less equal intrinsic value was altered by an external desire to cause the object to be less efficient as a whole but more efficient when performing in a group. (front vs rear wing dimensions).

 

Before that in 1998 again a compromise in the overall shape by crippling the surface of the tires and the width of the overall car. Anyone can tell you that a lower wider racing car is more related to its function than a taller narrower racing car (Lamborghini vs a Truck). In 1998 F1 cars got narrower to make them slower and therefore functionality of the ideal design was compromised. They became less aesthetic.

 

 

Same in 1995. The stepped bottom was introduced which heightened the ride height (and caused the current situation of designers wanting to channel air under the car) simply to reduce downforce after the events of Imola in 1994. This change is as aesthetically valid to me as cutting a large hole in the rear of the airbox to eliminate intake pressure by 20% to cripple the horsepower and slow the ideal design down (which was done in 1994 as a stopgap measure to slow the cars down after Imola).

 

In 1993 the tires were reduced in width to make the cars slower.

 

 

By that reasoning the 1992 F1 cars were the subset that aesthetically performed nearest to functional ideals than other cars in the recent era. One could say that about 1986 cars if considering engine horsepower, etc.

 

 

But as with all reasoning emotional attachment plays a large role in self justification which does not always lie along the same axis as objectivity.

I could easily agree with that. Or use it as an explanation for the success of Stock, Aitken and Waterman.

 

For instance, this: 'art is not an opinion (to be precise it is a manifestation of self expression)' is no more valuable a statement than 'art is what artists sell'.

 

Neither does it explain how you can achieve self expression without an opinion (unless all art is a manifestation of zen).

 

I'm sure you'll sell plenty at your next show, though. One born every minute x



#123 gold333

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 05:17

I could easily agree with that. Or use it as an explanation for the success of Stock, Aitken and Waterman.

 

For instance, this: 'art is not an opinion (to be precise it is a manifestation of self expression)' is no more valuable a statement than 'art is what artists sell'.

 

Neither does it explain how you can achieve self expression without an opinion (unless all art is a manifestation of zen).

 

I'm sure you'll sell plenty at your next show, though. One born every minute x

 

I find your reply offensive.



#124 bobcat

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 05:48

I find your reply offensive.

Yes that was a crap response.



#125 bobcat

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 05:57

There's an expression often used in design circles- "jolie laide" From french, roughly translating as "ugly beautiful". Lumps, bumps and mis-proportion that give a person or object character and appeal.

 

A Cateram 7? Apache helicopter? Tilda Swinton?...



#126 oetzi

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 08:43

I find your reply offensive.

I find your self-conferred authority somewhat overbearing.



#127 angrysasha

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 09:53

here is a quick sketch to illustrate some of what i was saying regarding length of the cars and overall proportions...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

f14%20mod.jpgll


Edited by angrysasha, 26 February 2014 - 09:54.


#128 Neophiliac

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 11:17

here is a quick sketch to illustrate some of what i was saying regarding length of the cars and overall proportions...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
f14%20mod.jpgll


While the elimination of a concave nose was a clear improvement, the shortening of the car/wheelbase, to me, is not.

Wheels could be debated. I am generally of a mind that bigger wheel diameter and slimmer sidewall would be better, but seeing your sketch I am starting to re-think that too. Makes the wheels look somewhat comically big relative to the car.

#129 ardbeg

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 11:54

On the topic of art: Most art that is valuable is not valued for it's beauty.



#130 danmills

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 12:44

I see what you are implying. Whilst the top image looks 'long'; the bottom now seems comical and like a hotwheels car.

 

Is that because of bad design? Or have our own evolutionary tastes changed with the times?

 

Bear in mind there is no governing right or wrong rule book to say what is absolutely right and what is wrong. Only what is deemed right at a given time.

 

If you showed the Wright Brothers a sketch of a concorde in 1900, they'd have laughed.

 

Show the above to Colin Chapman in the 60's and he'd probably laugh too.



#131 Gridfire

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 12:53

 

Look at the profile of a great white shark and it's fin tips:

 

5-Great-White-Shark.jpg

 

Millions of years of fluid dynamics design design (read: evolution) resulted in that shape being the most efficient and effective way of packaging and propelling a big set of teeth through the water as fast as possible. And it is therefore beautiful. The pure symbiosis of form and function, the ultimate sea predator. F1 teams could spend years trying to improve on that design and they could not get close.

 

Well, sure, if you cherry-pick your examples from nature. There are a lot of examples of dick-noses in nature too though...

 

spinner1.png

 

The problem is the compromise between what the engineers want to achieve and the arbitrary rules imposed on the designs. No one wants those silly dicknoses, least of all the design engineers. I don't believe the people who made the rules foresaw the dicknoses either.



#132 joora

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 16:03

The cultural perception of aesthetic changes over time, so some things that were considered beautiful in 1980's aren't beautiful by today's standards. But many people get "stuck" in the "good old days", because they encountered the objects and forms when they were in the most emotionally intensive period in their lives. They have idealised it through memories, and now are reflecting to that period with much sympathy.

 

There is no universal acclaim of beauty. There are some guidelines and devices to make a construct that has more probability of being positively accepted from a wider audience. But if the solution is to put proportions of every form into the golden ratio, all kind of designers would be out of jobs.

 

To discuss beauty in F1, we should consider what are the most important characteristics of an F1 car. Is that

 

- pure speed? = long and narrow, like an arrow

- sthrenght and and aggressive? = wide and robust, with 'em big set of wheels (in the back), to rip me some asphalt.

- dexterity (rapid change of direction)? = short&low with the cutest tiny set wheels

- sex appeal? = nothing beats that coke bottle shape  :stoned:

 

speed - even with those huge tyres and bare engine, the car looks fragile. And it doesn't look dexterous. But it looks fast.

lotus-25.jpg

 

muscle - look at that tank

mario_andretti__japan_1976__by_f1_histor

 

dexterity -it's like 'em cute RC powered cars!

1982_F1_CAR.jpg?125

 

sex appeal

tumblr_m9ewxq8Jmd1qar09o.jpg

yeah, nailed that one!



#133 joora

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 01:26

I completely agree that if there is any design discipline where form should follow function it's in an F1 aerodynamics department. No argument. But aerodynamics should dictate that the forms are as streamlined and functional as possible, sculpted by the air to maximise the flow of air over certain areas and reduce the drag in others. And this should result in inherently beautiful shapes. Look at the vortex reducing tips on modern airliners:

 

technology.jpg

Sharklets_Lufthansa_A320.jpg

 

It's a beautifully proportioned shape because of it's function. The way the tip tapers to a point and matches the delta shape of the other wing tips, this is optimised scientific calculations manifested in a physical and therefore beautiful form. But human science didn't discover this first, not by a long way.

 

Look at the profile of a great white shark and it's fin tips:

 

5-Great-White-Shark.jpg

 

Millions of years of fluid dynamics design design (read: evolution) resulted in that shape being the most efficient and effective way of packaging and propelling a big set of teeth through the water as fast as possible. And it is therefore beautiful. The pure symbiosis of form and function, the ultimate sea predator. F1 teams could spend years trying to improve on that design and they could not get close.

 

There is nothing subjective about this type of beauty, it is no coincidence that the fins of sharks and the wings of aeroplanes look similar, this beauty is the manifestation of form following function. Scientists have spent years trying to reduce the drag of aeroplane wings yet the very best they (we) can come up with is to copy nature. That is no coincidence and it's proof that there IS divinity in nature.

 

 

While we are on the theme of aerodynamics and vehicles inpired by nature fishes:

 

BionicCar1.jpg

 

Yep, inspired by the beautiful boxfish:

 

Mercedes-Bionic-Car-MoMA.jpg