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F1 in the Future – The Aerodynamics
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F1 in the Future – The Aerodynamics
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 Dec 2009   |  9:58 am GMT  |  66 comments

When you contemplate the F1 cars of the future you imagine their shape and that is all about aerodynamics. F1 cars haven’t changed much in looks over the past 30 years and there is no reason why they should – you cannot uninvent aerodynamics.

Lotus F1 technical director Mike Gascoyne pointed out that aeroplanes have changed little in looks and fundamental layout since the monoplanes of the World War I and so projecting forwards, there is no real reason why F1 cars should change much in looks over the next 20 years.

Not everyone in F1 shares that view, however.

F1 cars have always been open wheeled, apart from the 1954 W196 Mercedes, known as the ‘Streamliner’ (in 1955 the same car appeared in single-seater format). For veteran aerodynamics engineer Frank Dernie, it is inconceivable that the F1 car of the future will have covered wheels. “Almost all surfaces of a covered wheel racing car produce lift and it takes only a small upset to make them take off. An F1 car, when upset, very rarely takes off and if it does it comes back to earth very quickly. So from a safety point of view it has to be open wheel. ”

We will come on to safety later in the series, but this is clearly an area where no compromises can be allowed.

The challenge for F1 aerodynamicists of working with open wheels is the sophistication of modelling the way the air is disturbed by the spinning wheels and how to channel the disturbed air around and over and under the bodywork. This provides a vital part of the engineering challenge of F1 and the engineers say it probably still will in 20 years time, so complex is the problem. As well as work in the wind tunnel, teams use computer simulator programmes like computational fluid dynamics, which divide the car into billions of tiny squares and perform many billions of calculations based on adding in variables based on car movement.

Former FIA technical consultant Tony Purnell sees the car being open wheeled, but with bumpers around the wheels, as a safety device to avoid cars touching wheels, which happens occasionally and can launch one of them into the air. He sees the need for bumpers because he believes that the cars will race very closely with each other and the drivers will be used to dicing and bumping into each other, with three or more cars abreast and constant chopping and changing. F1 will be less about doing a perfect qualifying lap and then reeling off a string of fast laps in the race, it will be about pure speed in qualifying and then ultra-high speed “cluster racing”.

This is because F1 will be primarily, perhaps solely, an entertainment and the next two generations, who will be raised on gaming, will want fast and furious action. A successful business has to adapt and give its customers what they want.

To that end Purnell also sees the shape of the car being set by stylists rather than by design engineers. In other words, aerodynamics will have a less important role than today and the cars will be designed to look as sexy as possible, “more of a fashion than a function.” The drivers will be more visible, although still well protected and they will be obviously busier in the cockpit, working various adjustable functions of the car, moveable aerodynamic devices which will allow them to get extremely close to the cars around them without becoming unstable, as they do today.

In this vision the cars will need to be able to go around the track in a gaggle, rather than strung out as they are today and to take corners side by side, because this is what the public will want from them.

The cars will probably be smaller because the efficient engine will require the car to have a much smaller fuel tank. Whereas today an F1 car uses 150 kilos of fuel to cover a Grand Prix distance, in 20 years time they will use less than 50 kilos to go just as far and as fast.

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66 Comments
  1. Andy says:

    James,
    Are there any further developments planned to aid overtaking ( further to the recent wing changes).
    As a non aero wizard I don’t really understand the balance at which bigger or small wings creates the optimum package for cars to be able to follow each other (I.e assume bigger wings are good for the leading car and worse for the following car due to dirty airflow).

    Would it be possible in 2010 to do some technical posts to explain some of this?

  2. Andrew Hill says:

    With the exception of the new, wider front wing, I prefer the cleaner lines of current F1 cars. Both Honda and BMW in particular experimented with a number of pecluliar looking aero additions that had marginal benefit on lap time.
    CFD allows engineers to better evaluate aero improvements before they are tested on the car, potentially saving time and reducing the need for track time. However, to the general public I’m sure the incremental improvements in lap time appear to come at a high cost. Lewis’ new front wing for Monaco alledgedly cost a cool million.
    But on the question of size James, could you further expand on the current constraints for physical size + wheelbase. Would a smaller F1 car be faster around a circuit or are there other factors at play?
    I would have thought the frontal area of the car + wheels causes more drag but longer wheel base actually helps down long straights.
    Will the size of future F1 cars be determined by the size of the driver?

  3. Spyros says:

    “Bumpered open wheels”? Don’t these people have a good-enough sense of humor to see the obvious joke in that?

    When I was 8-9 years old, I ‘drove’ a bumper car painted in the Black and Gold colours of John Player Special… I would have been much more appreciative of the experience, if I’d known I was driving the future of Formula 1!

    Also, wouldn’t all-round-bumpers encourage the kind of ‘racing spirit’ we see in Touring Cars?

    God save us…

  4. yos says:

    James i believe in 20 years F1 cars will run with no fuel on board…they maybe using electrical, solar or some other stuff…me thinks.

  5. JamesF1 says:

    The idea of even partially covered wheels in F1 would remove the essence of the sport in my opinion. I’m also not convinced that future generations will demand closer racing as they’ve been raised on gaming, I think F1 speaks to those with a higher capacity for concentration than that. For me the strategic element of the sport is far more interesting, and if people want to see endless overtaking I’m sure NASCAR will still be running.

  6. Dave says:

    I hope the future of F1 cars does not make them TOO much smaller than they are now. I saw the Renault R28 in Basingstoke on display earlier this year and was totally unimpressed with it. The cockpit and indeed entire profile of the car was so low it looked like a bed with wheels. Quite sad really compared to the beasts of the 80′s.

  7. Young Slinger says:

    Not strung out is what we all want, and have wanted for years! Pure racing, please!

  8. Alexis says:

    I doubt fashion will come into it.

    Ugly cars soon get ignored as everyone gets used to the way they look.

    Everybody just watched the racing this year. The BMW and Renault ugly ducklings just got forgotten, and everyone got over the snowplough front wings.

    1. GP says:

      Who was the F1 engineer who said that a car that looks good is almost always fast?

      If we take the BMW for example, this year the car was ugly and slow; last year it was gorgeous and fast…Hmm…

      1. Ian Coney says:

        I think it was actually Enzo Ferrari who said that a car that looks good is almost always fast.

        Ian Coney

  9. James says:

    In 20 years time, how the aerodynamics will look will depend on how they are allowed to look, and very little else.

    If the rules remain as tight as they are (or tighter!), then the only variables between cars will be tiny and non-obvious details.

  10. Steve Arnott says:

    I don’t know how the cars might look in the future, but I’m sure we’ll get to the point one day where bodywork parts can change their shape according to the environment or external stimulus.

    At the moment ‘flexible wings’ are banned due mainly to safety concerns regarding the part which is flexing. But materials are being designed today which can significantly change shape when an electric current passes through them, whilst, supposedly, retaining structural integrity.

    If F1 gets a free run at this, I can see cars of the future which look like current Monaco cars when they go round corners, and then flatten and streamline themselves down the straights.

    How cool would that be?

  11. Off topic I know James, why was Nick Fry so vociferous in ‘banning’ Jenson from any McLaren ‘activity’ when he took no time at all in having Schumacher being photographed in Mercedes shirt and posing with model of new car,was it that Schuy’s Ferrari contract was not as binding, or were Ferrari more magnanimous ?

    1. James Allen says:

      Schumacher’s contract wasn’t signed. Button is under contract until the end of the season and they didn’t feel like letting him out of it. Also he is the reigning champion, don’t forget!

  12. Olivier says:

    … on the contrary, I do believe aerodynamics will play a major part in the future:

    1. driver controlled aerodynamics as a strategic tool.

    2. automatic aerodynamics as a fuel saving tool. Look at the UP concept from Volkswagen. Certain parts of the car open up automatically when the car needs cooling. Imagine F1 cars changing shape during the course of a race.

    3. And what about self healing polymers. They could limit the damage when cars touch & damage each other.

    4. As for the tyres. I can imagine a clever engineer figuring out a system to transfer the heat from the car to warming up or cooling down the tyres. It could be a great alternative to the banned tyre blankets. Tyre management is a major issue if you want to save on fuel.

    1. Karl says:

      For 4, I believe it is already doable with heat pipes. It is just the matter of being allowed to use/implement it by the regulations..

  13. PaulL says:

    I would not like to see bumpers on the wheels. Part of what I like about wheel-to-wheel racing is the risk involved for both drivers in staking so much in racing closely.
    You give them the padding of bumpers and it’s like NASCAR.

    I’m still very downbeat about the aerodynamics of the 2009 cars as well. The loss of manufacturers and the car aerodynamics hits the previously unparalleled prestige of F1 hard.

  14. Meeklo says:

    I think F1 cars might become like the open cockpit LMP1/2 cars, just considerably smaller.

    On a bit or related note, anyone see Indy’s proposed 2012 chassis.

    http://www.autoracing1.com/Images/2009/IRL/Indy/CarbDay/CarbDay1.jpg

    I do like the rearwing design.

    1. Jose Arellano says:

      that looks like they trying to take alot of aero out.. they should be chasing each other very close like that!

    2. Brace says:

      It might look like it’s fast but it isn’t. If it really is fast, F1 cars would already look like that.
      F1 is what it is because it’s a real deal. It’s not fake.
      I don’t want some pretty but slow cars.
      The performance is what F1 is all about.

      1. PaulL says:

        “It might look like it’s fast but it isn’t. If it really is fast, F1 cars would already look like that.
        F1 is what it is because it’s a real deal. It’s not fake.”
        I think that was true up until the 2009 spec cars.

    3. GP says:

      Wow! It will be interesting to see how closely the finished product will resemble this.

    4. Hawk says:

      it looks like a fighter jet with wheels, not a racing car…

    5. Lee Grant says:

      That looks very similar to the split rear-wing design that was hobbling around a few years ago:

      http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2005/10/3764.html

      I cannot remember the reasons it didn’t happen, but I imagine it’s something to do with cash!

      They could look fantastic!

      1. Rich M says:

        The split rear wing didnt happen because it didnt work. This was determined by the overtaking working group.

      2. DanielH says:

        Wasn’t it because the teams didn’t want to lose the advertising space the single rear ring afforded?

  15. Griff says:

    To get the cars closer, a radar fitted to the front of the car could detect when it is close to another one, at that point more revs, extra KERS or an aerodynamic element that isn’t available unless it is close to another car becomes active. It would get the car behind closer to the car in front in the corners.

  16. John Snow says:

    I think the crash structure around the driver and his helmet should be made see-through. F1 must be one of the only sports where the competitor is hidden (hence the need for a podium). Audiences will enjoy a much more human element to racing the more they can see the driver.

    1. Brace says:

      You have no clue how horrible that would look. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of mystery. It’s even desirable.
      Also, podium has nothing to do with that.

  17. Hi James, thank you for the great article on aerodynamics. This is by far the most favourite part of the F1 car of mine. The change in looks of an F1 car is really bizarre. I could never figure out why the Williams of Senna was picking up so much sparks compare to the Benetton of Schumacher in 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. I always thought that it was something to do with the differences in aerodynamics. From what I recall (I was only 8 year old at that time) he died because of his wheel went straight up in the air and struck him back on to the head. It has been 15 years since then & the looks of the modern F1 cars are very different to the 1994 cars. In 20 years time it should become lighter, but not much smaller in outlook in my opinion.

    I’m one of those people who disagree with Mike Gascoyne in this topic. The looks of F1 car is bound to change depending on the changes in rules each year. The 2009 cars look incredibly different to the 2000-2006 cars. In 2010 the cars aren’t allowed any refuelling. Therefore the tanks have to be at least twice the size. Yes this is the only area where zero compromise allowed. Aren’t teams working on aerodynamics more than anything else during the offseason to make sure cars don’t lose any track time because of the rules restriction? As no refuelling is the biggest change in therefore the aerodynamics will play a big role to decide championship at least in 2010. It will be interesting to see how US F1 & Virgin F1 team goes being that those cars are designed based on CFD (computational fluid dynamics) rather than wind tunnel.

    Another important part of the aerodynamics change is relevance to the budget. I believe most teams are already trying to cut costs as much as possible and be efficient at the same time. However, this is the area where teams spend the most amounts to develop or build the new car. I read an interview of Sir Richard Branson where he mentioned continuous building of the team. He also related the continuous building of his team with £40 million budget to the Spaceship Program that Alex Tae (Virgin Racing team principal and CEO) has been involved with for many years. With all due respect I don’t know how F1 relates to Spaceship program with that kind of budget. It costs about £150 thousand to travel in space for 3 hours only for an ordinary tourist (nobody complains about the amount of money are being spent in that area. NASA spend much more money each year than the cost of food for every single person in the world per year). In 20 years time we neither expect nor want the F1 cars to fly. So how is the budget going to work with the expected changes in aerodynamics of F2 cars in 20 years time or even 5 years time???

    The last thing I want to mention in relation to this is what Jean Toldt said in an interview earlier, “F1 is too expensive.” F1 is more of a passion for me than just entertainment. That’s why I read F1 news everyday and check what is happening around the wonderful world of F1. However, it is difficult for me to even go to a F1 race because of the cost (I live in Melbourne, Australia). I believe F1 will change for better depending on what sort of leadership Jean Toldt produces throughout his role as FIA president. I believe as far as aerodynamics is concerned there should be minimum restrictions in terms of the use of technology. On the other hand, FIA must come up with an idea to make these technologies available and affordable to all the teams.

    In conclusion, my question to you James, how could any team possibly develop aerodynamics part of the F1 car efficiently and ensure the safety without testing? Is there any chance Jean Toldt will withdraw testing ban soon?

    1. James Allen says:

      Testing ban is there because testing is expensive! But I think there should be one or two tests during a season, possibly in the days after a GP, maybe in Spain and Silverstone

      1. I agree on your view of testing regulations. There should be at least a few testing during the season. I also like the idea of rookie testing. 2009 season is a prime example of how important for the rookies. Are these new drivers going to get a chance to test next season’s car before the first race? Mark webber said it costs about $1000 (not sure what currency) per lap to run one of these cars!!! Why is it so expensive?

  18. Jodum5 says:

    Tony Purnell makes me wonder. It hasn’t crossed his mind that the minute any sport switches it’s point of view from Sport which by nature is entertaining (and thus entertainment) to Entertainment with sporting elements, the sport loses most (if not all) its credibility? I truly hope the future leaders of Formula One and other Motorsports do not pay him (and others like him) mind.

    1. kristian says:

      When sport becomes entertainment it also falls into the clutches of gambling and race (match) fixing. If F1 follows that path another series will step into it’s place. F1 is massive so people can’t anticipate a change like that, but I don’t watch NASCAR because it’s aerodynamics make for contrived races and the yellow flag rules make only the last two laps meaningful. F1′s increased use of safety cars has begun to do the same.

      Someone bought me a toaster to replace my 20 year old toaster recently. The old one was a rectangular cube with a beveled twisty knob for temp and a lever to start. The new one is twice the size, all curved, takes longer to toast, the temp knob doesn’t have a indention so when you twist it your fingers slip and the components are made of flimsy plastic. Which one was engineered which one was made by a designer? Form over function = FAIL.

    2. rfs says:

      “This is because F1 will be primarily, perhaps solely, an entertainment and the next two generations, who will be raised on gaming, will want fast and furious action. A successful business has to adapt and give its customers what they want.”
      The thing about videogames, though, is that most of them involves some extent of violence. So does this mean we’ll also have drivers being actively encouraged to crash into each other to win? Or will we have laserbeams attached to the cars for the drivers to blast each other off the road?

  19. ChrisS says:

    Very thought provoking, but Tony Purnell’s views are also rather depressing. We all want to see overtaking but not constant meaningless swapping of positions. F1 as synthetic non-stop entertainment for those with no attention span would be worse than some of the professional races we get now.

    And as for cars being designed by stylists rather than engineers – James, I hope he’s just trying to be provocative?!

  20. Rob says:

    Hmm, I don’t like the sound of stylists designing all the cars, it doesn’t seem right that each team won’t have it’s own chassis. There wll be different teams using the same engine and have the same chassis, basically two identical teams…

  21. rpaco says:

    No cars will be able to drive 3 abreast until the tyres have been changed to wear slowly and not simply roll layers off to become the “marbles” we have today. The current tyre nature dictates a single file processional race, with only one car’s width of clean track on all bends.

    Enclosed wheels basically turns F1 cars into LMS cars. (although single seat versions). Which admittedly do fly well at 200mph given the slightest opportunity.

    I would repeat that aero will see tuned surfaces with micro grooves and/or dimples to lessen the friction (drag) which is the negative payback for downforce. CFD must be a few generations on from FEA (Finite Element Analysis) which was on the go when I retired.

    If as I suggested the other day floors were to be free, then ground effect could be used once again to generate downforce.

    I do not see F1 evolving into a pure games style entertainment, for one thing BTCC is already occupying that position, in the UK and for another, Bernie is slowly killing the golden goose. In a few years entry prices will mean attendances will have dropped to levels which no longer support Bernie’s megafees. Germany has already gone this way, Silverstone has entered a contract which may see it’s bankruptcy in 3 or 4 years time. We shall end up with races staged only in countries willing to support Bernie with sovereign wealth funds, by then it will be long dead in Europe.
    Life, but not as we know it Jim! :-(

    1. Henry Manney says:

      “I would repeat that aero will see tuned surfaces with micro grooves and/or dimples to lessen the friction (drag) ”

      An F1 car operates at Reynolds Numbers *much* higher than a golf ball or a shark. This means that dimpled surfaces ( as found in golf balls ) or microgrooves ( such as found in a shark’s skin or on the hull of Dennis Conner’s Americas Cup monohull in the 1980s ) would not decrease the aero drag of an F1 car to any significant degree.

      It’s a pity that those most qualified to comment on this
      aero stuff ( the engineers who work for the F1 teams ) are
      bound by contract to remain silent.

      Myself, I’d like to see an F1 which had no rules at all ( remember the original Can-Am ? ) with the exception of a fixed quantity of fuel being allowed for the duration of a race. That might result in some fresh thinking.

      As it is, the probability of F1 development “trickling down”
      to result in more efficient road cars ignores the vast differences between road cars and F1 cars, and also ignores the formidable resources of all major car makers, who certainly do not need F1 to help them design more efficient cars. Take one look at the VW “1 Liter” car, or the “VW 3-liter Lupo” and you will see that the problem of greater efficiency has nothing to do with inability in the engineering departments of the car companies.

      1. SteveH says:

        Henry, i agree about the rules, but offer a slightly different approach to a fixed amount of fuel.

        Allow any fuel at all, diesel, rocket fuel, alcohol, petrol, etc. but equalize the heat content per second. Allow any type of engine, turbo, diesel, wankel, etc, with no limits on size or rpm. By this I mean limit fuel flow so that the the potential heat of combustion is equal for all fuels. This might mean allowing x liters of petrol/sec or y liters of diesel/second. This would encourage fuel efficiency and experimentation with engines. Would a petrol turbo by optimum? Would diesel rule? That would be exciting, innovative, and could be used to improve street engine efficiency.

        F1 should be the leading edge of technology, not some spec series.

  22. Sideshow Bob says:

    This talk about stylists designing F1 cars before aerodynamicists is rubbish, if you ask me. I think F1 would lose just about its entire true fanbase if it turned into some pansy racing series. Let those ignorant people, who can’t appreciate the technical excellence of F1, watch some other style-over-substance series.

  23. Dougal says:

    It all sounds a bit Pie in the Sky for my liking.

    While closer racing would be a good thing and better for the fans to watch, what Purnell is describing sounds more like giant go kart racing than F1 cars. Read his description again of bumpers and aero-design, and he is on about making glorified giant go-karts. Is that really where F1 is heading? Is that really what F1 fans want?

  24. Sven says:

    The exitement in F1 is not what people like Tony Purnell thinks. His ideas about cars with bumpers and stock car racing on the tracks may appeal to an imaginary casual fan which everyone seems to want to please these times.
    F1 needs great tracks, exiting cars and star drivers. As for the aerodynamics that is simple as well. Less aerodynimc downforce and more tyre grip, and please do it properly the next time.

  25. guy says:

    I think it would be cool to have exposed engines again. Who wouldn’t want to see the exhaust headers glowing red? Or turbos for that matter…

    Why did they decide upon active aero in 2009, yet have such a minimal amount of movement? It isn’t even noticeable on tv.

    1. Trent says:

      I wondered that too. Such a minimal change allowed, what’s the point? No wonder it didn’t work.

  26. Jose Arellano says:

    Dont like the car being designed by stylists thing.. also the show being more about crashing each other and that stuff…

    those guys can go watch fast and furious.

  27. Meeklo says:

    To improve overtaking something as simple as adding a brake light to the chassis. It’ll give the following driver a target to hunt down.

  28. chris says:

    “more of a fashion than a function.”

    I think car design will still be driven by function, but In the future augmented reality will be part of our everyday lives which means the cars will look however the fans, teams and sponsors want them to look.

    Fans will be able to log on to their favorite team website and create their own custom veichal designs from an online library containing hundreds of unique branded body parts. Once created, your custom veichal will become a user selectable item on your tv set to be assigned to your favorite driver during the race.

    Sponsors will love it, Ferrari could team up with pixar to promote the latest cars movie and give fans the option to watch alonso piloting lightning mcqueen using augmented reality technologies.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augmented_reality

  29. GP says:

    I would like to see a ban on wings altogether.

    As for fossil fuel, F1 needs to be seen as being in sync with the rest of the world and
    wings are simply not necessary for road cars, including the fuel wasting drag they generate.

    I think it would be an interesting engineering challenge with more road car relevancy. Of course, this would bring along other challenges like much higher straight line speeds and the safety concerns that it raises…

    1. lip_iceman says:

      The cars would look like they were ice skating if they didn’t have wings, unless they were made into 1.5 ton beasts or the corners were banked.

      As the post said, you can’t uninvent aerodynamics.

  30. Tony says:

    The merc was not the only enclosed GP car Connaught built one Vanwall built a pretty half hearted effort and I think Cooper used the centre cockpit sports car in F1 races. As fir looking back 30 years the Lotus 80 looks nothing like a current car, quite a lot if the cars of that era ran without front wings, and the typical location for the driver was much closer to the front of the car. We also had a wider range of engine shapes that influenced the chasis design. The best looking of that era was the Lotus 79 no contest. If only the team had stiffened the chasis up for 79 rather than going on to the 80, history would have been very different.

  31. GP says:

    “I would repeat that aero will see tuned surfaces with micro grooves and/or dimples to lessen the friction…”

    I never thought of that! Are such surfaces specifically excluded from the regs?

  32. DaveR says:

    To get close racing aero has to be reduced considerably from current levels. F1 needs to get back to using gravity well and maybe learn something useful for road cars. The first step would be to get rid of the obvious work-arounds the current rules. Make the plank run from the front axle line to the rear axle line and be attached to the bodywork with no gaps above it or anything attached to it front or rear. Currently the front of the plank is used as a downthrust aero device, and the rear ‘diffusers’ are ground effects devices in all but name. Then issue standard ‘no-frills’ wings front and rear with the front narrower and closer to the body to avoid silly damage at the first corner. These moves would have the immediate benefits of reducing costs.

  33. Trent says:

    I can’t express how much I HATE the idea of bumpers or anything similar. Formula Fords are open wheeled, often race side-by-side, have inexperienced drivers but have bumpers introduced. The best drivers in the world should be able to handle it, and it would greatly diminish the excitement factor, which the rule makers forget is inseparably linked to risk.

    And anyone who thinks that ‘cluster’ racing is the way forward – have a look at NASCAR. I don’t want F1 to be like that; an overtaking manoeuvre holds no meaning in that sport. We need more overtaking in F1 but to make it like Moto GP or NASCAR would be a travesty. The fans are not as fickle as that.

  34. Sebee says:

    I’ve seen the future and it’s glowing break rotors, sparking skid plates limited electronics and none of these crappy winglets. That’s right, the future was early 90′s with 2010 safety levels.

    Improve the engines, make them smaller and efficient with turbos and let’s stop messing with a good thing. Let us see the machine work. I’m sure that flames out of exhaust pipes on down shift will also be welcomed.

    Bumpers around the wheels? I guess anyone with a suggestion no matter how silly was allowed to speak?

  35. Conor says:

    Renault had them last season

  36. paul moss says:

    Actually the W196 was always single-seater. Essentially the same car whether with open-wheel or streamlined bodies. I believe it ran 3 times with enclosed body in 1954. Winning at Rhiems and Monza, but famously getting beaten at Silverstone, where the combination of enclosed bodywork and twistier track made accurate placement of the car difficult, even for Fangio. Photos clearly show damage to the front corners of the car. I wonder then, if enclosed bodywork or covered wheels, even in the future, may give drivers the same problems. F1 cars don’t seem forgiving of inaccurate placement!

    On a slightly related note. Is Mercedes 2010 feeling the pressure of living up to their legendary F1 history? Does Norbet Haug see himself as the new Neubauer? He certainly has some of the attributes ;)
    Naturally expectations must be relevant to a 2010 context, and I’m sure RB is way too pragmatic to be concerned about it. But as a fan of F1 history and Mercedes, I hope they see their goal as being to emulate, and build on, the Silver Arrows success of the past.
    Anything less than a clear C’ship win would be disappointing.

  37. f1 fan says:

    To be quite honest, I don’t even try to imagine what will the new rules be in 1 or 2 years time.

    Seems like there are new requirements for the engines, tyres and dynamics every year, which changes the way the cars look.

    More overtaking is what we all want to see and I’m sure most people wouldn’t mind if it is done in uglier cars.

  38. Paul Mc says:

    Id like to see a return to proper sized rear wings. The current rear wings look awful and in my opinion make it look like a lesser Formula. Maybe allow the driver to electronically adjust wings during a race to aid overtaking?

  39. Mitori says:

    Ehhh title should be ‘europe wants NASCAR’ lol
    ( but I dont!! )
    Purnell forgot neon lights and flames out of the exhaust.

  40. ant0ine says:

    i ve been watching f1 since since i was eight and i have the feeling that the most beautiful cars were always the faster… maclaren, williams, benetton, mclaren, ferrari… even alonso’s renault was sexy… form follows function…

  41. How does the FIA balance out what engineers and business people want from F1 and how they direct the future. I am no aerodynamic specialist, but lets say I was a key figure head in the FIA, how do I take charge of the situation of development when I don’t know much about it?

    How do we know that the FIA aren’t tampering or interfering with the future development just by being restrictive?

    Should there be some sort of natural progression?

  42. Rj says:

    After all of the attempts at standardising engines and mechanical parts, plus the incredibly detailed aero regulations, I wonder why we haven’t heard suggestions of standard aero elements. It’s said that this is the biggest gain on the cars during the season and while it is interesting for F1 to be pushing the development of CFD, it also seems to be the most significant obstacle to close racing. Watching significantly faster cars impotently washing out because they are understeering in the dirty air behind a slower car is an artifact of the current regulations. It would seem that tinkering around with the existing regulations isn’t really going to help (I thought ground effects were banned) so perhaps other avenues should be explored. Loosening the regulations would be another way to go; moveable aerodynamic pieces would certainly increase cornering speeds (a safety issue) but might be the only way that close racing can be brought back.

    I make videogames and I don’t think that game players want pointless overtaking but they certainly do get frustrated with regulations seem to be designed to keep the cars in the order they started all the way to the end of the race, almost regardless of driver skill or vehicular ability. Between dirty air and marbles off the line, there is definitely a problem in F1. Driver aids and reconfigurable cars are probably not the solution because they increase cornering speed but something is going to have to give.

    Personally, I enjoy the technical and engineering mastery that is F1 but it would be interesting to see actual racing being the rule on Sunday, instead of most of the racing happening on Saturday in qually.

  43. John H says:

    In other words, aerodynamics will have a less important role than today and the cars will be designed to look as sexy as possible, “more of a fashion than a function.”

    Utter Rubbish IMHO!

  44. Trent says:

    I would love to see the movable aerodynamic device taken to a much greater degree. A driver is skilled enough to be able to manage this task as well as driving – after all, they no longer need to use a clutch or take their hands off the steering wheel.

    I can well imagine looking in wonder at onboard footage as the drivers constantly tweak the wing angles to give themselves the best straightline and cornering speeds. It would be a very visible sign of skill which is not a bad thing.

    Is it dangerous? Well, you could argue that it’s dangerous to adjust brake balance, KERS, roll bars and use the radio, but they have managed. Let’s try it!!

    - James, are the wing adjustment rules the same for 2010 as this season?

  45. abdullah ali says:

    if i have an idea to avoid spin in high speed and its linked with front wing , where should i contact to explain my idea
    regards,,,

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