Formula 1

Ferrari reveal F1 concept car

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Ferrari have revealed renderings of how it thinks Formula 1 cars of the future should look as bosses look at how to make the sport more appealing.

In recent weeks meetings have been taking place between teams and rulemakers as reports show F1's global TV audience continuing to drop.

The goal of reaching 1000 brake horsepower as well as proposed changes to the designs of the cars to make them more extreme have been largely met with approval by those with the power to introduce such changes with the aim on implementing them by at soon as 2016 maybe 2017 being set.

F1 car of the future?

The striking Ferrari concept features a double stacked front wing and lower, wider bodywork with also encloses the area around the wheels, something IndyCar has done following the death of Dan Wheldon as well as the new Formula E machines.

The tyres are wider and are much more low profile similar to the 18-inch tyres Lotus tested at an in-season test at Silverstone last year.

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The rear of the car is also dramatically different from the current generation of F1 cars with the 'coke bottle' design scrapped and bodywork covering the rear suspension as well as a rear wing that is part of the overall structure, follows the similar lower, sleeker design as the rest of the car and the wing plain itself much thinner than the current so-called 'plough wing'.

Though it is only a concept the design would likely use what is known as ground effect, which F1 has had before, where the airflow under the car is used to suck the car to the racetrack generating much more downforce and reducing the importance of generating that same effect via the wings.

Aesthetics a hot topic

The importance of aesthetics in the design of F1 cars is a topic that has been quite high on the agenda in recent years as attempts to lower the front nose have seen what was known as the 'step' nose morph into the even less desirable 'finger' noses of last year.

Some teams have kept that similar design for this year though on the whole the 2015 cars are much more pleasing to look at than their predecessors.

Bringing F1 into the 21st Century

The need for greater freedom in development and greater ambition in design has also been a key factor in this latest call for an overhaul of the current generation of F1 cars and given same basic shape has been in the sport for several decades now it would be a good time to go more futuristic and extreme in how the cars look and bring them more into the 21st Century.

In the World Endurance Championship (WEC), LMP1 cars have become the most futuristic in terms of sportscar design and technology and that has made it much more appealing to the typical motorsport fan rather than the more artificial changes made in F1 in recent years with the arrival of DRS etc..

It is attracting those fans back, however, that is the main factor in why F1 wants to reinvent itself but while change is always good and keeps the sport fresh, it does have to be done properly.

Change at the right price

Cost is the main issue most will have given the scope of the overhaul any kind of change to cars like the one Ferrari have come up with. The money needed to invest in research and development off these kind of cars would be huge and if it is rushed then the ongoing financial problems for some teams would ultimately drive them out of business.

It was this rush and sharp increase in the price of engines last year, following the introduction of the current V6 turbo hybrids that caused Marussia and Caterham to leave the grid.

Room for development

Longevity is another thing that has to be considered because given the development of the cars is a key part of the appeal to some fans if you design cars that then are too restricted in how they can be improved and differentiated from other teams then that aspect will be lost.

Sure these cars look good now but after five years of them looking almost identical would you get bored? Absolutely. You want proof? Check the design of the 2015 cars compared to those that were on the grid in the first year of the current set of regulations, 2009, they are a lot different.

Good for the racing

The final key thing that would have to be considered is whether they will help the racing. The last time there was greater freedom in aerodynamic development cars became so good it was impossible for one car to closely follow another. That was why the 2009 design changes were introduced and later DRS was created because the cars had so much grip and downforce overtaking was near impossible.

Therefore any radical move away from the current generation of F1 cars would need to keep the principal in mind that while better looks, more power and more downforce are good they have to be cars that can be raced in.

If all of that is taken into account then yes Formula 1 is absolutely right to move forward and introduce a new era of car design because after all road cars have become sleeker, more aerodynamic and aesthetically pleasing in recent years now its time for open wheel racing cars to do the same.

What do you think of the new concept cars and the future of F1? Tell us in the comments below.

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