Has Ferrari given us the future of Formula 1?
Is this the glimpse of Formula 1's future?
Some called it the work of a 10-year old; some said it looks like a black Bat-Mobile, while some just blasted it as ‘too attractive’ for Formula 1. But, as Ferrari unveiled their new concept car’s computer generated image, one thing surely happened, everyone took keen notice. The concept, which the team presented to the world, has been coined by Ferrari as the future of F1. The car itself, in its first impression, looked like an amalgamation of a current generation Formula 1 racer and a supercar.
Of course, a coin has two sides; hence some took the design positively, while some were skeptical of the radicalism in it. Although the concept is far from being accepted as the norm, but it has surely made some headlines news.
Showcasing the future of the F1 cars:
Formula 1 has been thinking about tinkering with its regulations, ever since the introduction of the new V6 turbo got a lukewarm response. The whole think-tank of the paddock recently got together at Geneva earlier this week and pondered over how the bodywork of an F1 car will look beyond 2016. Ultimately at some point during the meet, Ferrari produced a concept F1 car’s image, which looked futuristic from all angles and levels.
The car has a very sharp looking styling, but it is still sticking to the open wheel category. It also has a radical double-decker front wing which is different from the contemporary front wings. The tyres and wheelbase of the car also has the lower profile styling which Pirelli had tested last year. The rear wing and the side body parts of the concept car is based on current F1 cars, but they look very futuristic. However, the exhaust system seems a bit different, although a 360 degree view of the car has not been released as yet to see examine it extensively.
Another interesting thing about the car is the way the driver’s helmet looks like it is ‘attached’ with the chassis. Although it may seem that Ferrari has shown the helmet that way; just to bring futuristic elements or add artistic flavor to the concept.
Ferrari’s take on the matter:
Upon the creation Ferrari spokesperson said: “Would it be possible to come up with an F1 car which is not only technologically advanced but also captivating to the eye and aggressive-looking? And could this car be made without having to overturn the technical rules? At Ferrari, we believe so.”
And Ferrari has even invited fans to comment on its official webpage, in order to understand the reaction. This is a very smart move considering fans are seldom given a chance by the F1 teams to react upon anything. In fact, the word is, even Red Bull and McLaren had made designs but unfortunately for us, the teams did not reveal them for the public eyes.
How realistic is the concept design?
Although Ferrari accept that the concept has been made by their designing studio, but they say it was created with the help of the aero department. Hence, technically the car has been designed with due aero diligence and is not a work of fantasy.
Although, no specifications of the concept have been revealed, for example approcximate weight. But it is very certain that few changes have to be made, in terms of general bodywork regulation, in order for the sport to have these types of cars. Still the Scuderia also insists that the car has been made in accordance to the current parameters, which is vital.
Ferrari creating a buzz about more attractive cars
The Italian team has been talking about making changes with the current regulations, in order to accommodate much more flair and appeal to the sport. Speaking about the possible changes, Ferrari Team principal Maurizio Arrivabene stated that F1 has to reach out to its followers with more appealing cars.
"By 2017, I would like to see cars that win over the fans, with cars that they can get closer to and that are aesthetically more appealing, maybe even producing a noise that gets your hair standing on end, like that produced by a heavy metal band” the Italian had told this to the media a month earlier.”
He further added: "I don't think a simple evolution is enough in this case. Instead, a real revolution is called for with significant and radical changes.”
This is certainly a sign heading in that direction, and if there is a wide spreading acceptance of the concept, by the fans especially, then accommodating these changes might not be far away.
Nothing is changing for 2016 that is for sure:
Although plans are being made to make changes in the future, but it is certain that F1 is not heading for any regulation or technical change in 2016. This was of course confirmed after a recent statement by the F1 strategy working group. Engines, and the output power from them, are the main discussions which has been doing the rounds for a long time. But aesthetical changes to the cars are also in the agenda of many teams.
Last time when mega aesthetical changes were made back in 2009, to felicitate overtaking, everyone had been skeptical about the smaller/narrower rear wings and slightly trimmer cars. But the design has grown upon us since then, but a change will nevertheless be welcomed. Although it is not certain that we are surely going to have cars in F1 like the one seen in the concept version. But any alteration towards having a more “fierce and a futuristic” car should be on the cards of most teams.
Accepting the Ferrari version and the cost factor:
Although it is very hypothetical; but if also the teams unanimously decide to change the bodywork, its not certain that it will be just like the one which Ferrari has shown us. The whole strategy group will sit down, and with the help of the FIA, will come up with a solution regarding the future regulations. Also if Red Bull and McLaren disclose their concepts, then fans will also have some options to ponder upon, even though their say upon it will be next to none. But, whatever happens in the future, one thing is for sure, the possible changes will be drastic and it might be cost efficient but still radical.
McLaren chairman Ron Dennis appropriately put it when he was asked about the possibility of having futuristic cars.
“If we’re going to change Formula 1, we should change it dramatically and therefore we should change it dramatically for 2017. Then it will be affordable,” he said. The Brit told the media few days before the Ferrari concept was made public.
And he is right, because small time tinkering about bodywork might not be accepted by the teams, and the fans too, but the strategy group still has be to be worried about cost escalation factors. As currently, Formula 1 is struggling to keep the contemporary midfield teams afloat due to rising costs. And another huge regulation change might just sink them completely if it is not done in the right and appropriate manner.