Ferrari unveils its vision of future F1 car design

2015 F1 season

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Ferrari has revealed a striking vision for how the future of Formula One car design could look. The Ferrari F1 Concept was created by their Centro Stile Ferrari design studio.

The team say the design was born of a desire to “come up with an F1 car which not only is technologically advanced but also captivating to the eye and aggressive-looking”.

“Could this be made without having to overturn the current technical rules? At Ferrari, we believe so.”

“Minimal changes give the car a look that is way different from what have been familiar with so far,” they added. “Our challenge was to create something that was – to put it short – better looking.”

The team’s ‘F1 Concept’ shows a car with a twin-deck front wing and bodywork sculpted around the front and rear wheels.

The car is shown on low profile wheels similar to those tested by Pirelli last season.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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107 comments on “Ferrari unveils its vision of future F1 car design”

  1. So they think the driver should become a part of the car?

    1. Apparently :D And bye bye drafting probably, because of low drag.

    2. It would be much safer (and allow for higher speeds!)
      Actually watching an old vid of MS in his fez, maybe 2000, his helmet was shaped square at the back to fit the car, very cool.

    3. Mercedes unveils its vision of future F1 car design

        1. good one @alystar, but it seems a bit bland and conventional, apart from the hidden wheels :) Too smooth and not enough edges I think.

          Battlestar Galactica re-imagining is a pretty good example of how to revamp a look (for a Sci Fi show at least).

          1. Probably a little too heavy.

  2. Good luck to the composite people tasked with constructing that front wing and nose…

    1. They’re already doing fairly intricate stuff on their road cars, which has some transfer to their GT cars.

      People always talk about the engine manufacture when referencing tech transfer, but for companies like Ferrari and Mercedes, improved/more intricate carbon-fibre production is highly appropriate for their road cars too!

      1. “fairly intricate stuff” = heavy

        1. @andae23 I doubt it would be very heavy

          What I don’t like is the closed-wheel feeling of it, I like the big open rear tyres and scrawny little front wing or no front wing look of the old F1 cars

          todays mustache front spoilers are dead ugly though, and look a lot “heavier” at the ends with all the dussins of winglets, compared to the size of the actual wing imo

        2. I’d have thought intricacy would mean lots of surfaces for comparatively little volume (and therefore weight).

  3. From a cost point of view, I’m not sure, whether a revolution is necessary or not, but… HOLY MOLY, what a concept.

    1. IMHO, F1 is not in need of such revolution. The series is doing just fine in a changing world, this permanent search for a revolution is just noise. So many great things currently get unnoticed because there are always an army of insiders talking down the sport.

      Let’s stop the madness!

      1. +1 The sport’s main promoter (Ecclestone) talked the current technology down for the entirety of last season (when he wasn’t on trial for corrupt behaviour) & the teams unwillingness to agree terms is driving the smaller teams to the wall. This stupid concept picture is further evidence of the whizz bang distraction tactics employed by those at the top of the F1 tree to draw attention away from where the real and serious problems currently lie (ie. at the top of the F1 tree).

  4. Sem (@05abrahamsemere)
    17th February 2015, 9:49

    Wow…that car looks beastly but possibly much heavier and less aerodynamically efficient. These future cars will probably lap around 1-2 seconds slower than the current generation unless they increase the PU, fuel flow rate or produce over 1000bhp engines. Still it’s cool…a mix of a single seater and a sports car (Ferrari Spider?)

    1. @05abrahamsemere That’s a leap… It’s clear that the above render is a fanciful ‘best case scenario’ envisaged by a design studio, but you’ve only got to look at Adrian Newey’s X-series prototypes to see how if F1 wasn’t strictly mandated by a load of narrow rules, the cars would look radically different and be much, much faster.

    2. I wouldn’t assume the aero efficiency was bad. The wheels are by far the worst impediment to better aero in F1 and this could actually help in that area.

      1. I should have said tyres/wheels.

      2. Correct. Wheel drag amounts for 40% of the total drag. Also the diffuser looks bigger and much more enclosed, meaning less or perhaps no influence from rear wheel turbulence. Front downforce does look to be significantly cut, but even if we assume a total downforce loss, the car will be much higher lift/drag ratio.

        1. It has a ‘double’ front wing, how does that equate to less front end downforce? I would love to get a glimpse of the projected CFD numbers that go with this design. I’m convinced that there is far more downforce on that car than we have ever currently seen in F1. We also all know Ferrari can produce PU’s with over 1000bhp (FFX-1050bhp). Th only thing that I’m not keen on is the way the wheels have faring round them, I’d like to see a more open wheel concept applied but only to the wheel area, the side and head on profile of the car are truly stunning.

          Apparently at least 2 other manufacturers produced their own concept cars to show their ideas to the strategy group, but they are not willing to make them public as Ferrari have.

          1. Given the angle of attack and amount of flaps being just one on each wing, this isn’t going to produce that much downforce. The lower one will probably still produce a good deal of downforce given how low it is, making optimal use of ground effect. However, the upper one looks more like a bridge wing from the pre-2008 era. which is more about flow direction then downforce production.

  5. The return of the fan car!
    … not a bad design though, except for the driver’s helmet: they are not allowed to turn their head anymore.

    1. @spoutnik fixed helmet with a HUD and OSDs? The mirrors would then be more flow conditioners rather than genuine mirrors.

    2. Drivers unable to turn their head + no wing mirrors = no more defensive driving I suppose?

  6. Looks horrible, though it kind of reminds me of late 1970/early 1980 cars. I like the low rear wing though. The high, box-like wings is probably the biggest factor in making the current generation of cars ugly.

  7. Now give it to an aerodynamicist to fix industrial engineer’s cock-up!

    1. Now give it to the engineers to fix the graphic designer’s cock-up.

      This is obviously just a pretty picture. I doubt there has been much input from any sort of engineer, other than general concepts.

      1. An industrial designer did this and it is not really a cock-up. Google Daniel Simon or Scott Robertson for a clearer understanding of what’s involved here.

        This design is a staple for any industrial or automotive design student. It no doubt hits all the points that would have been laid out in the design brief.

  8. I’m not sure if I like it or not, but as a concept it will do what it is supposed to and maybe get people thinking differently about the future of F1 cars – would be nice to see more concept cars coming out from other teams, not because they are the future but because they might influence it!

    1. Other teams did tacked concept pictures to the strategy group meeting, but only Ferrari appear to be confident enough to show their’s to the world.

  9. Look forward to seeing this concept appear in Gran Turismo 6/7. Though it will probably sound like a hoover like all of the other cars.

    1. You wonder with their expertise on modelling Vacuum Cleaners why Polyphony haven’t got the contract to make F1 2015…

  10. It is supposed to get young fans engaged again, and that video game looking wildness would certainly do it.

  11. Would some other teams follow suit & show us a couple more concepts?

  12. You know what… If someone turned to me and said “hey, check out the new 2016 f1 car” and they pointed to that, I would be happy in the fact, that there is nothing else out there that is more advanced, right now I think WEC cars are more advanced than F1 cars in terms of pure aesthetics.
    Having said that, concept cars vs reality ends up being 2 different things. The purpose of concept cars however, is that manufacturers try out & prepare us ordinary folk of radical new designs and sees what factors we like and what ones we don’t. But the other more important part of concept cars, is the fact that they become posters on the wall of kids dreaming to become an f1 driver.
    Simply said, this makes F1 cool…

    1. @dragoll I wouldn’t say WEC is more ‘advanced’ in the terms of pure aesthetics – given you’re compared open and closed wheel racing, it’s an apples and oranges comparison.

      WEC does look better, however, because of the variety afforded under the regs.

  13. I would like to hear more from Ferrari about what the thinking is behind this – so far they’ve just put the images out with no explanation. But I like that they’re offering a vision for how F1 should be. That’s a constructive approach, and we’ve had far too much negativity from them recently, particularly regarding the new engines.

    However my problem with this sort of thing is I don’t want F1 cars that have been designed by marketing teams instead of engineers. This is a superficially racy-looking car but anyone with a basic grasp of aerodynamics will look at that and know this is style over substance. That’s not what F1 should be about.

    So if this is Ferrari saying ‘all F1 cars should look like this’, I’m not impressed. If this is Ferrari saying ‘give us the freedom in the rules to create cars which look as exciting as this’, I’m on board.

    1. Ferrari have said that they want a revolution rather than an evolution so this is probably more towards making that point. Throw away the rule book and come up with a new one that allows teams to be creative in coming up with their solution. One of the points that the US broadcast team make every year is how each car is designed independently yet they all end up looking very similar due to the restrictive rules.

    2. Ferrari has now put out some information about the car which has been added to the article above.

    3. Well said, all for technical freedom! throw away the aero rulebook, but keep the safety features. Let the best designers come up with the best concepts.

      1. The rulebook is there because of ‘safety features’.

    4. @KeithCollantine It’s really good that they are offering a vision, I am also happy about that even if I do not agree with that vision. Let’s hope that some day we have a healthy F1 grid consisting of 15 independent teams and 30 creative, different looking cars.

    5. we’ve had far too much negativity from them recently, particularly regarding the new engines

      So, you first accuse Ferrari saying that they have been sending more negativity towards the viewing public and when they do something positive for the first time, you say:

      I don’t want F1 cars that being designed by marketing teams instead of engineers. This is a superficially racy-looking car but anyone with a basic grasp of aerodynamics will look at that and know this is style over substance and form dictating function

      You want to accuse them no matter what, don’t you?

      I, for one love this concept. The back of the sidepod which gently curls into the rear wheel makes for a very pretty picture. It will certainly attract new fans and hence new sponsors.

      1. To be fair Keith did praise their constructive approach.

    6. @keithcollantine I just don’t see the point of it. It’s a concept car thing: “LOOK! this is how think cars will look like in 10 years” and it never happens. And the concepts later look totally weird.

      I’d rather have Newey’s X2010 than this. At least that had some purpose and had a reason behind; answering the question: “what if F1 wasn’t as regulated as this?”.

    7. I agree, but if this is Ferrari saying ‘give us the freedom in the rules to create cars which look as exciting as this’, then it is misleading or “lies”. Because as you say, it is clearly visible, that no one with an even basic understanding of aero will design a car like this.

      Regulations that would allow this sort of car to be produced, would never in a million years result in a car like this being produced!

      So what was the point of this again? Just pure marketing through attention seeking?

      And what does “better looking” mean exactly? This is certainly much uglier to my eye than this years Ferrari.

    8. Keith the last thing you want to do is ask an engineer to design something for you without any boundaries or restrictions…. Trust me on that.. It drives me nuts when people do it. haha. It would be better to pose this Ferrari concept sketch to an engineer and have him refine it to be practical.

  14. I prefer the current generation of cars to Ferrari’s new concept. The wheels are too “hidden”, the car generally looks too wide and does an F1 car really need a big hole in the nose? Wider rear wings are a good idea though.

    1. Reminds me of a Cylon Raider. And then it mostly reminds me of the current crop of Indycar because it encapsulates the wheels, it has rear bumpers and the same low rear wing @girts.

      Pretty sure this is not what I would like to see F1 do, no.

    2. Agreed. It’s just too closed-wheel and looks more suited to a different series, certainly not F1. I’d like to see wider F1 cars than we currently have, but the current cars are better-looking than this Ferrari for me. They look like they belong in F1, this doesn’t.

      1. If we are to close wheels, I’d like something like that red bull x2014 Newey did for GT6 a lot better. Not really a fan of all the edges there.

  15. Just cover the wheels – lightly and vented – widen the cockpit and call it an LMP prototype.

  16. If I was a casual observer and going to my first F1 race, Id be hooked by these cars.
    Ferrari is right for once, These cars can change the current state of F1.

  17. But where does Robin sit?

    1. @tribaltalker, good one!
      Luckily they thought of him as well – Ferrarobin

      1. @coldfly: “FerraRobin”, I wish I’d thought of that!

  18. Adrian Newey has designed one before today,
    now if they gave the designers the word to go for it, then you would have a WOW Factor,
    have a look at Adrian’s creation:

  19. It looks horrid. The phallic noses of 2014 would be back, bigger than ever, and sprouting wings from the sides.

    Other than that it it reminds me of Chapparal’s 2X concept from the front and a modern IndyCar from the rear, which is not a nice combo.

  20. The double decker front wing reminds me of the 2008 McLaren. This looks epic, I would be happy if F1 cars looked more like this :)

  21. The only way F1 cars would ever look like that is by either:

    A. Mandating a blue print design which would equate to a spec series or:

    B. Banning anyone with aerodynamic qualifications, mandating a graphic designer as lead engineer and introducing a Formula E style fan boost that only the hellaflush crowd can vote on.

    Cars don’t look exciting because downforce makes cars quick, not aesthetics.

    This is Ferrari trying to drum up public enthusiasm for political purposes. They want radical rules introducing again because they have to figure rolling the dice enough times on technical rules will work in their favour. What they are missing though is the same teams have stole the march both times the rules were changed. Ferraris only hope is testing rule changes so they can hammer round their own track day and night.

    1. @philipgb: Maybe this is, behind the scenes, Bernie’s doing – popularising F1 by making it more “accessible”? I’m thinking “Big Brother” here. Fan boost gone mad. Ooh, pretty cars! Handsome (or beautiful) drivers only need apply. Marketing in control, never mind the engineers?

      Seriously, Ferrari can make pretty road cars, they have talent there. Maybe they just wanted to remind us that they do have some strengths left.

  22. I would be quite happy to see a massive redesign of the aero rules – the current ones are a bit outdated in terms of the regs kind of reactively clamping down on details to make a major overhaul (like that of the early 1970s) less and less likely.

    It doesn’t necessarily have to be a ‘free design’ environment – I think the teams, for cost reasons, mainly, would be most satisfied with a moderately restrictive one as well, provided it still gives that fresh new look.

    1. I think freer design rules might actually aid lowering costs. I can’t remember who said it (and where I read it), but I remember reading a quote from someone in F1 that was along the lines of “new concepts are free, refining existing ones is not”. Teams spend endless amounts of money trying to squeeze every ounce of aerodynamic performence out of the regulations, however a grid of very different cars taking very different approaches may actually be cheaper because designers are encouraged to think out of the box rather than to constantly refine and refine the existing design.

      That being said, I’m not 100% sure it would be cheaper. It could be just as/more expensive due to failed designs and such.

      1. @vmaxmuffin, that principle only works to a certain extent, because converting the initial concept into a workable design still requires a considerable amount of resources – and in the longer term, a larger team can use its superior resources to simply out research and out develop a smaller team.

        One example would be what happened to Sauber in 2012. When they launched the C31, that car drew a lot of admiration from other teams for being a quite innovative design. Newey in particular was particularly impressed and later admitted that a number of components on the RB8 – the vented nosecone and the downwash exhausts – were heavily based on concepts pioneered on that car.

        However, the issue that Sauber had was that, in the end, it was difficult for them to generate much of an advantage from their design – Red Bull, for example, were able to take that initial concept and to then refine it far beyond what Sauber could do with their limited resources.

        Even in historic times, it wasn’t always the most innovative team but the one with the best resources that could pull out an advantage – those that could afford the most wind tunnel testing time, the most track testing and computer simulation work often stood a better chance, simply by being able to throw more resources at developing different concepts.

  23. quite encouraging that Ferrari believes F1 will still have sponsors in the future ;-)

    1. COTD candidate? :D

  24. I think it looks really ugly.

  25. So many things to fix in Formula to see drivers having fun and battling it out with a knife between their teeth…
    1) Front & rear wings made of metal so they don’t shatter if you even look at them wrongly, hence ruining the driver’s race.
    2) Following point, wings which outside borders are still within the inner limits of the wheels, hence no carbon fiber wings slashing an opponent tire.
    3) Drop the DRS. Or let the pilot activate it anytime he wants. Each pilot will be able to have his own strategy like this.
    4) Stop disfiguring circuits. It’s simple, if you put a wheel outside the track, you’re not on it anymore and you should be prepared to face the consequences. Those huge run-off areas are just breeding a generation of lame pilots who just go flat-out because there will be no consequences if they miss the line.
    5) Mechanical grip > aero grip.
    6) Kill the radio link between the pits and the driver. So tired of the Formula RC.
    7) Put a radio link BETWEEN the drivers! It will stop the whiners calling the pits to say “X is blocking me blablabla”. Give the power back to the pilots and let them fight out.

    Just that should make the races more exciting, more competitive and show who the real best pilots in the world are.

    1. I like suggestion 7. Drivers can play mind games too if they want! Imagine Fernando giving a samurai quote to Kimi just before he overtakes him and Kimi replying “Leave me alone” while defending..

  26. I prefer the Red Bull X2010

  27. I think that looks really cool. And more than that, i think it’s great, given that we’re talking in the context of a radical rules overhaul, that the teams are thinking this strongly about the aesthetics of the cars. F1 cars have become pretty boring looking. To my eyes they never really looked so good since they reduced the width, but since then thye’ve just got more and more ugly looking. Today’s cars wiht their snowplough front wings and ‘toddler stroller’ rear wings just look horrible proportioned and are only really bearable through familiarity as we’ve gotten used to them. But F1 cars don’t look interesting or exciting any more. Not compared to sportscars and road-going hypercars. Look at stuff like the La Ferrari, the McLaren P1, the BMW i8; loads of really cool and interesting looking cars, whereas F1 cars still look more or less the same as they did 20 years ago. Boring and dated. Nothing to get kids excited. If there was a grid of 20 of those things, that would look brilliant. People would get excited about the concept.

    As Ron Dennis says, there’s no reason you couldn’t start wiht this kind of graphical concept, then work backwards from there to make it work in terms of aerodynamics and safety, then enshrine it in the rules.

    It’s pretty simple; make F1 cars look cool and awesome, and people will tune in to watch.

  28. @keithcollantine I admit up front that I have no knowledge of aerodynamics but I’m curious. How can a layman look at that rendering and say that it is “style over substance?” I grant you that it MAY be, but if an expert told me that it was probably the most efficient F1 aerodynamic design ever, I would have to believe him. What am I missing?

  29. No. Just No. F1 should always be the way it has looked, not like a WEC car.

    1. @mashiat2
      You mean like the 50’s, or perhaps the 60’s cars? No? Oh , then perhaps the 6 wheelers? Maybe one of the Chapman ground effect cars with a skirt?
      which of the “always looked like” cars are you referring too?

  30. I seriously doubt this images respond to a serious engineering study, it looks more similar to pro wrestling.

    What’s next, drivers dressed as Jedi’s?

    Tu vuo’ fa’ ll’americano
    mericano, mericano…
    sient’a mme chi t’ ‘o ffa fa’?

  31. It’s marketing. With a “future of F1 meeting” on Tuesday, this is all about pushing the Ferrari brand. And good luck to them; looking at all the tweets, it’s working. The car looks okay-ish to me, but put a V12 bi-turbo hybrid in the middle and it’ll be brilliant!

    1. @danieljaksa

      I’d prefer to see a concept more like BMW have used wiht the i8 with a very small petrol engine which can switch between generating power at the wheels, and generating power at the batteries. A 4WD solution using a small capacity petrol motor effectively to generate power efficiently for the recovery systems and giving some assistance to the electric motors.

      I think the true ‘next generation’ of F1 cars will go down this sort of route, before eventually going to a pure electrical solution later on. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next gen cars were only generating a couple of hundred horsepower at the most from petrol, with the rest coming from batteries and an efficient set of recovery systems.

    2. Ferrari could publish a picture of a turd painted red and the Twitterfosi would hail it is the second coming.

  32. Seems Ferrari are behind the rest in more ways than one.

    Five or six years ago Newey came up with the X1.

  33. This doesn’t say ‘F1’ to me. I know that’s because it’s nothing we’ve ever seen before, and I reckon the cars in 10 years time, whatever they look like, will be vastly different to the ones we have today, but this seems like it’s been designed with aesthetics only in mind.

    The thing that bothers me most is how covered the wheels appear, considering this is a ‘Formula’ series, they don’t appear very open.

  34. So, they won’t drop front pull-road suspensions in the future!

  35. WOW! a combination of F1, Sportscar and LMP1. I don’t mind.

  36. this is called PR gimmick

  37. It looks like an indycar

  38. I would like to see the rule set that they propose that would create this…..

  39. Fantastic and relevant, well to Hyper cars which it is surely linked to. Imagine a road going version

    Im a big fan of “truth is beauty” in F1 as someone on here neatly put it, i.e. form following function… But historically grand prix racing does have some precedence of changing the cars specifically to look good after a hideous batch of “freak cars” came through in grand prix racing pre war.

    Also nowadays form is following rule book so its not even truth anymore. you do wonder if all the dirty air/over taking improvements they’ve made over the last few years may be reduced but initially anyway, who needs your supermodel to talk.

  40. You nay-sayers are, frankly, INSANE. That car looks FANTASTIC. The front is gorgeous, the back is gorgeous, the sides of it make it look like a racing shark (and that’s good, given that last year’s car looked like an ant-eater). And as far as all your “expertise” (read: total conjecture) about the aerodynamic efficiency or downforce levels, the simple truth is none of you, or any of us, have got a clue about either what Ferrari specified in the design brief, or what the results would be from this design. It’s a gorgeous design, and a good way to inspire the future of F1

    1. Yes 100% agree. Normal pedantry for here though

  41. Holy shamoly, that does look good. Flawed I’m sure, but damn pretty!

  42. if we actually had cars that looked like this and went fast, i dont think sound would be a factor… like Ron Dennis said, f1 needs to have cars again where little kids would want to grab out and play with a toy version of.

  43. i would like to see photos of the cars mclaren and Redbull also designed (autosport says they also penned futre desingns) but have not released to the public like ferrari have. i wonder how much different they are? ferrari were bravest, and they did it to start a conversation about future f1 in the community. well done to ferrari.

  44. Sorry, nice try. Cool design, but that’s not F1

  45. Shut up and take my money.

    Stuff like this really reminds me how awkward and frankly silly today’s F1 cars look. The whole problem is that the rules are constructed by basically mandating several boxes, cross sections and points in a 3-dimensional space, then asking F1 designers to fill in the gaps. It’s basically dot-to-dot designing, and the dots aren’t designed with any real aesthetic in mind.

    If the designers were instead given fundamentally just a minimum/maximum width, length and height to work within the cars would almost certainly look better. Perhaps a maximum surface area might work, to minimise the complexity of the bodywork. Mandate the crash tests that the designs have to pass, potentially draw up some “line of sight” restrictions on the shape of certain components… Drawing up regulations is easy!

  46. Looks a lot nicer than what the US is proposing for Indycar !

  47. Not sure if this sort of stripped FXXK gives me enough association with F1 car albeit looking damn good.

  48. Big deal. from deviantart to highschoolers’ notebook margins, lots of people have penned “cool looking” future race cars that are not build-able and would be incredibly slow even if they could be built. As an actual race car, the only future this could signify is one where every design engineer was hypnotized and told that CFD and wind tunnels do not exist. At least Newey’s GranTurismo video game concept had the actual flavor of reality to go with its futuristic looks. This just looks like something a design student knocked out on a Saturday afternoon with a package of markers.

  49. If Ferrari designed a Batmobile, that is what it would look like.

  50. Nice car. :)

  51. Horrible. But i must admit that the rear covered wheels is better than the current Indy’s Dallara cars.

  52. F1 is the top of the motorsport pyramid. That means it should be the most advanced series of racing and should allow for engineering excellence.

    I think they have the engines moving in the right direction – all this talk about going back to how they were is nonsense, times are changing and F1 should be leading that, go watch another series or reruns if you want old school.

    But the one thing that is very wrong at the moment is how restrictive the aero and bodywork is. That’s bad for the sport and cars like this and the one Red Bull produced for GT6 are the kind of cars we should be seeing.

  53. I’m no Ferrari fan, but this is super-cool!!!!

  54. Looks great, mostly I like this as it looks more modern.

  55. I want to see this thing on the track with Adrian Newey’s Red Bull x2010! The FIA needs to relax the design rules and let the engineers loose.

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