Compare every F1 car of 2016 from every angle

2016 F1 season preview

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It’s often said that today’s Formula One cars are so similar that it would be hard to tell the difference between them if they were all painted the same colour.

It isn’t true, however. Each team approaches the rules its own way and a close look reveals their different solutions to the same challenges.

Get a better impression of how each team has tackled the rules this year using the interactive images below to compare all 11 of this year’s cars from four different angles.


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Ferrari has followed the trend for a short nose with a ‘thumb tip’ which many of its rivals including Red Bull and McLaren had already embraced. However pace-setters Mercedes continue to shun this approach in favour of a slimmer nose design, one which Renault has also adopted.

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Force India’s interpretation of the strict nose regulations has led them to a unique twin-vented solution. Manor, however, persists with a long nose which extends far beyond the front wing.


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The most obvious change at the rear of the cars for 2016 is the revised exhaust arrangements. In an effort to increase the noise produced by the engines, teams must now separate the wastegate pipework from the main exhaust. With the exception of Renault, all the teams have added a pair of wastegate exhausts.

Here too Mercedes have a unique solution, clustering their three exhausts together, while the other nine teams with dual wastegate pipes have opted for an ‘inverted Mickey Mouse’ arrangement. Most of the teams ran small ‘monkey seat’ wings above the exhausts during testing with a few exceptions.


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Red Bull established the trend of running the car with a lot of rake in order to bring the nose closer to the ground and make the front wing work more effectively. This has been embraced by most of their rivals, notably McLaren, whose MP4-31 reveals the influence of ex-Red Bull man Peter Prodromou.

Higher cockpit sides are a common feature on all of this year’s cars. The FIA has raised the minimum height by 20mm and the driver’s head protection must now withstand a much more severe crash test in which it is subjected to a 50 Kilonewton force – up from 15kN last year.


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F1’s four different power units force designs to make different compromises when it comes to packaging. Last year McLaren trumpeted the ‘size zero’ policy they have pursued with Honda in an effort to shrink their rear bodywork and improve the car’s aerodynamics. Unfortunately whatever gains that offered were more than cancelled out by the engine’s poor performance and reliability.

This year other teams have moved towards the standard set by McLaren. The rear of the Ferrari is noticeably slimmer than last year and Red Bull has done an impressive job of shrink-wrapping their Tag Heuer-branded Renault.

The top-down view also sheds light on another of this year’s design trends at the front of the car: the S-Duct. Having tested it in Brazil last year Mercedes is one of the latest teams to adopt the vent which passes from underside the front nose and exits behind the driver’s number on the W07.

2016 F1 season

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Author information

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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65 comments on “Compare every F1 car of 2016 from every angle”

  1. Hands down the coolest feature ever on F1fanatic! Great!

    1. Scrolled down and was about to comment the same thing. But not just coolest, the best.

      It would be perfect if all the pictures could be matched perfectly, but close enough.

      1. The merc front image seems to be at a different angle than many of the others, as the rear wing is consistently much lower. However in the rear image it is mostly level with the others.

    2. I think all site would have this feature even it self. Well done Keith!

  2. Yup. You beat me to this comment.

    Great feature, Keith!

  3. These are great! Thanks Keith!

  4. Brilliant new feature, thanks!

  5. nice. but typo-
    ‘Ferrari has followed the trend for a short nose with a ‘thumb tip’ which many of its rivals including Red Bull and Mercedes had already embraced. However pace-setters Mercedes continue to shun this approach’
    mercedes never embraced the thumb nose. maybe you mean mclaren. @keithcollantine

    1. @sato113 Changed it, thanks.

      1. @keithcollantine it’s still wrong! Ferrari have a thumb nose, fine. And red bull have embraced it, fine. But mercedes have never embraced or had a thumb nose! they have shunned it. Merc and renault have slim, normal noses.

        Basically swap mclaren and mercedes around.

        1. Nah, leave it, it’s nice to think mclaren are the pace setters :)

          1. ha, i think keith is drunk ;)

          2. McLaren were the slow pace setters in 2015

  6. Awesome.!! Thanks to be so innovative Keith

  7. petebaldwin (@)
    7th March 2016, 13:30

    Awesome – great work @keithcollantine

  8. The Renault has no ‘Monkey Seat’ Winglet? I wonder why.

    1. Even Ferrari doesn’t

      1. Barcelona does not need huge rear downforce…

  9. Amazing!! Thanks Keith!!

  10. Well, everyone said it already, but I couldn’t resist…brilliant and thoughtful work Keith and everyone else who might have helped! Thanks!

    1. Playing around with the sliders, I came across a possible future feature you might consider. Adding a slider to adjust the opacity/transparency of each image. I tried it a bit in chrome to directly see the two images and understand the camera angle of each picture.

  11. I think he meant Williams

    1. How did this comment get here :P

  12. Amazing webpage design. Good feature.

    It is also amazing to see how similar F1 cars are in their design… Pretty much if they removed team liveries.. No way to tell quite a few.

  13. So What exactly Is that “size-zero” McLaren all about? Seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through only to have about the same size bodywork as everyone Else of you ask me

    1. Comparing the McLaren against the other top teams in the view from behind is pretty mind-blowing

    2. Well looks like they made it too small last year

    3. spafrancorchamps
      7th March 2016, 20:21

      The Mercedes is much smaller from the back.

  14. Dat top of the RB12… magnifique!!

  15. I could spend all day comparing these cars to each other. My first impressions while comparing Merc, Ferrari, Mclaren and Red Bull –
    The Mercedes engine cover is far bulkier than the three other cars, but have built their sidepods and overall chassis seems lower and broader.
    When it comes to rear end packaging, the red Bull is still the class of the field. Even Honda with their ‘size zero’ packaging cannot match Red Bull in that department.
    The Ferrari and Mclaren chassis look very similar.
    Mercedes air inlet above the driver’s head just looks plain and simple awesome.

    1. @todfod
      Are you sure? Mercedes looks like they have by far the tightest rear end to me

      1. @kingshark

        Check out the rear angle. Mercedes vs Mclaren. The engine cover seems to take a much larger surface area (volume of the engine pyramid) as compared to Mclaren who have a really slim top part of the triangle (from the air box)

  16. Really, really cool Keith! This is fantastic.

    Just an idea – At the end of the season, I’d be interested in being able to do the comparisons with the year end cars with these iterations to see how much they change over a season.

  17. Particularly like the back views – never been able to compare those before and they’re all different shapes and sizes.
    The Merc’s an amazing piece of work, really tight and refined all over. But the best looking car of all from the side is the Manorosso…

  18. digitalrurouni
    7th March 2016, 16:03

    Stunning work @keithcollantine!

  19. Cool feature

  20. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    7th March 2016, 16:10

    I reeeeeeally, reeeeeeeeeeeeeally love this site…

  21. Awesome, brilliant, cool, super.
    bravo and thanks Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine).

  22. Great job!

  23. The Ferrari McLaren pic is awesome, its like 2face.

  24. Unbelievable how sharp the Mercedes nose is compared to the bulky Ferrari one.

  25. Christopher M
    7th March 2016, 17:06

    That has gotta be the coolest comparison feature for an F1 junkie, EVER. Thanks Keith! One thing I noticed is that the appendage on the Ferrari nose seems to be lower than most other cars. (yes, insert joke here) But, I would have thought that height was regulated and keeping it as high as possible for air flow would be preferable. Or is it just the camera angle and that is playing tricks on my viewpoint? The Merc style nose seems to block more air than most and they are the team to beat. Final thought, the aero on the Torro Rosso looks very advanced. Minardi has come a looong way in the last decade. :)

  26. FlyingLobster27
    7th March 2016, 17:26

    This feature is absolutely brilliant. With all these Barcelona pictures from reasonably similar angles, it’s a joy. We mentioned the new F1 cars at lunch with a friend on Saturday, he’s going to love this!

  27. I like to imagine Newey browsing F1Fanatic and comparing the RB with everynthing else.

    Come on Adrian we know you are among us. Say something!!

  28. best feature iv seen on here

  29. Things like this are the reason I come back here so many times in a day. Great stuff Keith!

  30. brilliant feature !

  31. That’s very clever!!

  32. Brilliant work!

    Thanks for the effort

  33. Hats off Keith very nice feature, hard to find websites mantained with this much dedication (F1 related or not), keep it up.

  34. This is amazing! Very thanks!

  35. Surprised by how bulky the rear bodywork of the Williams is, even compared to Manor, needs a lot of work.

    Great feature Keith, again shows how this site is the best F1 site on the web.

  36. An excellent idea and well executed! Thanks!

  37. Really goes to show how far Manor are behind. The air intakes are huge even compared to Haas.

    Thanks Keith, this was really cool.

  38. I can see a little bit of graining in every Renault picture. Granted we don’t know how many laps they did on them when the pictures were taken, but it will be interesting to see if they have a problem.

  39. The rear suspension geometry is fascinating to compare also! totally different between a few of the teams. Will be interesting to see the pro’s and con’s on track.

    Great great feature Keith! Fantastic!

  40. Very nice. Is there a top view that compares side to side instead of front to back?

  41. Do you notice the Mercedes Air Box? its totally huge in comparison to the other big teams… i wonder why really. Williams and the other teams with the same engine has smaller Air Box inlet… i dont know why they did that really..

  42. Well Keith, great article in terms of detail and comparison.

    Although I’d beg to differ regarding you view on the idea that if all of the cars were painted the same it would be hard to tell the difference. Of course the close ups and side by side comparisons highlight the differences yes but this isn’t something we see very often.

    We mostly see the cars whizzing around the track at great speed and for me this is where telling the cars apart gets more difficult. Bold individual colour schemes are needed, the Sauber is a good example, there is no mistaking that car! I’m not saying the rest are bad, they just could be better that’s all.

    Imagine West Ham versus Aston Villa, both playing in their claret and blue or Bayern Munich versus Liverpool. That would be confusing! Cars do look the same compared to years gone by. This make the colour schemes vital!

    Keep up the good work Keith.

  43. Brilliant work Keith! I like how streamlined the W07 is.

  44. Saurabh (@sksahukanker62)
    8th March 2016, 20:10

    i love this way of comparing the cars. This puts an end to the people’s notion that all the F1 cars look the same. Also this feature takes the site to another level… :)

  45. damn it, Keith! my productivity will go down at my job this week… for sure. thanks.

  46. Late to the party, but love this feature.
    Also love the double functionality as a B.A.R. livery generator.

  47. Really love this feature @keithcollantine! I have to stop myself from staying here all day to compare all the different cars in all views.

Comments are closed.