Interactive: Compare every F1 car on the 2017 grid

F1 technology

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We’re only one week away from seeing how the Formula One field of 2017 stack up against each other at the first race weekend of the year.

How have the teams tackled the rules overhaul for 2017? What different design philosophies have they adopted?

Take a close look at all ten cars on the grid this year and compare them all from three different angles.

Use the drop-down menus below to select which of the 2017 cars you want to compare and use the sliders to transition between the images. Note some images may have been altered for ease of comparison and should not be used as a reference for measurements.


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The ‘thumb tip’ noses remain in evidence among most of the teams, with a few notable exceptions. Toro Rosso have joined Mercedes in crafting a slender nose while Force India continue to pursue a unique path. The ‘nostrils’ seen on their 2015 and 2016 cars have now split into a fork-like arrangement.

Red Bull’s vented solution is also novel and has inevitably prompted suspicion it performs some cunning function. The rule book requires it to be used for driver cooling.

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A growing number of teams have adopted ‘S-duct’ vents in their noses which exit in line with the front suspension.

Mercedes and Toro Rosso’s similarities go beyond the nose. Their front suspension arrangements are strikingly similar as well, using extension to the top of the wheel mountings to connect the uppermost arm. Developments in this area will be critical to ensure good, consistent contact between the wider front wheels and the track.

This angle also gives a good view of Ferrari’s unusual sidepod arrangement. They are set as far back as possible, mounted high and dramatically undercut. It creates space for them to generate downforce and optimise the airflow in this area of the car.


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Every team has run their car with a ‘shark fin’, though they vary in size and shape from Mercedes’ smaller style to Sauber’s curvaceous affair to those of Force India and Williams which appear to have come from LMP1 cars. Four teams have also used these fins to mount additional ‘T-wings’.

This is all in aid of helping the rear wing operate more efficiently. The new rules has forced it lower meaning it sits in less clean airflow than last year. Clearly the designers are exploring every option to improves its performance.

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With one significant exception the big teams have seized on the area in front of the side pods to sculpt the airflow as effectively as possible. Ferrari have inserted substantial structures to harness the new downforce-generating possibilities offered by the rules. As last year Mercedes appear to be divided their surfaces into as many smaller elements as possible in search of greater performance.

But development in this area is conspicuous by its absence on the Red Bull. Will the RB13 still be this uncluttered in a week’s time, or will a very different-looking car pull out of their garage when first practice begins at Melbourne?

These images also show how teams have followed Red Bull’s lead in using the rake angle to increase downforce. By lowering the height of the front of the car relative to the rear the front wing can be made to work more effectively and a greater volume of air is pushed through the diffuser, to the benefit of both.

The effect of this has been enhanced by the new regulations which have allowed larger front wings and diffusers, plus more elaborate bodywork around the front and centre of the car to divert the air where it is needed. We may not yet have seen just how car teams are willing to push the rake angles on their new cars, but some have admitted concerns over the front wing making contact with bumpy ground and kerbs as it is now running so low.


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Expect floor upgrades to feature on many cars in the opening races. As this is one of the last downstream parts its airflow does not have a knock-on effect on subsequent parts.

The rear view reveals some striking differences in rear wing angles and configurations between the teams. Some of these may of course be relevant to which set-up they happened to be running when these pictures were taken.

However the overall increase in downforce and drag may make it easier to discern the differences between lower and higher downforce set-ups during the season. For those teams with less powerful engines, smaller wings will be essential at the faster tracks.

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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40 comments on “Interactive: Compare every F1 car on the 2017 grid”

  1. Seriously @keithcollantine, you’ve trully outdone yourself this time!!! +1000!

    1. Bwoah!! This is truly awesome

    2. Amazing work, love it!

    3. Great stuff!

    4. Agree, amazing stuff!!!

    5. This is really good, you have really outdone yourself.

    6. Outstanding! Well done Keith.

    7. Agree awesome stuff ! Deserves an applause.

    8. How many pictures did you look at to get the angles right!!! @keithcollantine
      Fantastic work!! Your passion for the sport is evident in the tine you put into this site!!!

    9. Keith…Brilliant!!!!!!

    10. I join my voice to the chorus and my have to the applause.
      I know that you are too modest for that but the comment of the day is surely about the great job you are doing…

    11. Yes, this is a great piece of content!

  2. Amazing Keith, your a star

  3. Impressive work Keith.

  4. I was wondering why there weren’t any articles other than the Roundup. Then this landed. Amazing stuff @keithcollantine

    1. I just hope you’ve not hurt your eyes carefully aligning the cars correctly to allow this comparison!

    2. @phylyp Don’t miss the Red Bull preview which went up before this one:

      Another article to come later today as well.

      And yes, lining them all up is tricky! It’s never something that’s going to look utterly perfect unless you were able to control the circumstances of photography. There’s always compromises to be made.

  5. Superb tool!

    I’m loving the Torro Roso. With James Key behind it, I’m hoping for surprisingly-good performance.

    The Sauber unfortunately looks bloody awful. And the Haas doesn’t look too strong either.

    I don’t really support any team or any driver. Usually I’m hoping for an underdog win. So, I hope there is close racing between several teams. Whether that be at the front, in the midfield or at the back of the grid – it’s all racing to me!

  6. I hadn’t quite grasped just how short the Red Bull and Torro Rosso wheelbase’s are; especially compared to the Mercedes. Pretty clear on the side view. Are there advantages of a short wheelbase vs a longer one?

    1. A tighter turning circle? It might be interesting to see how easy that Mercedes gets around the Monaco hairpin.

    2. @travis-daye – Observers of the testing mentioned that the Red Bull was quicker and more agile through the tighter and slower turns, while it was slightly uncomfortable on longer and faster sweeping turns compared to the Mercedes.

      That ties in with conventional expectations – longer wheelbases offer better stability at the cost of agility.

      1. Great insight, thanks!

  7. The sidepods of the RB are very tiny compared to all other cars.

    1. I noticed that too, and the car’s wheelbase is much tighter as well. That should give you a big advantage in terms of drag I guess?

    2. The Mercedes looks the longest car, the RB the shortest. Really high diffuser on both Ferrari and particularly RB.

    3. Yes, but the spine of the car is much fatter than others to allow for those small sidepods.

      1. the spine is also one of the smallest (seen photo’s from above on other site’s)

    4. Like the air intake above the driver which is really small on the McLaren, quite surpression considering their problems.

      We can also appreciate how high ferrari sidepods are compared to others

  8. angelic (@angelicdarkness)
    17th March 2017, 16:28

    This is really cool stuff. I’m new to this site but really like it so far.
    Anyways , this is really cool and original stuff @keithcollantine

  9. Thank you @keithcollantine. It is so cool again.

  10. What an exceptional page! Simply the best bit of F1 info on any F1 internet site anywhere. Many thanks for this.

  11. Wow really cool. I like to mash RB and STR, particularly on the front shot merging the RedBull lettering on the rear wing.

  12. Awesome stuff Keith, bravo ! :)

  13. The Red Bull really seems quite different, almost simple. Can’t wait to see how it all plays out. Thanks for this Keith!

    1. Newey did say that he wanted to start with a simple design to verify the concept before adding details

  14. Is the wheelbase a fixed dimension or can the teams change it?

    1. @grammo If you mean the length between the front wheels and the back wheels, then No, it is not fixed. You can see the difference between the Mercedes and every other car (note that all the side on photos are lined up on the front tyres). I do wonder if there are limits though (i.e. is there a minimum wheelbase limit and a maximum?)

  15. This is what makes this site truly the only source needed for formula 1. Great job

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