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“Aggressive” new Formula E car an example for F1 – Mallya

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In the round-up: Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya says Formula One should look to Formula E for inspiration how its future cars should look.

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There was a lot of buzz about Alonso’s participation at Daytona but his team mate Lando Norris caught the eye too:

Lando in the wet was insann. Seen a YouTube video of him on dry tyres on his in-lap when it started raining, ridiculously good. Wish I could see his whole stint, the lap times were incredible.

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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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73 comments on ““Aggressive” new Formula E car an example for F1 – Mallya”

  1. Huge rims and tiny brakes makes this car a dull ride.

    1. Do these cars have regenerative braking? That would explain the small brakes.

      1. Yes they do

        1. So that would mean the hydraulic brake system (i.e. the calipers and the brake disc) are more for backing up the regenerative braking system, they’re not the main braking system. I thought this was true of F1 cars as well.

          1. F1 only get energy from the MGU-K and MGU-H. The MGU-K takes the energy from the aft axle while braking, but front axle is not regenerative. The big difference is the speed, this is why the brakes are smaller than for an F1. The fact that the rims have a larger diameter provides the perception of an even smaller brake disks when they are not that small.

          2. Quite the opposite, regen braking is helping brakes. However, because regen braking is taking a substantial part of energy from the brakes during the braking process it would be waste of material and superfluous weight to design and install the size of brakes like there is no regen. The same philosophy is applied on rear brakes design in F1 because of MGU-K. To convert all kinetic energy into electrical energy under breaking is still a mere dream of racing engineers. Theoretically it is doable, but it would take a huge distance to stop comparing to classic brake design.

    2. What wheels, i dont care single seaters get roofs but to me they look better open wheeled.

      1. @peartree
        I think he’s referring to these wheels, but my guess is as good as yours.

        1. Yes, that’s what I was referring to.

      2. @peartree But it is simply more practical for FE to be slippery, no? FE is not trying to be F1, and I highly doubt F1 is about to cover its wheels. Personally I don’t mind the look at all and would have always expected something like this since many efforts we have seen with electric vehicles throughout the years have taken pains to make them less draggy, and we have always understood why that is, and it remains true to this day. It’s not some statement that closed wheels are the future for open cockpit cars, including F1.

        1. Spot on, @robbie
          This next year will be the first with no car swapping and they need all the aerodynamics they can get to make the car less draggy. This is an aspect/requirement unique to Formula E and is not a statement about open wheel racing in other series.

  2. It means Sergio Perez is the “bang for buck two times world champion”?

    Congratulations on the new name, I like the older one better, but hopefully gets bigger with the new name.

    1. Actually at ‘points per €’ it’s Hamilton who won:
      (based on 50% of 2017 team budgets):
      Hamilton €643.8k
      Perez €648.5k
      Vandoorne: €17,885
      Ericcson: €∞

      1. Sorry, mate, I think your stats need an overhaul.
        “Points per €” -> result expressed in €? Already losing me there.
        Vandoorne with €17,885 seems to make no sense at all, even if the real calculation was “€ per point”. McLaren: huge budget; Vandoorne: hardly any points -> money spent per point must be exorbitantly high. Also, if Hamilton ‘wins’ because because his €643.8k is smaller than Pérez’s €648.5k, then Vandoorne’s €17,885 would mean that he performed over 36 times better than both Pérez and Hamilton …
        Ericsson’s stat does make sense if we switch “points per €” to “€ per point”. But the order €643.8k … €648.5k … €17,885 … €∞ doesn’t.

        1. All that confusion because I left out the ‘k’ after Vandoorne’s value, and I presented the values as €/point??

          I was hoping that readers would understand that a ‘bang for your buck’ aka ‘points per point’ winner could be determined by picking the lowest €/point value. Even Mallya got it ;)
          Maybe I was too quick, and should have built in more steps and explanations (that doesn’t make the stats wrong though).

          1. I guess the answer to that is approximately ‘yes’.

  3. This E car is fantastic looking
    How could it not be ?

    1. Nah, it just looks fresh and the colour scheme is nice. From any other angle it look quite silly.

      1. I like the front half but from behind the roll hoop I’m not sold and need to see it in action. Think the sticking out defuser is silly.

        1. They need the defuser sticking out. This is simply the requirements of physics to get downforce with no traditional rear wing and it’s less draggy than a traditional rear wing. Allowing it to stick out further behind the rear axle allows it to act as a lever with more force.

      2. This is true, the angle in the main picture makes the car look pretty good. Except for the wheels, in my opinion. Reminds me of this:–black-truck-wheels.jpg

  4. @keithcollantine Congrats on the new name change. If I can have a minor critique, I think the watermark in the picture is too popping out. Maybe removing the white border will make it blend better while still easily readable.

    I also agree with Mallya that the F1 car looks “tame and slow” compared to Indy of Formula E. The coat hanger, sharp angle down on the nose, and easily joked about appendage in the nose didn’t help either. Of course this is purely based on looks alone, but it what draws common people attention first and more importantly kids to have interest in the sport. On that note, I think F1 could use front wheel cover or partial cover which add more aggressiveness and makes it easier to follow car ahead. Just mount it to the structure to keep the wing from being too big and heavy.

  5. People getting hard over ‘that awesome futuristic FE car’ really grind my gears. Thing is it doesn’t mean anything. Its basically a joke. F1 Cars look the Way they look for a reason. And that reason is that the team building it thinks that this is the best Solution to building the fastest car within the rules. This Thing however…. its just styled to look futuristic. Its fake, simple as that. Like Tinman robots and rocketshaped Cars in a 1950ies future-themepark. Saying f1 should be like that is offensive, really.

    1. >Its fake, simple as that.
      It’s clearly been designed to look cool, that’s it. It just kills the idea of a racing car as something rational, performance-oriented. 2 words: stupid and childish.

      1. It’s not fake. Do you also think Concorde was designed to look cool? The FE car looks cool because it is designed to minimize drag as much as possible in what is still recognisable as an open cockpit formula car with reasonable down force and all modern safety requirements. An F1 car is ridiculously draggy in comparison with its open wheels and down force maximizing wings. Its cool in the same way a 747’s wing is with all its flaps down to create maximum lift (huge drag) on takeoff and landing looks cool.

        1. @the-last-pope when designing Concorde people where up against a massive challenge, as nature itself throws some pretty big rocks in your path when you try to shoot 100 people through the stratosphere at twice the speed of sound comfortably and on a regular Basis. It is one of the alltime biggest engineering feats. This Thing here however has only itself to beat. But it’s propably even too slow for that

          1. This Thing here however has only itself to beat. But it’s propably even too slow for that

            haha this must be the COTD :)

        2. @the-last-pope, Agag has talked in the past about how he wanted to create a car that looked “eye catching” and deliberately look different to any other open wheeled car, whilst Todt also talked about how Formula E wanted to produce “futuristic looking cars” in order to create more of a show and a spectacle. It is worth noting that the original proposal for the next generation of Formula E cars featured far smoother and simpler bodywork, but at the time Spark were already talking about producing a more “visually aggressive” look.

          With that in mind, I do not think that it is wrong to say that, whilst the original conceptual design may have centred around drag reduction, the current iteration of this design does appear to have been more heavily stylised. The way in which the bodywork around the cockpit has been flared out does not seen to have been done with any functional purpose in mind – I believe that it is a fairly thin and non structural piece of bodywork, and seems to have been done mainly for the sake of appearances.

        3. This car may well be “open cockpit”, but F1 is an open wheel racing series, and that car does not have open wheels, so a car like that would fail scruitineering. If Formula E is an putting an aerodynamic shield over the wheels then they can’t claim to be an open wheel racing series.
          This doesn’t mean I’m opposed to shields like that, they should reduce the lift generated by the wheels as it moves through the air, reducing the need for downforce, thus potentially reducing the turbulant air behind a car, which is a major problem with the current F1 aerodynamic regulations. This is definitely something F1 should think about, but if you do then what differentiates F1 from other racing series’ like WEC? How do you define “closed wheel” regulations so it resembles open wheel and keeps its distinctiveness from other racing series’?

          1. Open wheel vs. closed wheel is largely just a matter of aesthetic preference these days. F1 stays open-wheel because F1 began open-wheel.

            If the F1 rules actually allowed closed-wheel / closed-cockpit designs, competitors would switch immediately, for better aerodynamics and for driver safety. But the cars are iconic just as they are, and such a dramatic aesthetic change would surely annoy just as many fans as it would please, so the F1 organizers continue with the open-wheel, open-cockpit tradition. But the changes are coming. We can see them in the F1 concepts from RBR, Renault or Ferrari.

            “F1 cars do it, so it must be better” is very dangerous reasoning. F1 cars are bound by F1 rules, and for many years F1 rules have been deliberately designed to slow the cars down. The rules are largely designed to create a level playing field, but at some point the cars got so fast, and the sport got so dangerous, that the rules also became tools to make the sport less dangerous. That has led to many rules whose sole purpose is to prevent the cars from getting too fast. Formula E has a different approach, Agag is doing it great, except for the fanboost thing.

          2. @drycrust
            What separates F1 from F2 these days? They’re both open wheel and open cockpit so it’s really only the performance. F1 is the top echelon of racing. All I care about is that the F1 cars are the ones with the fastest lap times and all the track records wherever they go.
            Open wheel, open cockpit…as @okif1 says, those are just aesthetic preferences. If you prefer tradition, there is nothing wrong with that. But people forget that a couple of early F1 cars actually had closed wheels. It’s not the end of the world to me, I just want to see the fastest cars and lap times. But that’s just my opinion. :)

      2. Garbage.
        Racing drivers will race anything. The first forms of racing involved vehicles not optimized for circuits. in fact even cr@ppy crossply tyres are often lauded as being more fun.

        Racing should be first and formost about the drivers having fun which makes most forms of motorsport fake.

      3. @mrboerns and @albedo

        Wow, you guys are GOOD! You can tell the Coefficient of Drag just by looking at the cars, and even the downforce levels! Would you mind sharing those numbers with the rest of us…seeing as you can tell just by looking. Clearly you guys know everything about the car so please share your knowledge with the rest of us. Can you throw in the CdA numbers for the Formula E cars compared to the F1 cars while you’re at it.
        Oh, and how about also doing an analysis of the lift generated around the spinning wheels of F1 compared to the relatively closed wheels with the front and rear fairings on the FE tyres.


    2. Exactly. If you’re building stock cars for everyone you can make it look like anything because there’s no repercussions for style over substance. Everyone will be as dog slow as each other. If only that aero was designed to go fast, not just look fast. And how is that open wheel?

    3. The Formula E looks like it does to attract sponsors, teams , fans etc. it looks the way it does to make money. Thats all. And it does look pretty cool.

    4. In F1 teams also receive a box (set by the rules), the only difference is that they are allowed to tweak, cut and bend the parts sticking out…

      I think fans would not accept F1 to get dramatically slower but I am sure they can make a car as fast and more esthetically pleasing. More ground effect to start with, less dependent on aero, sleeker top part, better looking while allowing closer racing… There is always room for improvement.

      1. @jeanrien that is a MASSIVE difference. The reason f1 Cars look similar is that this is the best way to Build a car Inside this ‘Box’. This FE car is some hyperaktive kid or jeremy clarkson glueing fins and rockets to his toy batmobile

        1. What I mean is that the rules should not be an excuse for car not looking pretty. The platypus nose could have been avoided, as the halo could probably be better integrated with minimum impact on performance.

          I am not sure the new Formula E car is not aero efficient. Look at AM-RB001 it’s meant to go fast but it still look sleek and nice.
          Formula one could surely adapt the rule to allow for better looking car and a bit more futuristic (if they want to take this road). That would surely shock some as always but could as well be what is needed to attract younger audience.

        2. No it isnt
          For driver enjoyment F1 would look very very different. most drivers find karting the most fun but then karting is one of the few formula’s not pandering to or showing off to an audience

    5. @mrboerns +1, my thoughts exactly

    6. I agree that f1 cars should look as fast as the rules allow not the other way round, its stupid and artifitcial otherwise.

    7. @mrboerns Not sure why your gears are so ground about this. F1 and FE are two totally different entities. FE doesn’t need aero downforce creating drag, so that leaves them a ton of room to design something futuristic that is also meant to be slippery through the air. Cover the wheels? Sure we’ve seen wheels covered on electric vehicles before, to reduce drag. That makes FE not an open wheel series? Fine, so what…they’re not trying to be F1. FE is absolutely minuscule in it’s scope and size vs F1. I don’t see who is saying F1 should be like FE which is simply like saying an apple should be an orange. I don’t get the uproar.

      1. FE cars don’t go fast enough to generate much, if any, downforce anyway ;)

      2. @robbie

        “Aggressive” new Formula E car an example for F1 – Mallya

        I don’t know, who says Stuff like that?

  6. Not to mention the disappointment when a car design looks so fast but actually drives so slowly.

      1. To me, they look like a five-year-old-boy’s idea of a racing car.
        And when you hear them racing they sound like a five-year-old
        old boy’s toy racing game. And , no, I don’t yearn for the V8/V10
        scream of more recent F1 years. I believe current F1 technology
        is where F1 should be, right at the forefront of advanced multi-
        sourced power units. I’ve put my tin hat on as I wait for the
        storm of protest at my temerity in expressing such views.

        1. 5 year old boys used to land their rockets the same way they took off, which until recently was science fiction. I guess some of those 5 year olds ended up working at SpaceX.

          nobody has the right to say how racing cars should look, anything can be raced usually at first without an audience. F1 panders to an audience and sponsors just as FE wants to, it isnt a raw driver focussed sport like Karting or Motocross.

        2. FE cars will improve, I’m sure. They’re already at the point of not needing to switch cars with fresh batteries.

          I think it is folly and premature to say they look fast but drive slow. Sure maybe compared to F1 cars, but doesn’t that go without saying? FE will never be F1.

          And the cars may be slow compared to ICE powered cars like F1 cars, but they might be impressively fast amongst electric cars.

          They’re two separate entities. One needn’t threaten the other. One needn’t feel threatened by the other. Mallya is just making a comment about the cars’ aggressive look, and F1 has already made a move that way by going back to the pre-98 dimensions, and Brawn has been handing out concept shots of potential new looks for their cars post-2020.

          It’s all good.

          1. They basically doubled the battery power and then chose to drop the car switching. Bad choice. They should have kept the car switching and doubled the motor power. The car switching is not nearly as bad as the lack of speed (in my humble opinion)

  7. Its bad enough that Mallaya still pops up with comments from time to time, especially when its about a series he has naff all to do with (thankfully)… but when he drivels out about FI being “bang for buck world champions”, that must be a kick in the teeth not just for the employees who have lost their bonuses, but moreso those in india who have lost entire salaries


  8. Vettel fan 17 (@)
    13th February 2018, 9:03

    I disagree with Mallya. Formula 1 cars should be designed to look nice. It’s a racing car. I don’t understand all the big noise that ‘this is ugly’ ‘thats ugly’. F1 cars should be fast, after all, an engineers job is to make a fast car, not one that pleasing to look at. Sure, the shark fins didn’t look great, but they must have giving some advantage. The halo can save someone, so why care that it doesn’t look nice. It’s not even that bad, just something extra thats on the car. And yet people are leaving F1 because of it. The formula e car is mainly to look good. But it a racing series. If you want cars to look nice and pretty, ask Rolls Royce to make there championship. But right now F1 is about drivers going as fast as they dare, and engineers trying to find every last tenth possible to shave off. If F1 copy the new FE car, it mainly to look good. Not because it’s fast, or will allow small teams to close up to the big boys.

    PS, sorry if I repeated myself in the article.

    1. Vettel fan 17 (@)
      13th February 2018, 9:04

      *in the comment

  9. Very pretty but will it be able to get up the hill to Casino Square, at Monaco. Shortening the circuit at Monaco, because the hill would kill the batteries too quickly, sort of devalued all of the claims about the series. The shortened Formula-e circuit at Monaco really highlighted the short-coming of the series to me.

    1. do some research
      they have purposely restricted battery development which slowly gets opened up

  10. Force India provides incredible bang for the buck when you consider it isn’t even Mallya’s own money.

    1. Very good, made me laugh

  11. Highly appropriate that the cover picture of the first roundup of the new site is of Formula E car and the first COTD talks about a future F1 driver’s skills in a non-F1 setting.

    Exemplifies the expanding horizons of Keith.
    Cheers on the new name. Hoping to educate myself beyond F1 thanks to you in the coming years.

  12. @keithcollantine congrats on the site/name revamp

    I’m sorry I’m doing this here, but for some reason I can’t send messages. Accessing the profile, notifications, activity, etc sends me (I don’t know if it happens to all of you) to the dashboard and I can’t really see my personal activity (can’t clean the unread notifications either) it only appear general information about the page

    1. Vettel fan 17 (@)
      13th February 2018, 11:16

      Same happens with me. @keithcollantine will this be fixed soon? No rush though, you have enough on your plate with the name change.

      1. @johnmilk @vettelfan17 Thanks am looking into this.

    2. Vettel fan 17 (@)
      13th February 2018, 11:16

      Same happens with me. @keithcollantine will this be fixed soon? No rush though, you have enough on your plate with the name change.

  13. Stop crying because this car looks 10 times better than current Formula 1 , get over it!

  14. So…about a million posts on the subject of the elimination of the position of gridngirl

    1. Darn…once again hit post comment by mistake….

      About a million posts on the subject of the removal of grid girls from F1, and not a single post on professional race driver Danica Patrick’s final two races, being the Daytona 500 and the Indy 500.


  15. The thing is, Formula E can afford to look more futuristic and aggresive. With it’s slow speed wings hardly generate any downforce at all. Most tracks only have slow corners and I’ve seen races where cars lost their front or rear wing, and didn’t seem to effect their lap times. It needs to be functional, not just cosmetic.

  16. That is a very good looking race car!
    People need to realise Formula E is not trying to replace F1, it never has, it never will. The Formula seems good (but no F1) but at least they seem to follow ok. Has some pretty good racing.

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