Interactive: Compare all 10 F1 cars on the 2018 grid side-by-side

F1 technology

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How have Formula One teams varied in their approach to the second year under the current aerodynamic regulations?

As these interactive images of all 10 of this year’s F1 cars show, there are still several key differences in how the teams have tackled the rule book.

Use the drop-down menus below to select which of the 2018 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 nose is still very much in vogue. World champions Mercedes remain the most obvious dissenter, still preferring their slender design. Toro Rosso, who went down this route last year, have now adopted the solution preferred by the majority.

These are all attempts to satisfy the nose regulations, last revised in 2015, with a design which meets crash tests while causes least disruption to airflow in this crucial area of the car. Soon after the rules were introduced Force India came up with a novel vented solution, a version of which Sauber has now adopted as well.

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Front wing designs continue to get more and more complex. Proposals to introduce a simpler version were proposed by F1’s managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn during the off-season but met with opposition.

The field of 2018 analysed

Read the verdict on each teams car plus input from key technical figures:


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The shape of the cars in profile is increasingly shaped by specific regulations governing rear wing shape and size plus the new restrictions preventing the large ‘shark fins’ and, therefore, T-wings seen throughout the field last year.

Side pod and barge board solutions differ widely, however, as this is one of the areas where teams have the most freedom and the most to gain from the rules introduced last year.

Wheelbase variations are noticeable too, though it’s not possible to work out exactly how much each car differs from these images due to variations in how each picture was taken.

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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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28 comments on “Interactive: Compare all 10 F1 cars on the 2018 grid side-by-side”

  1. This is fantastic!

    1. You can clearly see some teams ran tyres of different colours. Now seriously, the cars do differ, there’s different liveries. It’s the T cams they aren’t all the same. Now now seriously apart from wheelbase I think they actually look more varied than last season.

  2. Does anybody know why some of the T-cams are different? I thought they were all a standard part supplied by the FIA

  3. wow, amazing

  4. Are there any info about the lenght of each car?

    1. 2 Panzik
      – Giorgio Piola calculated that Mercedes wheelbase is 3680 mm, whereas Ferrari is 2 mm shorter (3678 mm). But this is a speculation.

      1. Thanks, better than nothing

  5. I love the fact that the lines the drivers hit, are often so similar you can get overlay comparisons that match so closely. The accuracy is impressive.

  6. @keithcollantine geat job again. Just one thing, car names weren’t updated to this year

  7. The first thing that springs to mind is how close nearly all the cars are to each other but in particular, McLaren & Red Bull. I suppose it’s the result of stable rules but also the sheer difficulty of coming up with something clearly innovative when they’re all using “F1 Designer V” software. But the real differences are not clearly visible or comparable. Those myriad turning vanes and Gurney flaps adding up to Downfirce Central. Aero is where it’s at in F1 today and it’s a hole they’ve got themselves into with no clear way out or through..Well done @keithcollantine et al @Racefans for this key piece of media..

    1. *Downforce* – sorry..

    2. WUT?
      McLaren’s and RedBull’s are the two most different designs out there.

      1. All the cars are very different. If all the same colour it would be easy to tell who was who. All look great this year.

    3. @baron
      Look at the sidepods of both Red Bull and McLaren – they are vastly different! Look at the top air intake: McLaren’s is very narrow, while Red Bull’s has a much bigger diameter similarly to Ferrari and Mercedes.

      1. that McLaren top air intake is the smallest, I wonder where they are getting air flow for cooling, because the sidepods aren’t that big either. This is especially surprising, because other renault powered cars have much bigger air intakes at the top, more, you can see how they divide those air intakes

    4. McLaren’s and RedBull’s sidepods*

  8. Surprises me every year how in a state of such secrecy F1 teams somehow build almost identicle cars. This comparison chart is solid. Job well done

    1. This is very easy to understand, Ted ;)
      We are 60 years into the evolution of F1 cars. And in recent years, with the assistance of powerful computers, the engineers have arrived at the very optimum of what you should build between those 4 wheels for best aerodynamics (air resistance, downforce production, airflow to the engine) and weight distribution. There is not much to squeeze out of it. Any drastically different design would simply be worse.
      Then, on top of this, come the FIA regulations that determine and regulate the crucial dimensions (and sometimes shape, indirectly) of the car and its major elements (wings, nose shape, sidepods etc) – this for safety reasons on the most part.

      1. Your knowledge is appreciated. I learned something and believe others have to.

  9. Superb! And if you could get similar shots at Spanish GP in May, we could compare updates put on them in 3 months.

    1. That’s a fun idea!

  10. Wow, Keith, you’ve outdone yourself. I’ll be check back with this many times. Thanks!

  11. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    16th March 2018, 18:48

    Nice one

  12. Once again, Mercedes is the only team with a tidy looking front to the nose and narrow gap between the supports that mount the front wing to the nose. Can we get the thumb-nail protrusions banned ;) (well, at least they don’t look as bad as they did a few years back when they looked like “something” else altogether).

  13. Some really interesting comparisons. I thought Renault and Mercedes looked like they had pretty similar designs. They both had similarly shaped sides cooling vents and a massive airboxes above the drivers head. Neither of them went for very aggressive packaging on the engine cover.

    Most teams have gone for a large airbox over the drivers head for cooling along with a slightly broader engine cover. McLaren are the only exception to the rule. I’m wondering if their slim packaging and tiny airbox are the reasons why they’ve had so many failures recently. They went a little too agressive, especially considering aggressive packaging teams like Red Bull took it slightly easier than expected.

  14. nicely done. kudos, keith.

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