Mid engine, rear seat layout

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    Dear Fellow F1 friends,

    I am looking to see if I can receive a definitive answer, concerning the placement of engines and the seating of the driver under the current regulations. The reason being the new Nissan WEC car that was doing laps in the USA. They are looking to compete with a mid-front-engine layout, with the driver seated behind the engine. Would this still be possible in F1 with the current regulations? Is there a loophole which could facilitate such a layout, or why it would not be possible?


    Gene Haas


    As far as i know it would be ok, as long as you pass all crash tests etc but would be very difficult areo/ mechanical wise as would mean alot of weight distrbution problems, longer crankshaft etc


    I tried to decipher the regs, trying to figure out if it was legal. In any case, even if a loophole existed for such a design, I don’t think it would work in this open wheel category. Cooling, aerodynamics, weight distribution, tyre usage, cockpit safety… all of this would need a complete rethink. I would imagine most of the accumulated knowledge of the current mid-rear layout would be rendered irrelevant.

    Basically, even if it did work, I’d be surprised if it was as fast as the 2014 Caterham.

    This is based on no science whatsoever and is only my opinion.


    Dear Gene, I’m not sure if the regulations have actually ruled out a forward engine but having the driver sit above the drive shaft would severely penalise aerodynamics and center of gravity. I suppose you could offset the cockpit into one of the sidepods but who would you get to partner Alex Zanardi with that layout, or are you still thinking of a single car team ?


    Ross B.

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