A Few Thoughts on the New Cars

The changes to the Formula One technical regulations for the 2014 season have essentially mandated ugly cars—at least the front ends.  None of this year’s models will win any beauty contests when compared to the cars of previous years (although there have been lots of ugly cars through the years, as well).

But this all could have been avoided.

In 2012, stepped noses were introduced and everyone complained about how ugly they were.  Then, for 2013, teams were allowed to use vanity panels to hide the stepped noses.  Now, we have the protruding, skinny, snout-like noses (on most cars), and everyone is complaining again.

mclarenPhoto credit: McLaren via Twitter

No doubt, the regulations will be fixed for next year so the current noses are replaced, or at least hidden.  So why couldn’t we have just skipped a step and come up with a better solution for 2014?  That is exactly what should have happened and, hopefully, will in the future.

Despite the noses, some of the cars still do look OK, and most of the teams have done their best to hide the nose tips with their paint jobs. Red Bull and Marussia in particular have done a good job camouflaging their noses.  And oddly enough, none of the cars look bad from the side.

rbrPhoto credit: Red Bull Racing via Twitter

Mercedes and Ferrari have opted for different solutions…their noses do not stick out the same way as the other teams.  And they definitely look better.  Lotus also has an interesting “tuning fork” nose.  I think it would look better if the two ends were the same length.

lotusPhoto credit: Lotus F1 Team via Twitter

As for the liveries, Force India has made the biggest change since last year, replacing most of the white on their car with black, to match their title sponsor Sahara India Pariwar‘s logo.  It actually looks quite good.

f1Photo credit: Force India via Twitter

McLaren has a more-or-less naked chrome car, kind of like a shiny Mercedes, at least until they announce a title sponsor.  Right now, it is too plain.  The team has been getting a lot of attention for their rear suspension, which apparently aids the airflow over the rear diffuser—in a passive, legal way.  Could this be the 2014 version of the 2009 Brawn double diffuser, which won Jenson Button the world championship?

As for Caterham, their livery is mostly the same, but I don’t know how to describe the front end of the car.  It is truly hideous, but I guess it will look a lot better if this is the car that finally gets the team into the points.

caterhamPhoto credit: Caterham F1 Team via Twitter


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