Formula One comes out with a new, overhauled set of rules every few years, like when it went from its beloved V8 engines to hybrid V6 turbos in 2014. The next magic number is the year 2021, when we don’t know what exactly the rules will be, but we do know the cars will maybe, possibly look something like this.
Photos popped up on Twitter before Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix, showing F1 managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn and Pirelli boss Mario Isola giving some sort of presentation. Aside from once again reminding us the powers that be at F1 have zero taste in font styling, the presentation slides had renderings of a “2021 concept car” on them.
Even before this presentation, F1 has said again and again that the goal for 2021 is to make cars and engines louder, cheaper and more fair. The 2021 goals are just proposals for now, but in April, F1 still wanted to put more emphasis on drivers than on how much teams can spend and develop to give their cars huge advantages over others. The concept car, at least on the surface, seems simpler.
Here’s the concept from versus the current car:
The concept itself looks way sleeker than the current generation, and someone evidently found a way to make the halo cockpit bar blend in better than it does now. It also has a much simpler front wing compared to the current car, which F1 said would happen as early as next year. F1 also wanted to lower aerodynamic outwash from the front wing—basically, to lessen the air going to the outside of the tire—and the sides of the front wing on the concept car are a lot higher.
But the concept car isn’t some kind of end-all look at 2021. The slide it’s on, for one, has an interesting header note: “Concept 2.” Makes you wonder how many concepts there might have been during the presentation, and how many more F1 is deciding between. Also, the curse of the years-early concept cars is that they almost never make it into real-life use.
Either way, the designers over at F1 seem to have a grasp on what looks good for the future of racing. Sometimes, that’s all you can ask for.