Debate: Are 2007 F1 cars ugly?

Lewis Hamilton, Bahrain, McLaren-Mercedes, 2007, qualifyingEvery F1 car is an exercise in function over form.

But sometimes the by-product of ultimate speed is automotive beauty. Most F1 fans can reel off a list of the F1 cars they found the most attractive.

Today’s cars are distinctive for being peculiarly narrow – as demanded by the regulations – and bristling with finely detailed aerodynamic parts. They tend to produce extreme reactions – many find them hideous. What do you think?

To my eye, the most beautiful F1 cars ever include the dart-like Brabham BT52 of 1983, the classic Maserati 250F used from 1954-60, the svelte Lotus 49 of 1967-8 and the technicolour Benetton B189 used in 1989.

This is an entirely subjective matter. Many people abhor the cars of today but I think the McLaren-Mercedes MP4-22, with its chrome finish and intricate aerodynamics, is a very attractive car.

Jim Clark, Lotus-Cosworth, Zandvoort, 1967, 3I do, however, profoundly dislike the way F1 cars are so narrow, and was disappointed that recent efforts to increase their maximum width failed.

Where do you stand on the ugly F1 cars debate?

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17 comments on Debate: Are 2007 F1 cars ugly?

  1. Stealthman said on 7th June 2008, 8:36

    I believe that today’s F1 cars look very smooth and flowing in their design – very beautiful – but I also like designs from the ’50s and earlier. One example, the pre-war Mercedes-Benz W125. Now that looked tough, fast and beautiful. I loved the shape of the Vanwalls of the ’50s, so sweet and simple. The Ferrari Dino 246 was nice too. But for the record, apart from the Lotuses and Eagle-Westlakes, cars of the ’60s looked like cigars on wheels. And the only modern F1 car I don’t like is the ’08 BMW. Those twin ridges on the nosecone that blend into small wings just sicken me…

  2. Matthieu said on 20th September 2008, 19:26

    Personally, colour schemes over the last couple of seasons have been rubbish and it’s partly the reason why these cars look ugly. Take the Renault ING livery, it looks like someone’s failed attempt to make an omelette. They really need to go back to their blue and yellow paint scheme. I’m also not a fan of the darker red on the Ferrari.

    On the aerodynamics, I find some of the details put on the cars quite good looking, like the ‘Viking wings’ on the top of the Mclaren, but others like Honda’s ‘Dumbo wings’ are hideous, I guess that’s a matter of personal opinion.

    As for 2009, slick tyres always look better on an F1 car. I think the aero regulations will make the cars look a bit less modern than this year’s, but I hope they’ll be a lot more fun to watch

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