How do the 2009 F1 cars compare to other single-seater racing cars?

Heikki Kovalainen testing the 2009 Mclaren at the Algarve circuit

Heikki Kovalainen testing the 2009 Mclaren at the Algarve circuit

The 2009-style F1 cars have got a lukewarm reaction from fans – less than half of F1 Fanatic readers thought they looked good when we did a poll on it last week.

To get to the heart of what’s gone wrong with F1 car aesthetics I thought we should compare them to top single-seaters from other categories – and see which, if any, look better…

For me, the GP2 cars are the pick of the bunch. Low, fast, wide – they look sleek and quick.

A1 and Superleague have got good body shapes, particularly the A1 car, which is very similar to the Ferrari F2004 F1 car. There’s some gaudy liveries though, and some of the football strip designs on the Superleague cars look ghastly. Not as bad as the R29′s mind…

I never liked the look of the current Indy cars. It’s such a shame they effectively replaced the handsome Panoz chassis used by Champ Car in its final season in 2008, or the neat Lola that preceded it. The World Series by Renault cars, which ape the design of past Renault F1 cars, suffer from too many ugly aerodynamic protusions.

I’m surprised how good the new F1 cars look by comparison – though the difference in size between the front and rear wings is still a problem for me. What I can’t help but wonder is, if the GP2 cars can serve up great racing without having to use daft wings, why do this year’s F1 cars have to?

And the best-looking car is...

  • F1 (37%)
  • Indy Racing League (6%)
  • GP2 (32%)
  • World Series by Renault (9%)
  • Superleague Formula (5%)
  • A1 Grand Prix (11%)

Total Voters: 363

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More about GP2, GP2 Asia, WSR, A1GP, IRL and Suprleague Formula on Maximum Motorsport

Images (C) www.mclaren.com (x2), BMW ag, Ferrari spa, IRL (x3), GP2 Media Service (x3), Renault World Series (x3), Superleague Formula (x3), A1GP.com (x3)

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50 comments on How do the 2009 F1 cars compare to other single-seater racing cars?

  1. Oliver said on 5th February 2009, 0:30

    Its amazing the amount of daylight you can see when viewing the 2009 F1 cars from certain angles.
    The cars don’t look aesthetically well balanced.

    Its a known fact that as one grows older, we begin to lose our attraction for those stylish and modern looking things and instead gravitate towards those nostalgic or even blandish or drab articles. I believe Mosley’s eyes have lost their attraction for those things that are stylish. He now thinks in straight lines rather than curves.

  2. AJ Ball said on 6th February 2009, 13:26

    Those Formula Nippon cars look the business!
    Perhaps its the lack of an airbox that makes the car look lower and sleeker. It worked for all the old CART cars and that one-season Panoz. It’s a shame the IRL haven’t bothered with the Panoz instead of those lumpy things- Robin Miller has it right calling them ‘boats’.
    GP2 cars are nice but a bit bland. They look too ‘spec’ and like cheap F1 copies. And they have the same ‘T’ on board camera that spoils the look.

  3. Cars in almost every other series look like a normal formula cars and still the racers are interesting.

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