Improving the look of the 2012 F1 cars

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Ferrari F2012 - edited by Jeremy HancoxRecent rules changes have conspired to give us a very strange-looking generation of F1 cars.

The aerodynamic changes introduced in 2009, followed by the reduction in nose height brought in this year, has led to creations which run the gamut from awkward to outright ugly.

Maximum-width front wings, plus disproportionately narrow rear wings, plus stepped noses equals some decidedly unattractive cars.

“The undoubted ugliness of 90% of the 2012 F1 cars just means it’s more of a challenge to make them look good in pictures,” lamented photographer Darren Heath on Twitter recently.

Happily the FIA is planning to tweak the rules in the future: reducing the height of the front bulkhead to do away with the steps, and reducing the width of the front wings.

So how could the improved generation of 2012 cars look? It’s over to graphic designer Jeremy Hancox who’s already posted some excellent designs in the forum.

First up Jeremy tackles one of the least attractive cars on the grid. Ferrari told us the F2012 would look pretty when it won a race. It turns out they were wrong – what it really needs is a break from those restrictive 2012 rules.

Note that these designs don’t obey the proposed new technical rules to the letter – they’re just intended to show how the current cars would look if the key offending passages of the rules were tweaked.

In short: narrower front wings, lower and wider rear wings, and no stepped noses. Here’s how they look.

‘Fixed’ Ferrari F2012

Ferrari F2012 - edited by Jeremy Hancox

Ferrari F2012 - edited by Jeremy Hancox

View the original car:

Improving the liveries

Jeremy also turned his attention to some of the cars’ liveries – have a look at these three re-skinned racers:

Sauber C31

Sauber C31 - edited by Jeremy Hancox

Sauber’s current livery is one of the most unfathomable on the grid. Jeremy replaced the mishmash of black and white with a more cohesive black and blue treatment.

View the original car:

Williams FW34

Williams FW34 - edited by Jeremy Hancox

With the Williams, Jeremy moves the design closer to the retro style already aped by the current car.

View the original car:

Ferrari F2012

Ferrari F2012 - edited by Jeremy Hancox

Finally we turn our attention back to the Ferrari. Here Jeremy does away with the white in favour of black wings with a splash of yellow which suits the soft Pirellis very nicely.

View the original car:

Share your thoughts on Jeremy’s designs in the comments. You can also contact him via his website.

If you want to post your own designs, head over to this thread in the forum where you can embed images of your own via Flickr.

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126 comments on Improving the look of the 2012 F1 cars

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  1. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 30th March 2012, 13:06

    They look nice, although I think the C31 really needs to be white instead of grey.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 30th March 2012, 15:12

      Agree. I actually only prefer the Ferrari to the current cars. The 2010-2011 Saubers were good enough in comparison to this year’s.

    • Yorricksfriend (@yorricksfriend) said on 31st March 2012, 5:07

      Noooo! There’s too much white on the grid as is

      • Lotus (@lotus) said on 2nd April 2012, 17:32

        I think that only the ferrari looks better as well. I think that whatever is the most efficient design and the most functional shape should be used. I personally don’t mind the new noses. The paint on a Formula 1 car just covers up the inner beauty of a functional working body.

  2. Out of these designs I really like the Sauber livery.. I cannot wait until 2013 when we can get rid of these ugly noses, the w03 looks horrible when you see the onboard camera!

  3. MW (@) said on 30th March 2012, 13:07

    Beautiful! The sauber looks like an angry beast!!

    Jeremy should be employed to revamp F1!

    • GEOFFREY (@) said on 31st March 2012, 12:20

      Exactly, all those cars look way better than they currently are. Just said ‘Wow’ for the Sauber, ‘Beautiful’ for the Williams and ‘Great’ for the Ferrari…
      Hope there is more to come from Jeremy on this topic, would like to see custom Red Bull and McLaren for instance, good job!

  4. Eleanore (@leucocrystal) said on 30th March 2012, 13:09

    I have to admit, while not a huge fan of the Sauber livery, I really do like the look of the Williams this year. You could argue for a bit more white, I guess (Lotus shows that revisiting classic tobacco sponsor-era livery on current cars can be a great success), but I love the dark tone of blue they have now, and it’s one of my favorite liveries currently racing.

  5. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 30th March 2012, 13:10

    Wow…absolutely beautiful liveries, and a much better proportioned Ferrari as well. First, I hope F1 designers take note (especially with regard to the liveries, they can’t do much about the technical regulations), and second, why did they make the current Williams so dark, and the Sauber so boring?

    • Hare (@hare) said on 30th March 2012, 22:14

      Marlboro will love the white being removed. Not too impressed with the liveries to be honest. There were some great ones pre-season, especially the Williams, with more yellow in, harping back to the Mansell era..

      However, it’s interesting to see the cars without the lobster wing, and stepped noses.

  6. Alehud42 (@alehud42) said on 30th March 2012, 13:11

    I don’t mind them keeping the wings how they are, just drop the chassis height to eradicate those stupid noses.

    • I’m not a fan of changing the rules just to make the cars more aesthetically pleasing.

      • Ral (@ral) said on 30th March 2012, 13:58

        On the other hand, the chassis are as high as they are for aerodynamic reasons. Anything that diminishes aerodynamic reliability is a plus. Ergo, lowering the chassis would kill two birds with one massive, ugly stone. :)

    • Omar de la Cruz (@omardelacruz) said on 30th March 2012, 15:15

      I actually like the cars since 2009. The narrow rear wings and wide front wings suit me just fine.

      • Wallbreaker said on 30th March 2012, 15:41

        I must admit, I called these cars ugly in 2009 and now seeing the Ferrari with the wing sizes of 2008 and earlier, it really looks strange to me because I really got used to the current wing specs.

  7. Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 30th March 2012, 13:12

    I like the Red, Black or Yellow of the Ferrari reskin. Very early-90’s Scuderia.

  8. DarthRaiden666 (@darthraiden666) said on 30th March 2012, 13:15

    These look much, much better.

  9. Macca (@macca) said on 30th March 2012, 13:16

    These are beautiful designs mate, what programs did you use to make these changes?

  10. Katz, Tim said on 30th March 2012, 13:17

    Very nice images. I really like the Sauber and Williams liveries.
    The Ferrari is a bit of an easy target. Even this would improve its appearance×300/5e06319eda06f020e43594a9c230972d/FAD748.jpg

  11. shrayyef (@shrayyef) said on 30th March 2012, 13:19

    the Williams looks very good they should try this, but i didn’t like the ferrari

  12. smokinjoe (@smokinjoe) said on 30th March 2012, 13:21

    Sauber looks stunning…

  13. maxthecat said on 30th March 2012, 13:22

    Nice. I noticed the step noses are on the detachable part of the front wing so it wouldn’t be hard for the teams to do away with them in favour of a slightly more step curve. However i think a lot of teams are using the step to vent air around the car and out over the rear wing/rear wheel area so it’s probably more than just an aesthetic change.

    • Andy said on 30th March 2012, 15:32

      The problem is that FIA wants a lower nose so that it doesn’t hit the driver in the case of a t-bone. In order to both have a lower nose and and no step, the front bulkhead must be lowered. All teams except 2 pushed the bulkhead to maximum height for maximum amount of air passing under the nose.

      Nobody wanted the step. It creates unnecessary drag and airflow detachment. The thing is the FIA wanted lower noses for better safety and the teams wanted maximum air; the result was the flat nose.

  14. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 30th March 2012, 13:24

    The Sauber does look incredible, as does the red and black Ferrari.

  15. Mads (@mads) said on 30th March 2012, 13:31

    I actually quite like Ferrari’s Red with white details livery, but with the black it just does look better overall.

  16. JPedroCQF1 (@joao-pedro-cq) said on 30th March 2012, 13:32

    Those liveries are amazing!

  17. MRFS said on 30th March 2012, 13:40

    Bit like 2006 really.

    • Mike (@mike) said on 30th March 2012, 17:07

      And we’d have trains of cars only passing during pits stops with those wings again as well.

      But that doesn’t matter because they look pretty. -.-

  18. BasCB (@bascb) said on 30th March 2012, 13:50

    Lovely Idea. The cars look a lot better like that. The Sauber is amazing, the Williams really brightens up and the Ferrari without stepped nose suddenly looks great.

  19. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 30th March 2012, 13:51

    Oh the Sauber is SO good. Kudos, Mr. Hancox

  20. I don’t necessarily mind the high rear wings, they also hark back to the supposedly good ol days of F1. The cars don’t look too bad, the stepped noses though, are possibly the worst looking thing in the history of F1. So most of the 2012 cars are ruined, although I think the Force India has probably done the best job with the stepped nose, then Lotus.

    That redone Ferrari livery is just amazing, really wish they would go back to that style, but Santander won’t allow that.

    • Mads (@mads) said on 30th March 2012, 15:51

      It isn’t nearly as bad as some of the creations from the 70’s. Those were eye wateringly ugly. Most of them anyway.

    • matt90 said on 30th March 2012, 22:35

      I also don’t mind the full width front wings when they’re matched with the wide rear wings. Ideally I’d like wide, high rears, and fronts that are either full width or narrower, but definitely higher than the pinched ones from 05-08.

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