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

  1. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 30th March 2012, 14:46

    These are beautiful.
    But if I remember correct, the narrow rear wings were introduced to reduce aerodynamic wake. And that could mean that bringing back those wide wings would create even less real overtaking and more of that artificial DRS humbug.

  2. Roald (@roald) said on 30th March 2012, 14:47

    I’m still sticking to my point, especially after having seen that Ferrari with different sized wings on it. The most important thing that needs to be changed are the hideous attachments running from the nose to the front wing, directly attaching the wing to the nose, automatically forcing the tip of the nose down.

  3. Firstly, i’d like to congratulate Jeremy for his awesome work.

    Personally, i believe Ferrari and Sauber look so aggressive and dynamic. You should definitely forward those designs to the teams. As for Williams, i for one, who love to get back to early 90s, with the dark blue/yellow/white Mansell red five style. :)

  4. Oh yes I wish Williams would bring back that Rothmans livery, just makes me remember being a little kid again when Williams were dominant.

  5. TED BELL said on 30th March 2012, 15:16

    They are what they are. Why don’t you live in todays world and accept them for what they are. Trying to relive the past and having everybody rave at your ideas here makes me wonder what side of the fence most of F1fanatic fans are on. My suggestions over the years for F1 to return to its roots to a certain degree, have been meet with sarcasim, insults and questions of my passion for the sport. Accepting the current rules and how they affect the appearence of the cars seems to be of the utmost importance. Until today the idea of such drastic change was unacceptable and the majority so far who have responded to the brilliant artwork by the way, are all about it. We can only hope for better looking cars in the future.

    This generation of cars has given the fans what they want, a fairly even playing field. The 2012 Formula One cars look superb. Tough, aggressive and challenging.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th March 2012, 16:40

      This generation of cars has given the fans what they want, a fairly even playing field.

      Who’s to say we can’t have close, exciting racing with good-looking cars?

      Take the nose steps, for example. They’re not there for performance reasons, it’s purely a question of safety.

      I don’t understand why you seem to think creating close racing and having good-looking cars is mutually exclusive.

      I don’t understand the “trying to relive the past” remark either, at least not when it comes to the rules. Two of the liveries have a retro edge to them, so I could see where you’re coming from there, but even then Williams’ existing livery is clearly a nod to the old ’90s design.

      • TED BELL said on 30th March 2012, 19:36

        Formula One has always been about how the cars look and with that ofcourse the performance of the cars. I would love to see a really great looking racecar and one that kicks the ass of its competition. I have watched Ferrari very closely over the years and often find myself anxious in anticipation of the next generation of cars. When the 2012 car was first released I was troubled by how bad it first looked. Now having seen the entire 2012 field I admit to really liking what they have become.
        Sure the step noses are kind of unusual but as I wrote make the cars look rather aggressive. These cars are what we have for the rest of the season so I have decided to accept them for what they are.
        Trying to relive the past is more about this whimsical attempt to imagine what the cars could be if this and that was changed. By the way the renderings were superb but my comment is more about how everybody was gushing at what the artists concepts were for these imaginative cars and also saying that many who read F1fanatic have been critical of comments I have made raising the idea of stuff from the past that was and is still good. Many have challenged me by questioning my interest and commitments to the sport. Today I simply challenged the need to romance the idea of what the 2012 cars should or could be. They are what they are, get used to it.

        • David Smith said on 30th March 2012, 20:26

          I think you took the whole article way to seriously by far.

          • TED BELL said on 30th March 2012, 22:14

            Your right…I have taken Formula One seriously from when I got into the Grand Prix garages at Long Beach after hours and witnessed Clay Reggazoni have a mishap when fitting his seat. As he stood up the liquid foam had leaked through his seat shape and had covered the back of his clothes to the delight of the crew and just two days later I watched him fold his car up at the end of the straightaway in a crash that paralized him and ended his career.Wowed then and really wowed on race day. I have taken the sport seriously since then.

        • SouthPawRacer (@southpawracer) said on 31st March 2012, 5:14

          They’re just pictures, ideas. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming, much less because it has no effect on the way things are run in the sport for real.

  6. Fixy (@fixy) said on 30th March 2012, 15:18

    I didn’t even notice the wings had changed dimensions in the F2012 initially! Maybe it’s because they look normal like that? :P
    In the 2nd picture the rear wing looks strange, perhaps too low… but it’s better than current ones.
    The nose without the step is clearly a good step forward (pun intended :D ), but it still looks enormously wide!

  7. Jason Ferguson (@jason5165) said on 30th March 2012, 15:19

    Loving the Sauber design!

  8. Erik said on 30th March 2012, 15:21

    I love the liveries, but the narrow front wing just looks dumb to me. The front wing needs to be as wide as the tires, period. I suspect if the rules were changed to reduce the width of the front wing, the shapes would be altered drastically to deflect air around the tires.

  9. THOMF1S said on 30th March 2012, 15:22

    I have to say they are all brilliant liveries! One has to ask how some people (i.e. Sauber’s livery designer) churn out the bland crap that they do when the potential for creating something so aesthetically beautiful is so great!

  10. Andy said on 30th March 2012, 15:34

    I do see some difficulties though with the changes. The lower nose probably would matter only very little concerning speed, looking at McLaren, but the smaller front wing and lower rear wing would create huge losses in downforce. I hope they trade that off with changes that increase speed, like they did in 2009 (where they reintroduced slicks.)

  11. A-Safieldin (@) said on 30th March 2012, 15:38

    Can we see one with the wide front wings and the wide and shorter rear wings? Cause the front wings arent all bad.

  12. il Leone said on 30th March 2012, 15:43

    Keith, get the McLaren a black livery and see what the Ferrari would look like with the livery of Disney Pixar’s Cars 2′s Francesco Bernoulli.

  13. AkaSparks (@akasparks) said on 30th March 2012, 15:47

    I dislike the stepped front nose as much as the next person… but I must admit I do like where Ferrari positioned the car number on the nose. It’s pretty neat to see ’5′ on Alonso’s car when he’s driving straight towards a camera during the race.

    Oh ya… and implement ALL 3 of these proposed liveries immediately!!

  14. OEL F1 (@oel-f1) said on 30th March 2012, 15:48

    That “fixed” Ferrari actually looks just as weird as the current one! I’d say keep the rear wings high, although make them wider like pre-2008. As for the front wing, it relly looks out of place given the extreme height of the nose, so the wider one would look better there in my opinion. Or just make the nose lower, although with the diffuser advantage recently found out they will never go back as low as before I guess.

  15. urizen said on 30th March 2012, 16:03

    Ferrari- inspiration of 1991′sFerrari?

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