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. ferrari probably have about 100 people working on the livery of the car or something. think about all the cost cutting that could be done if you let this guy design the car

  2. My favorite one is the Williams although the Sauber looks amazingly striking too

  3. Luke (@lsmanley) said on 30th March 2012, 16:27

    This is a great and important topic of conversation. The aesthetics of F1 cars has been sorely overlooked for a long time now. Today’s cars are an abomination! The thing is we’ll never have truly good looking F1 cars until the track is increased to at least 2000mm and low noses are made mandatory (along with your other suggestions on wings etc). The stance of F1 cars hasn’t looked right since the introduction of the narrow track (1800mm) rules back in 1998. A wider track and low nose also gives the impression of the cars moving faster on TV. I would also add a titanium skid block to the underside of the car, to bring up sparks when the car bottoms out. This looks spectacular and adds to the sense of speed. People sometimes say going back to a wider track would make overtaking harder, but my argument is – back in the 80′s, the cars track was 2150mm and the circuits were generally narrower and they could overtake fine back then. Love the re-imagined liveries as well.

  4. Chalky (@chalky) said on 30th March 2012, 16:44

    They do look nice, but with the Williams you do think “Rothmans” rather than PDVSA with that livery.
    So, I doubt that would be acceptable to the main sponsor.
    That is always the problem. The cars main sponsor, as they are paying the most money, will get the ultimate say on the livery.

  5. Colm O Neill said on 30th March 2012, 17:07

    i think williams curently have a cool looking car (obviously aside from the platypus nose)

  6. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 30th March 2012, 17:23

    The liveries look great but personally I like how the new-spec wings look. That top Ferrari just looks weird with a really low and long rear wing now.

  7. I actually like the Ferrari as it is. With the smooth nose, it looks out of proportion and loses the aggressive look of it.

    The Red and black livery is nice, but I’m always in two minds of designs that hark back to a previous era. They might looks nice, but why not make new designs that people will look back on fondly in another 20 years?

  8. Shivy said on 30th March 2012, 17:32

    When I was at winter testing at Barcelona, the worst car to take pictures of was the Sauber, I called it the ‘Cow’, I did think a carbon effect car would look amazing, like a darker version of the McLaren, that is exactly what i was picturing, very very good, the Williams looks a bit like the 97 Arrows and the Ferrari is just beautiful also.

  9. Nixon (@nixon) said on 30th March 2012, 17:35

    No offense or anything, but the Ferrari looks plain wrong. the reason could be that the different parts are not created to work together, since the car is made up of different years.

  10. joac21 (@joac21) said on 30th March 2012, 18:02

    the ferrari and the sauber look great!! send the proposal to the teams!!

    dont dig the so low rear wing.

  11. zzkiper (@zzkiper) said on 30th March 2012, 18:03

    Loved the retro look on the Williams car

  12. F1Underground (@realf1underground) said on 30th March 2012, 18:12

    This Sauber looks of some other Galaxy ! awesomest design ever

  13. Sean Newman said on 30th March 2012, 19:27

    Am I alone in thinking the current cars are too long and narrow? I much prefer the the wide aggressive look of last years indycars.

    Wider tyres would help too provided we could get rid of some downforce.

  14. bart said on 30th March 2012, 19:30

    ugly wheels on first two pics.

    And NO, the cars don’t look good even without the nose. Better, but still not good. The cars looked best in 2008!!!!!

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