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. The Last Pope (@the-last-pope) said on 30th March 2012, 19:43

    Those liveries are great especialy the Sauber, haha I can tell all three are retro modern day versions of the three teams 1996 livery.

  2. -billadama- (@billadama-2) said on 30th March 2012, 20:14

    the Williams car looks incredible nice with the new colour scheme

  3. il Leone said on 30th March 2012, 20:20

    I have a challenge for Jeremy, Keith.

    That morphed 2012 Ferrari front nose, Red Bull RB8 stepped-nose (With that little slot), Mercedes AMG W-Duct, Drag Reduction System on the Williams FW33-Belgium spec Rear Wing, McLaren MP4-25 F-Duct, McLaren MP4-26 L-style sidepods, Ferrari 150° Italia-Spain Practice rear wing uphold and Mercedes W01-Spain/Force India VJM04/Lotus T128 style middle air-pod.

  4. cjpdk (@cjpdk) said on 30th March 2012, 20:29

    The red and black Ferrari looks absolutely evil. Well done, although I don’t like the yellow on the rear wing.

  5. ozzy (@ozzy) said on 30th March 2012, 20:51

    Nothing has conspired more than the red bull conglomerate. They were the ones to veto a reasonable solution to stop the cars looking like extinct birds.

  6. Chris said on 30th March 2012, 21:18

    nice!, especially a fan of the williams livery. All 3 are much better than what they are currently.

  7. David Smith said on 30th March 2012, 21:36

    Silver/Or the current colour of the Ferrari Rims would look even better on the reliveried Ferrari. can we see all the cars re-done?

  8. UKFan (@) said on 30th March 2012, 22:31

    That Ferrari livery is gorgeous, send that to Ferrari asap lets see if we can make them include this livery into their F12 2.0.

  9. The Money (@pamphlett31220) said on 30th March 2012, 23:12

    All of these pictures are nice but as for the 2012 cars i don’t think they are at all ugly,ok the stepped noses do make the cars look a little different but i think most of the teams have incorporated the step quite well(apart from mercedes).I know its personal preference but i think the 2008 ferrari,with all the little winglets everywhere was far uglier than this years ferrari car,i think alot of the 2012 cars look very agressive in appearance with the noses,large front wings and narrow rear wings.

  10. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 30th March 2012, 23:28

    I’m not really sure what’s going on with Sauber, livery-wise. I suspect that Carlos Slim is holding off, waiting to fully-invest in the team until Esteban Gutierrez gets a drive. I’ve heard rumours that he eventually wants to buy the team from Peter Sauber and re-badge it as a Mexican team. If Sergio Perez goes to Ferrari, then I imagine that Ferrari will get some backing from Claro, and Sauber will become a flagship for Telmex and/or Telcel.

  11. cubejam (@cubejam) said on 30th March 2012, 23:55

    Bar the stepped noses on some cars (The Red Bull looks nice), there’s nothing wrong with them.

  12. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 31st March 2012, 0:15

    Personally I don’t care too much about the noses or wings, whatever is fast and isn’t a McLaren or Ferrari is beautiful in my book, but those liveries are fantastic!! LOVE the Sauber, much more aggressive looking, less like a corporate banker’s casual wear and more like a proper race car. Who’d have guessed that simply brightening up the Williams’ blue would be such a drastic improvement? I like the yellow rim touch as well. Goes very nicely with the soft Pirellis. Very nice. Hopefully some eyes in Grove and Hinwill will be steered in this direction.

  13. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 31st March 2012, 0:58


  14. mr ROSSI (@mr-rossi) said on 31st March 2012, 1:56

    The re-done cars look great! Stepped noses are bad for F1`s image.

  15. Dan (@danb) said on 31st March 2012, 2:10

    Sauber livery is superb. I can’t stand their current colours, they have been horrendous from 2010 onwards. To quote Murray Walker, “it looks like they’ve loaded logos into a can and fired them at the car”. Grey and white colours are so dull too. Their classic Petronas liveries were so beautiful. 

    I was saying to someone last week that if Williams want the retro Rothmans livery, they should go all out and replicate it properly, just like this design. Looks great. I’d make the blue a halfway house between this and what they have now. Needs to be metallic too. 

    I wish McLaren would make a small change to their current livery; I think swapping the current chrome for a smoked chrome would make their car look awesome and separate their colours from Mercedes ‘Silver arrows’. 

    On the subject of aerodynamics, the Ferrari here unquestionably looks better than anything we have seen since 2008, but I really think the wings we have now aren’t so bad. 
    Yes, they were shocking at first and there were some ugly cars to begin with in 2009 (McLaren and BMW), but equally there were some nice looking cars too (Brawn and Toyota). 

    These cars really came into their own in 2010 though, with the slightly narrower front tyre balancing the appearance of the front wing and the longer chassis having a similar effect on the car overall. I really liked the 2010 grid of cars, the Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari were all beautiful machines. Force India and Renault were tidy too. 

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