New cars’ looks are “not good enough” – Alonso

2014 F1 season

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Jerez, 2014Fernando Alonso says F1’s engineers need to find ways of making this year’s generation of cars look better.

The appearance of many of the new cars has drawn criticism as teams have resorted to unorthodox solutions to new aerodynamic regulations. Many cars feature long, thin noses while Alonso’s Ferrari has a steeply sloping front.

“They are uglier,” Alonso admitted in an interview for CNN. “I think we have to be honest with our fans and ourselves first of all.”

“They are not good enough because people look Formula One like excellence of motorsport, of aerodynamics, excellence of performance and technology. And when you see those front parts of the car, it doesn’t look like all the things we’ve said.

“I think we will find different solutions. The engineers are clever enough to make the car fast and also beautiful.”

Alonso added he will have to perform at the top of his game this year in order to stay ahead of new team mate Kimi Raikkonen.

“I think he’s very talented,” said Alonso, “so that is a huge help and a huge motivation for myself, first, and also for the team because the team knows it has to deliver a good car because Kimi will deliver a good result.”

“Myself, I know that I need to deliver at my best. If not, I will not be able to be in front of Kimi. So that is only a good and positive news for Ferrari.”

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73 comments on New cars’ looks are “not good enough” – Alonso

  1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 4th February 2014, 16:08

    I don’t think the Mercedes looks that bad.

  2. Ciaran (@ciaran) said on 4th February 2014, 16:14

    It’s not the responsibility of the engineers to make a car look good. It’s their job to make a car that can perform as best as it can within a certain set of regulations. Frankly, it’s embarassing that people are making such a big deal out of this.

    • Kisii said on 4th February 2014, 16:23

      If you trace the history of motor sports, you will always find a concern with the aesthetics of the race car. Always.

    • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 4th February 2014, 16:26

      @ciaran What’s truly embarrassing is people who slam others’ opinions only because they disagree with their own.

      No one blames the teams for this debacle, as no one in their right mind would expect teams to sacrifice performance for looks. But it’s a debacle nonetheless for which the FIA is responsible, and those who were in charge of framing the regulations should be sacked. But of course they won’t be as the FIA is never guilty of anything it’s always others’ fault

    • Beto (@chebeto) said on 4th February 2014, 17:03

      I agree, @ciaran. I actually don’t mind how the cars look. I didn’t mind stepped noses either. For me it’s more about the competition and technical development than the looks.
      I agree that the cars mostly aren’t pretty this year, and I think it’s ok to have it as subject of debate. I must admit I giggled quite a bit at the launches of the cars this years. But if Toro Rosso’s dong turns out to be the fastest solution, then so be it. I don’t think the engineers should be worried about the looks, it’s not their job and it would be a waste of resource to invest time and money to optimize “the looks”. At the end of the day, the car that appears to most on TV will get paid the most by the sponsors, and that is usually the fastest car.

    • Sharon H (@sharoncom) said on 4th February 2014, 18:30

      Perhaps it should be their responsibility. You would consider aesthetics when designing a road car for instance. The current cars with their various “appendages” are not what you want a poster of for your bedroom wall, nor in sugar form on top of a birthday cake, nor a double-page spread in a magazine advertising a sponsor’s product. All of those things have been part of F1 for a long time.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 4th February 2014, 19:03

        Perhaps it should be their responsibility.

        No, that isn’t what engineers do. That is what designers do. There is sometimes a cross-over, but I expect a lot of top F1 engineers couldn’t design a car aesthetically at all. They design parts with a purpose and that is it. It isn’t their job and I don’t see why it should be.

    • soundscape (@soundscape) said on 5th February 2014, 0:49

      I agree @ciaran. An engineer’s job is to extract performance and efficiency within a set of rules or bounds. Designer’s design. This is fundamental across all disciplines.
      Engineers being required to make things also look pretty leads to conflicts of goal. Fix the rules, fix the engineer’s final product.

  3. andae23 (@andae23) said on 4th February 2014, 16:22

    To be honest, there are much bigger problems than “it doesn’t look nice”, like for instance the financial state of the sport and tyre life.

    • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 4th February 2014, 16:34

      @andae23 True, though we don’t know yet if the tire life will be a problem this year. And you haven’t even mentioned the elephant in the room: the-Bernie-has-lost-his-mind-super-duper-tesco-car-park-first-sector-is-quite-good-but-the-rest-of-it-is-s*i*-doubly-important-race-bonanza-etc-etc

      • andae23 (@andae23) said on 4th February 2014, 17:58

        @montreal95 That’s indeed the biggest problem: the obsession with trying to fix things that aren’t broken.

        • obviously said on 4th February 2014, 18:15

          That’s indeed the biggest problem: the obsession with trying to fix things that aren’t broken.

          I think you defined F1 in one line. It’s so sad, but so true.

          I think that’s actually a sign of a much larger problem. It’s a bit like a band that’s trying to stay “relevant” but they are really so far off removed from what life really is for a normal people and fans, that they actually have no clue what to do with themselves. I feel F1 is in the same situation. The sport became so overbloated with money, glitz, fame and sense of selfimportance, that it doesn’t even have a clue what is that it’s supposed to be anyway, but at the same time is so obsessed with being what it thinks it’s supposed to be.

          They forgot what they actually are, underneath all of that added, ultimately irrelevant, side effects of success.

    • @andae23
      I don’t have money, but my wife is beautiful. It helps me to smooth bad times :P

    • Girts (@girts) said on 4th February 2014, 16:48

      @andae23 Agreed, give me financially stable teams, a competitive 30-car grid, real tyres, get rid of DRS and double points and I’ll be over the moon even if the cars look like octopuses.

  4. Nick (@npf1) said on 4th February 2014, 16:40

    Well, the last time I thought a thought normally reserved for a woman of an F1 car was 2008. I’m more inclined to look at LMP1 cars if I want my x-rated race cars.

  5. timi (@timi) said on 4th February 2014, 17:03

    As the 2011 cars were, as were the 06-09 cars. Who cares really? We complain about them when they’re introduced, but after a few races we realise the racing is what really matters.

    N.B Fernando, the cars aer ugly due to the designers. It’s important to note the Red Bull, Mercedes, and to some extent McLaren engineers were all able to follow the regs and produce pretty nice looking cars.

    • Yeah, and the racing is pure rubbish so what we are left with are ugly cars. I actually like most of the new cars but compared to pre 2009 it’s embarrassing. F1 needs to go back to its roots on all fronts and scrap everything that has been introduced in the last decade. There hasn’t been one positive change i can think of and it continues to get worse every year.

      • timi (@timi) said on 5th February 2014, 12:03

        @racectrl How can you judge the new changes before one qualy or race haha? It doesn’t make sense. Give it a chance buddy :) It’ll be much better than expected.

        • My bad. I forgot about the exciting feature of drivers conserving fuel as well as tyres. This year is going to be a carbon copy of 2013(driving within set limits) with the added spice of unreliability. Personally I don’t believe that’s enough to hide the bad taste.

  6. timi (@timi) said on 4th February 2014, 17:04

    I think the hideousness of the 07 and 08 cars deserves a second mention. The amounts of winglets was a joke! The cars looked as if they’d gone through a carbon fibre spare parts bin at full speed!

  7. Tim M (@tim-m) said on 4th February 2014, 17:48

    If the nose were straight like a Ferrari 641, and the wings were black, then the Ferrari might actually look ok. (but that wouldn’t get enough air under the nose, so it will never happen)

    I don’t know about the minority/majority of opinions, but I think almost every 2014 car looks worse than their 2013 counterpart.

  8. Paul Armsyrong said on 4th February 2014, 17:55

    The Merc, ferarri and the Mclaren look great to me. Better than the last few years at least.
    The fact fact that the grid will look so different this year, reminds me of 70’s and 80’s when there the designers had different interpretation of the regs.

    • I think Mclaren actually good looking especially with those lap times :).
      Did Alonso just mention someone else’s car again? Well, pretty soon then.

  9. Ron (@rcorporon) said on 4th February 2014, 18:00

    Not a fan of the noses on the cars this year either but it really doesn’t bother me. As long as the racing is entertaining I really don’t care too much what they look like.

  10. mateuss (@mateuss) said on 4th February 2014, 18:14

    Many beautiful cars on the grid this year. I find it odd that some are suggesting there is a need for a change as if there is some agreed definition of what makes a car good or bad looking.

    • Mash29 said on 4th February 2014, 19:42

      There is actually otherwise you wouldn’t hear so much complaining. Look at the force india or the marussia again and tell me that isn’t offensive.

  11. Maciek (@maciek) said on 4th February 2014, 18:17

    I’m surprised that a lot of people seem to talk about “the” noses on this year’s cars as if there were no variety, when quite the opposite is the case. To my eye, besides the backmarkers, the only truly unappealing designs are the Toro Rosso and (sadly) Sauber. Force India and Williams are maybe not too exciting to look at, but they’re quite good looking. Ferrari is funky, but interesting. Mercedes is an aggressive looking machine and the McLaren is as sleek as you could wish for in an F1 car. If only the back wings would be lower… Overall I find it’s it’s quite a good looking batch of racing cars.

  12. Patrick (@paeschli) said on 4th February 2014, 18:36

    I’m already tired of this discussion about the looks, get over it …

  13. George (@george) said on 4th February 2014, 18:46

    The only problem is the nose, and that will probably look better when the teams start refining them. I’ve said it many times, the 2009 cars looked horrible at launch (with the exception of the Brawn), then over the next few years they got better and better, stepped noses notwithstanding.

  14. Compared to the step noses of the last two years I think this generation is an improvement. Except maybe the Caterham.

  15. I am getting quite used to this already and by now I can not for the life of me understand how anybody could possibly chose the high noses – or even worse; the stepped – over this years designs!

    Looking at the high noses now they look just awful, clunky and worst of all SLOW!

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