I’m ashamed to say that I don’t overly care for the design of the modern F1 car. I love the sport, I love watching it, and I love the performance of the cars (even if they are unwilling to overtake at the moment). But the aesthetics don’t get me going like a road car would, or a classic Formula car.
Renault has given me hope, however! At the Shanghai Motor Show, the french automaker unveiled their prediction of what an F1 car might look like in 2027. It’s called the Vision Concept, and boasts a number of exciting features.
Before you ask, no this isn’t a digital representation like that Bugatti I talked about a few weeks back. This is a real, working car. In the flesh.
What Renault wanted to focus on was a faster, safer, and more entertaining race. So how does it do this? Just a warning, this is going to be a wordy one.
It all starts with the hybrid powertrain. It has a turbocharged V6 which harnesses multipoint fuel injection. Running alongside the combustion engine are two KERS systems, front and rear, which emit 500kW of power, nearly five times what the current generation KERS systems are producing. And yes, that does mean a four-wheel drive Formula car. Power? 1,340bhp.
The sleek bodywork is all 3D printed which means it can be made to be extremely light while also being recyclable. I doubt an F1 car would ever be recycled, but the opportunity is there nonetheless. The whole car weighs only 600kg, including the high density batteries, which gives it a power to weight ratio of 2.2:1. That’s twice as good as the Koenigsegg One:1.
Now for some rule changes. If you look towards the back of the concept, you’ll notice the absence of a rear wing. Renault are pushing the boundaries of the rule book with active aerodynamics and suspension which can be adapted to optimise the car for different parts of a track. The cockpit is also closed using a polycarbonate material to reduce the risk of injury to the driver and to aid aerodynamics. There are also two pop-up roll bars that will eject if the car senses it’s rolling.
Lighting is a major feature of the concept, being used at the front of the car with a light bar running the length of the front wing. There are also LEDs integrated into the wheels which will show information on the battery for example, or change colour depending on what position the driver is holding just in case you can’t count.
Looking past the clear cockpit cover into the interior, Renault has taken technology one step further yet again by integrating a screen into the steering wheel that will display social media interactions with each driver. This would show the drivers what kind of reaction the public are having to their driving via tweets and Facebook messages etc. Whether the drivers will have the concentration to look at who’s retweeted their latest ‘pit selfie’ I don’t know, but apparently that’s what we will want ten years from now. There are rumours that state the more social interactions a driver is getting, the faster their car will go, similar to Formula E’s FanBoost system.
Taking after a lot of modern road cars, this F1 car is autonomous. This means in the event of a yellow flag or pitting, the drivers have control taken away from them so the cars stick to speed limits and don’t hit or block each other – I’m talking to you Hamilton.
This marks an interesting turn in where Formula 1 may be heading. With the purchasing of Formula 1 from ol’ Bernie, something like this could be very possible with the focus turning to the viewers and the excitement of the sport, and away from the cars and the endless hunt to find the perfect lap time, as well as a full bank account.
Renault may have developed the key to turning back the Formula 1 clock. By looking into the future, maybe they can bring back the niceties of the past.
What do you think about Formula 1 at the moment, and what would you like to see in the future? Let us know in the comments!