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Question of the Week

TG readers say these are the changes they’d make to current F1 cars

Our latest QOTW drafted some interesting ideas that would require the dismissal of any and every rule in the book

Published: 14 Jun 2024

Last week, the FIA revealed more details about its proposed changes to Formula One regulations from 2026, led by lighter, more powerful cars which take a significantly different design approach to improve aero and efficiency. It’s been a pretty big talking point, to say the least. 

And given that 85 per cent of the world believes they alone hold the true key to Formula One car design (including us lot at TG), we thought we’d pen the idea to our readers. So, which changes would you introduce to the sport to increase excitement value?

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Let’s kick off with Gandubilli Siddarth’s, er, shall we say ‘explosive’ idea. Quite literally. “Rockets. Huge rockets on the back, and rockets at the front for braking, like you get in a C-130.”

Thought that was radical? How about this one from T Bird: “Give them V10s with manual gearboxes and all-wheel steering. The design can stay as it is, but they’ll have all-terrain tyres for the added dirt track section of the circuit. Oh, and don’t forget the snorkel air intakes for the puddles of mud.”

Still too capped, did you say? Here’s Tom Larkin’s solution: “I would be quite open to seeing what teams can do if they’re given maximum engine displacement and car length/widths, so we can see what they’d come up with using the current budget. I’m sure Ross Brawn suggested something similar in the past.”

Playing somewhat into that idea is MJC’s comment: “My ideal Formula One car would be a different shape to everything else in the pack. Instead of unique liveries, I want unique body shapes. I want to be able to recognise my team’s car even if everything on the grid was painted the same colour.”

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Our penultimate inclusion takes a slightly older approach, not that we’re complaining. It’s been filed by Msterbee, and here’s what they had to say: “My favourite era of cars was during the mid-late ‘60s. I appreciate the simplicity of the cars during that time - either with or without wings. Though if they have them I prefer the ones mounted close to the car and not those on tall struts.

“Cars like the Lotus 25, the AAR Gurney Mk1 and the McLaren M7C. I would be interested in seeing them remade but with modern materials. Modest (or not) aero and relatively narrow tyres, too. It's a riot watching the Goodwood races where the cars are always squirrelly in the corners. Always on the ragged edge. Something like that would no longer be the pinnacle of open-wheel racing in terms of speed but they would still be very fast and the races great entertainment.”

And, finally, let’s draw things to a close with Samarkand’s idea: “Make them smaller. Much, much smaller. The bigger the cars are - especially with width - the harder overtaking is. Formula One cars used to be 1.5 metres wide, but they’re now over 2 metres wide. They used to be 3.5 metres long, and now they’re over 5.6. 

“Ideally, we ought to be able to make them smaller than they were in the past, but just going back to those sizes alone would help a lot. Just for some perspective on what you can fit into a car of that size, the McMurtry Speirling is 3.4 metres long and 1.5 metres wide.”

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Talk about convincing arguments with science. Great comments as ever this week, folks. We’ll see you on Monday with the next episode, which will revolve around the world’s racetracks.

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