"When we started looking at the 2021 auto, the primary objective was to enable the cars to race well together", says Ross Brawn, the sport's technical boss.
First up was the goal of integrating the Halo safety device so that it looks more like a part of the vehicle, and less like an ugly afterthought.
"With the current cars, when they get to within two to three vehicle lengths, they can lose 50% of performance, the tyres degrade more and it becomes very challenging". So we set about understanding why that was and how we can improve it. "It frustrates me when a auto in a video game looks better than a vehicle that we're racing out on the track", he added.
"They said it's a bit underwhelming in their opinion and it looks like an old Champ Car but it's an exercise".
Still, I am curious how hard the notoriously change-resistant teams will push back in the coming months before Brawn finalizes the 2021 rule book. "As the aerodynamicists were evolving the auto, the graphics designer was taking where they were and trying to capture it at each stage", says Brawn. "The aesthetics of the vehicle for me are very important - I think everyone agrees we want great looking Formula One cars".
"I'm definitely going to be driving if cars look like this".
"We see it in other forms of racing, but they are often categories with fixed designs and everyone races the same auto". Notably, the concept also features 18-inch wheels instead of the current 13s. He believes that this idea can mature as it is worked on over the next few years.
"We want to create an environment where there is a queue of people wanting to join F1", he admits. I think it's the first time Formula 1 has majored on these aspects. Further details have just been released on the official F1 website, we'll be sure to have a peruse over these and garner information on some of the key changes.
"In doing this project, we recognised there are some features that benefits come from the nature of the flow that comes off the vehicle in front and the sensitivity of the auto behind to that", Brawn said".
"Teams are now involved in this", he said. "F1 is a great opportunity to promote technology and through F1 in Schools, for the younger students, then there's Formula Student, which is a competition that goes on in universities".