• Jan 26, 2011
F1 Racing's 2020 projection – Click above for high-res images

Think of what a future F1 race car might look like and you're likely to conjure up images similar to the Red Bull X1 prototype. But the fact is, in all likelihood, an F1 car nine years from now will look pretty much like the ones we see today. After all, how radically different are contemporary F1 racers from the ones we saw a decade ago?

You can expect some significant changes to come into effect, though, over the coming decade, as the sport grapples with finding the sweet-spot in terms of spectacle, environmental friendliness and the like. Speaking with Renault F1 designer Pat Symonds, F1 Racing magazine came up with their projection. It takes into account such anticipated features as low-profile tires on larger wheels, ground-effect aerodynamics returning to replace the downforce reduced by the standardized rear wing and a beefier Kintetic Energy Recovery System good for a 250 horsepower boost.

Of course all these projections could prove way off by the time 2020 rolls around, but they could prove spot on. We'll just have to keep watching to find out. In the meantime you can see the only two images which the publication has released, or head to the newsstand to see more.



[Source: F1 Racing]
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FORMULA 1 CAR OF 2020 REVEALED

Formula 1 car design will undergo more radical change in the next 10 years than in the last decade, according to the new F1 Racing magazine.

The magazine, revamped at the end of last year, has teamed up with Renault F1 chief designer Pat Symonds to give motorsport fans a glimpse of what the F1 car of 2020 will look like and how it will perform.

Low-profile tyres on bigger wheels, the return of ground effects aerodynamics, Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) that produce 250bhp and a standard, non-downforce rear wing will all be components, according to Symonds.

The article, featured in Issue 179 of F1 Racing, on sale from January 27, theorises on how future regulation changes could lead to radically-different F1 designs.

The results take into account the likelihood of future rules on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions but assume that F1 will remain an open-wheel, open-cockpit formula.

F1 teams have already been instructed to reduce their fuel consumption by 35% in future generations of racing cars, while a more environmentally-friendly 1.6-litre turbo engine will be introduced for the 2013 season.

Symonds said: "Taking into consideration all the variant motivators that drive regulations, I expect that the F1 car of 2020 will demonstrate much more change than has been seen over the past 10 years.

"A few simple assumptions can determine the basic architecture of the car," he explains. "By the time we add a few changes, such as larger wheels and low-profile tyres, we start to get a fairly clear picture of what the car might look like.

"The illustrations we've produced are certainly an artistic impression, but they capture the essential characteristics of a car that will be contesting the Formula 1 World Championship in 2020."

F1 Racing magazine is available in all good newsagents, priced £4.60.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm sure they will look much more radical than this if the FIA has there way. I just started followed F1 in 08' and i'm already sick of all of these rule changes.
        • 3 Years Ago
        The 2010 season was WAY more exciting than the 5 or so years before it due to the rule changes. We didn't know the winner of the driver championship until the last lap of the last GP.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think it is way too hard to predict that far down the line for future F1 regs, but all I gotta say is I am way more interested in seeing what the cars will look like in 2013.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Formula one would be awesome if they lifted all restrictions on the cars.

      Let the best aero, engine and computer technology come forth and trickle down. (which unlike economics, works)
        • 3 Years Ago
        That's a recipe for disaster.

        I mean, Can-Am was the same idea in the 70s, and look how many lives it took.

        I'd like to see a racing series that says, "you get x btus for qualifying, z btus for practice, and w btus for the race. Spend them how you wish."
        Hydrogen, electric, jet turbine, they all would be allowed. And then throw some rules down like the downforce at any speed up to 250 miles per hour cannot exceed twice the cars' weight, active aero is alright but we'll need to see your windtunnel logs plz.

        And maybe some tire rules like 16 total tires for the weekend do what you want.

        Power trains, which would be anything used to generate or convert forms of energy, must last 3 race weekends.
        • 3 Years Ago
        That looks about as aerodynamic as a brick, compared to the 2010 car designs.

        That is an atrocious looking car, compared to today's. Let's hope they look nothing like this, in 2020. I think the cars in 2000 were more sculpted than this monstrosity.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yup... Remove all the restrictions and kill all the F1 race drivers.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Crash technology has certainly gotten better. I'm typing this here today because modern safety equipment is so good.
        I was in a dirtbike crash that would have killed an unprotected person, but I had all my gear on, and got to keep my life.

        But danger is a function of (1) speed and (2) safety equipment. No doubt with modern safety equipment, not a single can-am driver would have died with their 70s era go-fast technology and our 21st century safety gear. However, I bet the speeds would be so great in a modern, unrestricted race series that our safety gear just couldn't keep up.

        • 3 Years Ago
        I'm actually for financial restrictions because it adds another interesting constraint, but I think the tech is far, far too limited. I'd like to see what teams can do, given fairly open specifications, within a certain budget.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The most critical issue, at least when it comes to drivers and designers, has long been air flow behind the vehicles. Even though modern F1 cars are incredibly slippery in terms of drag, they leave some pretty messy air behind them, making over-taking very difficult. They have tried to address this over the years, but teams always find a way of pushing the rules as far as they can (e.g. rear double diffuser, wing stalling devices, etc). I don't think the smaller teams at the back of the pack will be able to effectively compete until they set standards for rear air flow. But then again, even though individual teams and drivers may ask for such a standard, at the end of the day they don't want it applied to them, just everyone else.

      Who knows what will happen in F1, especially when some much of it seems at the whim of Bernie. I just hope that they bring back some real testing, to allow up-coming drivers some practice. Either that or have it mandatory that a test driver put in x number of laps early on Friday. Though I don't see FOTA agreeing to that anytime soon either. Ah hell, I don't care what they drive or how, I just want Lewis to win this year :-)
      • 3 Years Ago
      So they're abandoning aerodynamics all together?

      :P