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Race #1 of the 2012 Formula 1 season is officially in the books. Along with a talk of a more exciting season after inconclusive winter testing, everyone has had a few words about the way the new cars look, one of the most common being "ugly."

The stepped noses used on most of the field are how every team, save for McLaren and Marussia, dealt with new regulations. In the video after the jump, Mercedes F1 driver Nico Rosberg explains the look of his car from front to back. With Michael Schumacher putting up a good time in mixed conditions during the first two Free Practice sessions, there just might be a swan in there somewhere.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Time will tell if the McLaren and Marussia are competitive on the track by not doing the step on the nose, but they have definitely already won the beauty pageant. That step nose is a hideous way to stay on the razor thin line of regulations.
        Reece Lightning
        • 3 Years Ago
        well mclaren just won the australian grand prix and also came in third so i guess its turned out well so far
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Reece Lightning
      • 3 Years Ago
      A great race yesterday despite all the ugly ducklings. The McLaren car stuck with the same beautiful lines of last year good to see it worked out for them. Out of all the new designs I think the Mercedes team has the best looking version of the new design, Go Nico & Shumi!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think it is futile to argue about the looks of a F1 car. Remember a few years back when BMW had those terrible walrus looking noses for a few races? Who cares. There have always been unattractive cars in an attempt to optimize performance. There have also been beautiful ones from Lotus Type 72 to the F2001/02. F1, I believe, is in the best place it has been in years. The field is rife with talent, the entertainment value is back up and the cars are safer than ever. I am a sucker for the old cars too, but I would never want to go back to the deadly days of F1.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Man I miss the days of 1200HP, slightly aerodynamic carbon fibers rockets on slicks, with 6 speed manuals, and no traction control, no KERS, no ABS, no nothing. That was real racing. Modern day F1 just looks like a line of ants overhead - there's no real action anymore. No one dives in late for the corners, no one cuts anyone else off, no one brake tests, no one slides out. The best action I've seen in the past 5 years is the one guy who cut over the grass and launched himself just to get in front of someone else.
        • 3 Years Ago
        You must not have been watching F1 lately, and especially not the Aussie Grand Prix--it was a nail-biter until the end, with TONS of action. You also have to recognize that the racing back then was characterized by much slower speeds, less handling, less reliability, and lots of deaths... all of which people have told the racing world they don't want. SO, F1 today is the way it is because those people who drove those 1200hp cars with no downforce realized it wasn't the best the sport could do... and as you progress and refine, the competition gets closer together (look at the Olympics and what sets a 1st place and 5th place finish apart--it can be only hundreths of a second...). I love the old cars too, but these new ones, and F1 today, are still really, really exciting.
      New Shel
      • 3 Years Ago
      Take away all the aero aids, mandate 1000hp, AWD and stick them on 185/60R-15 all-seasons. And each course has to be at least 30% dirt. F1 fixed.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @New Shel
        Drop that HP number a bit and you've basically got European Rallycross - great, great fun to watch. The boys on Top Gear did it this past season at a lower level, but at the top of the sport it's crazy good fun. They're running cars quite similar to WRC cars but with more HP and on a closed course that is part tarmac, part dirt.
      Ace Convoy
      • 3 Years Ago
      ...F1 cars have ALWAYS been ugly... It's a cool kinda of ugly... but still........
      • 3 Years Ago
      I personally like the industrial purpose built look of these things. They'll grow on people.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I recon they should throw away all these BS rules and regulations and return to the days of "anything goes" racing. Bring in a spending cap where teams get a fixed amount each year to spend on cars and drivers so the bigger teams like Ferrari cant simply spend their way to victory and let the teams decide how to allocate that (more money spent on hiring the best driver and less on building the best car or more on the car and less on the driver) Have some basic rules on things like tires and engine size and so on but make it "anything goes" with regards to technology like aero improvements, ground-effects, KERS etc. Mandate all the safety devices like fire suppression systems, helmets, HANS devices, harnesses and continue to invest money in finding ways to make the sport even safer. If the spending cap is not enough to keep the bigger teams from gaining an advantage, you could require the bigger teams to share some of their tech like their KERS system with all the other teams. But most importantly get rid of any restrictions that in any way restrain (or try to restrain) the top speed, acceleration and power of these machines. Go back to a nice powerful 10 or 12 cylinder engine and tell the environmentalists to get stuffed (the amount of pollution added to the atmosphere by a full season of F1 even with a nice powerful V12 engine is a tiny blip compared to the total amount of pollution added to the atmosphere each year and even if F1 was completly canceled, it would do essentially nothing in the fight against climate change and pollution.
        Nick Aroutsidis
        • 2 Years Ago
        Go Back to Fast cars with big engines and turbos.... like back in the 60's 70's and 80's.. where a driver died or almost died every year. Yeah not such a good idea. I LOVE the restrictions and rules that force the cheif designers and aero engineers to come up with fantastic innovations within (and sometimes stretching) the set of rules they have been given to them. THAT is the beauty of F1. You want salary caps and same old same old cars, start watching INDY
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hope Rosberg has a good year.
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      They've been ugly ever since all the makers raised the noses up from the front wing a couple years back. The nose used to bend down to the wing, now it is as high as possible with a big "drop hitch" to connect to the wing. The billboard area behind the engine intake hasn't helped either, but that's was mandated to look ugly (be very large and noticeable) on purpose, so what are you going to do?
      Jonathan Arena
      • 3 Years Ago
      How about he explain why the best looking cars on the grid made all these step-noses look slow?
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