With around a month to go until testing begins, the usual talk of car unveilings has begun!
This particular part of the Formula One season has become less and less of an event as time has gone on. The days of extravagant and expensive ceremonies in exotic locations has been and gone. It’s more common nowadays to see two reluctant drivers emerge from their garage buried under hats and coats to unveil their car on the frosty first morning of testing in Barcelona.
Formula One and the Technicolor grid
I found myself less excited by the prospect of new Formula One cars in recent years. Teams aren’t as flamboyant with their livery designs as they used to be. There is far too much grey for my liking. Even Renault, who added a splash of much-needed colour to the grid last year, could only manage a solid yellow car. A look at the grid feels a bit like a primary school art lesson. Bland and simple. Id love for the teams to have a little more finesse with their paint jobs.
Advertising has taken a huge hit in recent years. Drivers are relied upon to bring in their sponsorships which can be emblazoned on the cars for a hefty fee. Sponsorships have long been the source of car liveries in Formula One. Some of the most iconic car designs of all item have been inspired by sponsors. JPS Lotus anyone? Unfortunately, those kinds of brands no longer have a place in the sport.
I find it difficult to understand how Formula One, for which the visual element is hugely important, consists of far too much grey. The track is grey, I’ll let them off that one. But in 2016, the Mclarens were black, the Haas cars were grey, Force India were predominantly grey and Mercedes are “silver”. It’s hardly the most striking set of cars we have ever seen.
Car performance will be crucial this year
My interest this season is centred on the performance of the new cars. This is the first attempt at correcting the downforce induced stalemate that has taken a precedence on Grands Prix in recent times.
I excited to see first of all how the proposed aerodynamic changes work in practice. We have all seen the CGI predictions and technical diagrams, but the real thing needs to be impressive. There have been some very positive comments made by some designers so far, so I am hopeful we should get a very satisfying look to Formula One in 2017.
Secondly, and I think more importantly, the sport needs to be competitive. We cannot have twenty-two cars following each other round at a distance dictated by a cars’ aerodynamic deficiency. These technical amendments need to confront us issue head on. That is after all, why they were decided upon in the first place.
(Motoyen CC BY 2.0)
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(Motoyen CC BY 2.0)