Variable testing

Man, but next year’s F1 cars are ugly. I’ve been itching to see one up close since the regulation changes were announced earlier this year, and yesterday, at the first full test of the winter ‘off season’, I got my chance as the new breed broke cover for the first time.

What can I say? That they make a bulldog chewing a wasp look like Kate Moss, that’s what.

These tests are notoriously hard to read at the best of times, and I’ve never attended one in which there were more variables: old cars, new tyres (slicks: they looked bloody marvellous), hybrid aero set ups, some bloke called Nico Hulkenberg in a Williams… But there was no mistaking the ’09 BMW as it rumbled up the pit-lane.

Rather than the usual aero geniuses, they’ve clearly opted for the designers from Fisher Price this time round. The out-sized front wing looks like a fat lip, while the one at the back has all the visual grace of a Hackney high rise. I honestly can’t recall an uglier racing car.

There used to be a truism in motorsport that if a car looked good it usually was good. God knows where that leaves next year’s grid. Of course, pretty soon we’ll get used to the changes, and we’ll forget all about this year’s model which, while no raving beauty itself, at least represents the peak of the aerodynamicist’s art.

But the era of the beautiful F1 car is definitely over, with at least one technical director warning me that there’s no guarantee that next year’s mutants will be any easier to overtake, or overtake in. In its desperation to improve the show, the FIA has scored another own goal. I only hope I’m proved wrong come next March.

Luckily, happier things were happening in Barcelona, too. One was the return of the name Senna to an F1 timing sheet, the other was the appearance of a familiar motorsport name in an unfamiliar setting.

Sebastien Loeb, five times world rally champion, was testing a Red Bull, and he didn’t disappoint. As I say, you can’t read that much into an F1 winter test. But I know a fast racing driver when I see one, and there was no doubting Loeb’s sheer pace. Or application: he didn’t make a single mistake in 82 laps.

Read the full story in the next issue of Top Gear magazine. In the meantime, somebody please say something kind about next year’s cars…

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check this out: based on an article i read in F1 magazine a few years ago, if there were “no rules,” the cars would kind of look like this: the 1982 experimental Williams FW08B:

http://www.itv-f1.com/pho to.aspx?im_id=51416

basically, the entire car would be a wing, mainly using ground effect for downforce. A modern version would have no actual rear wing, because it would be superfulous, and instead of a front wing, it would have two small winglets sprouting from the nose, which would act as trim tabs.

it would have 4 rear wheels, and the really cool part is that in the rain, they would run slicks on the rear-most pair of wheels, and rain tires on the fore-most rear wheels. what would happen is that the front pair of rear wheels (confused?) would basically evacuate the water in front of the rear pair, providing essentially dry ground for the slicks to run on. pretty crazy!

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i was thinking about something alonso V10 reno went around the TG track in 59 something and these new cars with frozen engines and reduced aero will be slower. so my question is how long until non-formula one cars catch up i mean a DBR9 with a 1:09 and a caparo T1 with a 1:10 it would be a sad day when any other car can go faster then a F1 car

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ugly

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The kindest thing that can be said about that BMW thing above is: damn! It looks like as if next year we’ll be watching Formula 3000 races from the 90’s.

I’m trying to figure whether any of the ugliest F1 car of the past could be uglier than this. 1996 Ferrari springs to mind (before the nose being raised), but it wasn’t bad enough to beat that BMW.

I’m wondering what if not power and reliability (=budget) and tyres, as ever obviously, will decide things next year. We shall forget this year’s Toro Rosso and Renault, who improved little things that won’t exist any more, like aerodynamics.

What’s sure, is that F1 no longer features the ultimate machines. F1 cars are going to be dodgy ugly carts barely capable of going round a track as fast as 10 years ago.

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So far it’s just mr E. to blame. FIA actually didn’t say a word about changes or medals. This is only Ecclestone’s crap. Please FIA, don’t disappoint us by accepting even that idiotic medals idea.

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Man the new F1 cars are horrible! This & the new medals system about to come will probably make my interest in F1 fade away!

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what the hell was wrong with all the bits on the cars? i loved them, bit of personalisation on the body work did no one any harm, but we could have done without them. These cars could be much nicer than last year if they sort the wing restrictions out?

The only reason they’ve made these changes is to supposably increase viewing figures and ‘action’ in races, but they’ve added more regulations to an already overloaded rulebook. stupid bernie ecclestone, the knob. by making the cars this ugly you’ve lost all of the viewers that want the ‘glamour’ of motor racing. Honestly, if your daughters weren’t as sexy as they are there would be no reason for you to be on this earth.

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why are the cars this year so horrible what are the FIA thinking of just as F1 was getting intresting they decide to make it rubbish agian cant they just let them race

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I love how they look, personally.

F1 cars turned from gorgeous open wheel racers into alien/fish-looking hybrids around 1998 or 1999, and I’m glad they’re finally reverting back to a clean, simplistic design.

I agree the front wing looks a little odd, but the rear wing looks awesome–tall, like the wings from the 80s, like the F189 and the McLaren MP4/4.

The whole point is, the cars look purposeful–function over form, in a simplified manner. Function was WAY over form from 1998 to 2008, and resulted in some downright stupid looking features (rabbit-ears anyone?)

I’m really looking forward to this season and these cars look really cool.

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GET RID OF ALL THE WINGS!

THEN the cars will look good, and there will be more passing.

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The new O9 F1 cars look like a school wood technology project. Boy will I miss the brilliant aerodynamic extensions of the McLaren MP4-23.

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not a bad bloger
but for f1 styling

on the sceen like the guys in the pits

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not a bad bloger
but for f1 styling
can it look more like how the guys in the pits have it on ther screen

then i can comment.

on the sceen like the guys in the pits

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not a bad blogs site
for f1 the styling could be as if your writing to an f1 boss , the tv ,cable man, inform radio failure , oxygen needed asap pits in number5 have gased pits 4 and 6 with smell of fish ,camera sreen 550 now being replaced with camera 599 gtb ,

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oxygen man fallen

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camara 550 replace
to599

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cam
550
replace to 599gtb

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oxegen
arrived in
pits4 andpit 6

pits5 have now a smell of piss coming outb there thanks tyrone

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toliets leeked out into pit 5

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smoke coming out of entrance to pit lane and worried drivers will be able to see in the rain

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someon e turn of there
wind tunnel its draining the electric

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would be safer in a ford mondeo

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xbow come and have look at this

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