Formula 1
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
42 days
Formula E
Rome ePrix
10 Apr
Next event in
33 days
28 Mar
FP1 in
19 days
Doha GP
02 Apr
Next event in
25 days
16 Apr
Next event in
39 days
23 Apr
Next event in
46 days

Fan opinion: Are 2019 F1 cars prettier than their predecessors?

Motorsport Network’s app for racing enthusiasts – Motorsport Fans – allows its users to create content, get rewards, status and respect from fellow fanatics. Here, we bring you the top article from this week…

Fan opinion: Are 2019 F1 cars prettier than their predecessors?

By user craigwoollard on Motorsport Fans

It is impossible to define beauty. Whether something is pretty or not is subjective. Cars, especially racing cars, also do not have a set of rules to outline whether one is beautiful or not. The 2019 Formula 1 regulations were conceived with the idea of making going racing easier, but have the cars also been made more aesthetically pleasing as a result?

We have now witnessed all 10 cars in action, and the team at Motorsport Images has produced some excellent photography to showcase the new machines. There are definite changes to the shape of the cars – the front wings are more simplistic and are wider, which in a way does hark back to the regulation changes from a decade ago.

But the comparison to that change stops at the rear of the car. The rear wing has been lowered, the DRS flap widened even further than was the case previously and there is much more dependence on the likes of the T-Wing to produce downforce in that area.

The new front wings don’t seem to be to everybody’s cup of tea. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has stated that he’s not a fan. Some of the designs, such as Mercedes’ conventional front wing, definitely look nicer and cleaner than some of the interesting concepts as deployed by Alfa Romeo.

The sides and floor of the cars are largely unchanged – if anything they are evolutions from the previous two years. The sidepods have become so tight and the area in front of them have become so complex and simply messy. This is what I like to call ‘scaffolding’.

And this scaffolding has appeared towards the rear of the cars as well, and what cleanliness we had at the front of the cars has been nullified by what has sprouted up in the middle and towards the rear of the machines.

The floors are also messy, but other than from a top-down perspective, it’s not easy to spot. All of these aerodynamic quirks that get the technical experts all giddy are not necessarily nice to look at, but that has been the case ever since aerodynamics were introduced to the racing car.

The overall shape of the car – which has converged more and more to the ‘coke bottle’ approach, is quite simply a work of art. It shows how tightly-packaged the 734kg in each car is.

It’s difficult to not notice the likes of the halo and the sidepods that have been so high for more than two decades now, especially when comparing to the cars of the early-1990s. The continued cocooning of the drivers has not improved the looks of the cars one bit, but safety has rarely ever been sexy.

It’s not just the shape of the cars that have changed, it’s the liveries too. Mercedes has tweaked its livery and arguably for the better, with some lovely three-pointed star detail on the engine cover that is a throwback to its first car after returning to F1 back in 2010.

Ferrari has gone matte with its paint, which is a ‘Marmite’ decision. Some love it, and some hate it. Personally, I’ve never been keen on matte paint on F1 cars, so the Red Bull is not exactly a looker either. The outrageous one-off launch colour scheme was nicer.

Renault’s interesting scheme has not changed much, which is fine. The same goes for Toro Rosso, which has run one of the best liveries in recent years. Alfa Romeo and Racing Point may have new identities, but the colours have not changed much. Those schemes look more refined, although the Racing Point does look a bit messy with its many (odd to say that about a contemporary F1 car) sponsors.

Haas’s JPS Lotus-inspired livery brings a welcome return to black and gold to the grid for the first time since 2015. It would be nice if the gold was more prominent, but in hindsight from the side it would look too similar to the Renault.

McLaren has done a good job with its livery, utilising some of the bits that stick out to its advantage, and hiding some of the messier aspects of the car as well. It is not perfect, but it is better than what it was in the previous years of this orange era. If only there was a nice, bold sponsor on the side of the car…

Williams’ new, post-Martini colours have been likened to a tube of toothpaste, but it’s not exactly what can be called ‘mint’. Some will disagree, and will see the Williams as a pretty machine, even if it’s not likely to be a fast one.

Ultimately, this isn’t the prettiest grid ever, but it’s far from the worst. It’s so much better than half a decade ago when most of the cars were some sort of shade of grey and most of them had nasty appendages stuck to the front. We’ve come a long way since then. The little changes made arguably makes this a slightly better-looking grid than was the case a year ago.

Click here to see the article in the Motorsport Fans app, and download the app to have your own say and discover more incredible content written by the fans for the fans.

Like this story? You might also like on Motorsport Fans...

Waiting for a chance in the shadows

Testing, testing – was F1’s pre-season experiment a success?

Mettetal crowned as 2019 Volant Winfield winner

Previous article

Mettetal crowned as 2019 Volant Winfield winner

Next article

Fernando Alonso invests in Motorsport Games

Fernando Alonso invests in Motorsport Games
Load comments

About this article

Series General
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Prime

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them.

Jan 31, 2021
The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home Prime

The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home

Keeping trophies and momentos of key triumphs is par for the course for motorsport professionals, but what are the most cherished souvenirs picked up by the drivers and engineers who have seen and done it all?

Dec 26, 2020
Why motorsport should consider a mid-week future Prime

Why motorsport should consider a mid-week future

International motorsport has been the preserve of weekends, but the pandemic forced Formula E to get creative with its Berlin season finale as four races were held mid-week. Should FE and other series break with tradition and repeat the experiment?

Oct 5, 2020
How pragmatic principles made Ron Tauranac a design legend Prime

How pragmatic principles made Ron Tauranac a design legend

Jack Brabham's 1966 world championship campaign in his eponymous car was also a defining moment in the career of designer Ron Tauranac, who would apply the same ethos to his ultra-successful production racing car business, Ralt.

Jul 23, 2020
The ingrained failure motorsport must fix to avoid 'turf wars' Prime

The ingrained failure motorsport must fix to avoid 'turf wars'

OPINION: The FIA has warned that the major motorsport championships must not get engaged in 'turf wars' when it comes to the urgent need to re-organising the 2020 calendars, but there are tedious past problems that must be addressed to satisfy all.

May 3, 2020
The tech changes that could seal a Nordschleife record Prime

The tech changes that could seal a Nordschleife record

Volkswagen's I.D. R smashed the Pikes Peak record and now its attention has been turned to Nurburgring Nordschleife. The ultimate benchmark there may appear far out of reach, but technical changes to the car have made a new electric record possible

May 3, 2019
The story of motorsport's single biggest safety advance Prime

The story of motorsport's single biggest safety advance

Today, the HANS device is commonplace in motorsport, but it wasn't initially greeted with open arms. This is the story of a major safety breakthrough and the man whose invention has saved countless lives.

Feb 10, 2019
Motorsport's greatest imposters Prime

Motorsport's greatest imposters

There are many tightly enforced rules in motorsport – some complex, some simple, but there have been a few extraordinary instances of teams and drivers bending the rules and getting away with it

Dec 26, 2018