#MotorsportTribune: The Future Visions
Just a few days ago, Renault unveiled its vision for the future of Formula One in ten years with the R.S.2017. Like countless of other Formula One concept, it’s radically different from the machinery that we are seeing today on track.
Interestingly, Renault is just the fourth team to unveil a future Formula One concept. Previously, Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari had all released their future visions for the sport in past years. Each concept has its own philosophy and design for the future of Formula One.
With the four concepts, we might have a closer look into what Formula One can look like in the near future. The 2017 rules are just the beginning in Formula One as it is now creating some of the most complex cars in the history of the sport.
What we are seeing in the concept, the future is certainly open especially with Liberty Media and FIA looking to push Formula One forward for the new generations.
The Red Bull “X” Series is a group of concept car designed and created by “Design God” Adrian Newey for the acclaimed Gran Turismo series on the Playstation since 2010. Although never been planned as a Formula One concept, its designs is based closely on the technology of the sport.
Initially the concept of the X2010 was based on a low air resistance, single seater covered wheel prototype, a wing car powered by a forced induction engine producing 1479 HP (3000cc V6 twin turbo), aiming to achieve a top speed of over 470 km/h (292 mph) and a maximum lateral G-force of 6G. Newey later included the addition of fan car technology, a long-time dream held as a racing designer which has been famously be an integral part of the Chaparral 2J and the Brabham BT46B.
The benefit of a fan car is that it pulls air out from underneath the car, creating an area of comparatively lower pressure. This difference in pressure above and below the car presses it towards the ground, producing downforce. The fan principle allows the X2010 to maintain a high cornering speed in low speed corners.
After the evaluation of the technology going into the car, the X2010 was redesigned incorporating refinement advice from Newey. With its low air resistance achieved through its smooth glass canopy and full cowling over the tires, and the downforce gained from the low speed range using the fans as well as in the high speed range through the front and rear wings and the rear diffuser, the car ultimately achieved a theoretical maximum speed of 500 km/h, a weight of 545 kg, and a maximum lateral G-force exceeding 8G. This spec is virtually at the very limit of what a normal human body can withstand.
With the series has spawned six variants from the original X2010 to the latest X2014 Fan Car. The later versions are much complex with many small refinements and changes towards the car aerodynamics profile.
Back in early 2015, Ferrari released their Formula One concept for the future as a way to influence the FIA to change the rules on car designs especially after the failure of the 2014 rules in which car’s designs are absolutely “garbage” with the now infamous “finger” nose. The design has some what influencing on the rule changes in 2017 and might be call a “success” with fans and experts received the rule changes strongly.
Comparing to the “X” series by Red Bull, it looks much simpler and also much more feasible to achieve. The design of the car taken some cues from Dallara’s DW12 chassis in use in IndyCar as well as the Spark SRT_01E currently in use for Formula E.
The design of the car is much more exaggerated than the Dallara’s chassis which is more extremely on the designs for aerodynamics purposs. It includes the rear fenders that connecting to the rear wing for safety reasons. The front wing of the car also is much more extreme with the front wing including fenders and two winglets on top connecting to the nose cone (similar to the new Formula E front wing designs for this current season). Ferrari interestingly didn’t include any head protection canopy as opposed to Red Bull’s designs, sticking to the open wheel-open cockpit philosophy.
It hasn’t been known about the performance of the car because the car is only a rendering on how Ferrari visions for the future of Formula One but most likely it will be a tint quicker than 2017’s new breed of Formula One cars.
After enduring a massive blunder in their first year partnering Honda again in Formula One in 2015, McLaren thought it would be fun to create a Formula One concept as well, as Ferrari did it at the early stage of the season.
Strikingly, the car looks really similar to the X2010 by the Bulls from Milton Keynes, in which Red Bull also poke fun to their rivals from Woking on Twitter. From the outside, both cars look almost identical but underneath the skin, the McLaren is the most ambitious concept out of the four teams to attempt.
The MP4-X includes things that you can only think of in the future, but in facts they are in the early stage of development for uses in the future. It seems far fetch but actually feasible in 15 years, with technology that you might think the MP4-X is more likely a fighter jet rather than a Formula One race car in the future.
The concept also introducing active aerodynamics with winglets on the car moving to keep the car’s performance at any circumstances. With systems such as tire sensors that can predict tires’ delaminating, solar cells, 360 degree head display, using brain patterns to control systems and SO MUCH MORE. It can only be said of how crazy this might sound but might be absolutely relevant in at least two more decades from now.
The car only makes an appearance in EA’s acclaim Real Racing 3 with its performance can be matched closely to the Red Bull “X” Series vehicles as well. With McLaren’s idea, it might be an interesting development for the future.
Nope, this is not another concept car for Gran Turismo like the Red Bull “X” Series as you might think with the word “Vision”. It is actually Renault’s vision in ten years for Formula One with its simple yet also interesting design.
The concept was unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show last week and has been the talking point of the Formula One’s world for the past couple of days. It isn’t cluttered as the three previous concept and a refreshing take on how Formula One cars can look a decade from now on.
The concept features active aerodynamics. The rear wing is fully retractable, much like those seen on high-performance road cars and replaces the much controversial Drag Reduction System.
Meanwhile at the front, Renault’s front wing also follows closely the ones on the Ferrari but using a single pylon (same with the Footwork FA12) which acts as a keel for the suspension wishbones to attach onto. It also attaches to the floor, which extends along the length of the nose to ensure predictable airflow underneath the car. While two flaps on the front wing assembly also acts as active aerodynamics.
The car is still powered by a turbocharged hybrid V6 like current Formula One cars but with more punch with more than 1300 hp with the car only weighs 600 kilos. With the KERS output now up to a staggering 500 kW. It also features all wheel drive with an electric motor out front (although Lotus spectacularly failed with the Lotus 63 with four wheel drive) and four wheel steering as well. LED lighting on information will also be features like series such as WEC or IndyCar but will be on the wheels of the car. Lastly, Renault also follow suit with Red Bull and McLaren on including a transparent canopy for head protection.
It can be said all four concepts creates a pattern for us to see the future of the sport will shape up to. Each concept has different ideas and each has their own philosophy.
Formula One is at the point that they will have to do something drastic for the future and as a way to attracting more fans as well as keeping long time fans to continue to follow the sport. Formula One is the highest peak of motorsport but with the slow rule changes and sticking to philosophy from long ago, Liberty Media and the FIA will have works on their hand but looks like we are on the right track at the moment.
The future, anything can happen. All of these concept are plausible and it is going to be interesting on what could be implemented for the future.