Formula 1 teams are concerned that the 2014 technical regulations are forcing them into aesthetically challenged designs with hooked nose sections, as shown in this AUTOSPORT illustration.
The rules for next season require a high chassis of 525mm and a low nose tip at 185mm. But the regulations only demand a relatively small nose tip cross-section, and teams will want to minimize the width of this area to improve airflow under the chassis. That raises the prospect of slender, drooping nose tip extensions to meet minimum rules requirements for this section, protruding from a higher, more bulky, section that will pass crash tests and fit teams’ aerodynamic needs.
While not all teams are believed to be heading down this design route, it is understood that several leading outfits believe it is the best solution. Some senior Formula 1 technical personnel have already called for changes to improve aesthetics, but this was not successful due to a lack of agreement on the need to do something. An FIA technical directive has also been issued that rules out an alternative nose solution that was put forward with a request for clarification.
Red Bull design chief Adrian Newey and McLaren sporting director Sam Michael have admitted that the 2014 cars are likely to be “ugly” due to the front impact structure.
“The low nose is not a problem,” Michael explained. “The problem is the vagaries in the way you get through the crash test, and the teams will mostly be going down one solution. It is not because of the chassis height.”