McLaren has unveiled a vision of what it believes grand prix racing could look like in 2050, including a concept Formula 1 car and tracks.
Titled ‘Future Grand Prix,’ the initiative has been led by McLaren Applied Technologies (MAT) and explores the racing car, developments in driver human performance, tracks and the fan experience. McLaren has previously released the MP4-X concept car, but the latest offering looks at grand prix racing as a whole.
MAT says it developed the concept following extensive research with fans, workshops with top university students and by analyzing technological, economic, environmental, political and societal trends. That includes the way the international policy is shaping the direction of future vehicles from the standpoint of electrification and emissions targets.
The concept F1 car is named the MCLExtreme and is powered by a 500 km/h rear-wheel-drive electric powertrain, including a battery molded to the aerodynamic package. Shape-shifting active aero, an on-board AI co-pilot and self-healing tires are also listed among the car’s features.
To handle the extreme performance, the driver would wear “a reinforced g-suit,” while driver emotion would be reflected on the chassis to allow fans more insight. This would be complemented by fans being able to get closer to the action on longer and wider tracks that would feature transparent roof facilities, as well as what are described as “huge sidewinding banks” and e-pit lanes for charging.
“At McLaren we never stand still,” Rodi Basso, motorsport director of McLaren Applied Technologies, said.
“We are always looking to innovate to find the solution for tomorrow today. In recent years, we have seen concepts and ideas about how a Formula 1 car could look and operate in the future. However, this is the first time anyone has given detailed thought and insight into a viable vision of motorsport in the future.
“This is a hugely exciting and thought-provoking vision. One that includes the views of fans, university students, McLaren’s drivers and our talented team at McLaren Applied Technologies. Our hope is for this to stimulate debate about how motorsport responds to changes in technology and sports entertainment trends to ensure we can meet the needs of fans in 2050.”