Andries Van Overbeeke's third set of future F1 car designs is his most intriguing yet -- thanks to a subtle tweak up top and a revolution down below.
Up top in the Overbeeke F1 McLaren-Honda we have a closed cockpit for the first time. No F1 car has run enclosed in the history or the event. Shaped like a fighter jet canopy, this forward-hinged cockpit promises smoother aero at high speeds and enhanced safety in any accident.
F1 cars have typically been open for practical reasons. Venting exhaust fumes at first, then allowing drivers to be ejected or extracted from a crash, and finally a legacy piece of design of the vehicle shape. That's right, in 2015 and beyond -- there is no reason to accept the limits of a closed cabin. (Aside from driver heat concerns...)
A look at 2015 Indy cars shows how old-fashioned the 2015 F1 car looks lately. Outrageous aero brings multi-vane aero gills and spoilers to both ends -- all shaped via wind tunnel voodoo and becoming make or break elements for winning races.
A simpler approach to the visuals of the F1 car design is evisioned by Overbeeke here. A full ground-effect aero skirt lives below the primary cockpit and engine area, sucking the car onto the track -- rain or shine.
The new underbody approach lets the car become more traditionally beautiful and low-slung from all sides. A much cleaner nose and tail is most noticeable on these renders.
Will F1 take these next steps in its future car designs? Latest rumbles suggest the cars will be getting faster in the coming years. To cross the 250-mph mark, cabin safety will need to go up --- and aero will become more adaptive.
All signs point to Formula One cars entering a rapid evolutionary phase between 2018-2020. Your first look at the future of racing is likely to reflect some of the Overbeeke ideas shown here.
Andries Van Overbeeke - 2019 McLaren-Honda F1 Car Renderings