Design genius Adrian Newey has hinted that next year's new breed of F1 car may not be that pleasing on the eye, but blames the regulations for making aesthetics an afterthought.

Although Red Bull is among the few teams eschewing the optional panel to disguise the stepped nose that made an unpopular appearance last season, Newey admits that he would prefer to see 'pretty' F1 cars rather than some of the questionable designs of recent years. However, until the rulebook mandates more attractive solutions, he fears that the current trend will continue.

"[Aesthetics] are important, but they are kind of dictated by the rules in as much as, technically, obviously our job is to try and make the car as quick as possible rather than to win any styling awards, so we are at the mercy of the regulations in that regard," he reasoned, "I must admit that I think the regulations have caused some ugly areas [such as] the stepped nose, and I think [cars] aren't as attractive as they used to be.

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"Probably, in truth, the narrow track cars, I don't think, have ever looked quite as attractive - they've always looked a bit out of proportion compared to the pre-'98 cars. And with the low nose that we have next year, I think there could be some fairly awkward looking aesthetics arising. It's something that, in my view, should be given a bit more consideration when the regulations are drawn up."

Mercedes' Paddy Lowe had an interesting take on the matter, daring to suggest that time has changed opinion on what may have been considered attractive in the past.

"It's an interesting question," he mused, "I think, in the end, cars tend to look good when they're quick, so we take a while to get used to change but it's surprising how you look back at old cars and they suddenly don't look so attractive when you didn't like the change that came. But I think any car that actually is quick tends to start looking good."

James Allison, who left behind an unattractive Lotus when he joined Ferrari for this season, sided with Lowe, admitting that design previously considered ugly had gradually grown on him.

"I think, if you look back over the years, there are some prettier years than others," he claimed, "When 2009 came along, I didn't like the look of those cars at all, but I'm wholly used to it now and I think they look pretty sexy. The stepped nose... again, I didn't like that to start with, but I'm okay with it now.

"I think, as a technical team, we really have a duty to try and make the thing quick rather than make it beautiful. Hopefully, the beauty is got for free along the way..."