Formula 1 has provided the first glimpses of what the future of the sport could look, revealing three concept car designs for 2021.

In line with the next major regulation cycle planned for 2021, F1 has released images of what the future of the sport could look like as it bids to provide greater excitement, lower costs, and create a level playing field among competitors.

Initial images were leaked online following a ‘Tech Talk’ held by F1 sporting chief Ross Brawn ahead of this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix, with F1 providing further details of the proposed designs on Friday.

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The three design concepts include simpler front and rear wings, in line with F1’s recent push to help improve the on-track spectacle, as well as featuring the Halo cockpit protection device better integrated onto the car in a bid to boost aesthetics.

Brawn, who is tasked with spearheading a technical team to help future-proof F1 and make it more appealing to fans and potential new entrants, said the next generation of cars must look “sensational”.

“When we started looking at the 2021 car, the primary objective was to enable the cars to race well together,” he explained. “What we established early on in our research is the cars we have now are very bad in following each other.

“Once the cars get within a few car lengths of each other, they lose 50% of their downforce. That’s a substantial amount of performance lost. So we set about understanding why that was and how we can improve it. I’m pleased to say we’re at about 80%.

“As time has gone on, another of the primary objectives was to make great looking cars. We want cars that look better than what you see in a video game, cars that kids want to have up on their walls. At each stage, as we have been evolving the car, we’ve had someone we are working with create a graphic representation artist to give us a feel of what the car could look like.

“That is not to control the development, because it’s critical this development achieves its objectives, but why shouldn’t we have great looking cars as we’re evolving the cars? We want a car that is inspiring. F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport and the car should look sensational.”

Development and research will continue into the designs, with F1 targeting having a concrete framework in place by the end of this year to allow for further refinement ahead of introduction post-2020.

Concept 1 

Concept 2 

The second concept takes a more aggressive and "refined" design style compared to concept 1. 

“As the aerodynamicists were evolving the car, the graphics designer was taking where they were and trying to capture it at each stage,” added Brawn.

“Concept 2 is a bit more extreme. One of the things you’ll see is the bigger wheels. We’re committed to 18-inch wheels for the future. They look better but there are a lot of technical reasons why we want them.”

Concept 3

The third concept places emphasis on the ways in which airflow can be better distributed, as F1 seeks to reduce the amount of 'dirty air' being produced from cars.

Speaking about the third concept, Brawn said: “The tyres and the wheels are the dirtiest area of the car, they cause huge disruption in the airflow. We are starting to look at devices that can stabilise the flow as it comes of the wheel. It’s maturing as we go along.”

Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton backed the concept proposals, hinting he could extend his spell in F1 into 2021 and beyond. 

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