Ferrari's Formula One design team just launched a site for a radical concept car that looks unlike anything F1 has ever put on the track. The two views of the design, front and back, should give fans something to both drool and argue over until the first race of the season next month in Australia.
2014 wasn't a banner year for Formula One racing. Ratings were down as fans were up in arms over the move from V8 to V6 engines and controversial changes to the cars' nose design — all while the brand new all-electric series Formula E saw a successful debut.
Perhaps it's a move meant to reclaim some favor from that slighted fanbase. The design could also be Ferrari's way of nudging the sport's directors as the league again stands on the precipice of change. While F1 is about to kick off the 2015 season, it is also nearing a vote on regulation changes for the 2016 season and beyond. Those could include anything from increasing the power of the engines to making the cars and tires wider. Maybe Ferrari's concept is a signpost of a radical new design direction.
While some comparisons could be drawn to the F1 cars of the mid-to-late 1970s, the concept design resembles the look of another flailing motorsport: IndyCar. The F1 concept sports a similar design to the chassis that IndyCar debuted a few years ago with its wide wheel base, low rear wing, and body paneling that runs almost flush to the rear wheels. (It's worth noting that IndyCar also just unveiled slight changes to this look for the 2015 season.)
There are some wholly unique features, though. For one, the driver's helmet appears to connect right to the body of the car. Then there's the two-tiered nose and nose wing, which evokes the image of predator about to swallow its prey. And at the rear, the safety light sits in the center of a Batmobile-like oval.
Whatever Formula One decides to do about the look of its cars in 2016, it's unlikely that Ferrari's design will ever make it to the track as we see it here now. But it's a fun starting point that lets us imagine what another round of changes could do to the look of the fastest motorsport on Earth. Until then, here's what the Ferrari F1 team's competition cars will look like in 2015: