While I wouldn’t consider myself a huge fan of F1 racing, I definitely have been intrigued by it from time to time. This was spurred even more by my recent viewing of the documentary Senna that focuses on the battle between legendary driver Ayrtn Senna and his chief rival in the 80s, Alain Prost. F1 drivers are fearless and they are constantly pushing their cars to the limits.
This is why I found the buzz around the new F1 car’s nose to be more than a little troubling. Everywhere you go on social media, there is talk about how one of the new noses looks like a certain male appendage. Even the nicer comments refer to this nose as the “anteater nose.” The ridiculous comments continue with the other new F1 noses as well, as no one seems to have anything racing-related to say.
I’m glad the lowbrow humor types among us are getting a good laugh out of this. But the fact is, the nose exists like this to make the cars faster – which is what I’m concerned with. Racing is about going fast, not trying to have the most attractive front end on your vehicle.
Engineers are constantly trying to get the most out of their vehicles while staying within the rules (for the most part). This new nose is a result of that, as it is very aerodynamic and works with the structure of the rest of the car.
Initially, engineers began raising the noses, with the ultimate result being increasing downforce – the key to going fast in F1 racing. But, the higher the noses got, the more of a safety risk they became. The noses continued to be modified as the rules changed, with the result being the protruded, downward pointing “anteater nose.”
So laugh if you must, but it’s all about speed and safety. And any true race fan should be a fan of both.