‘Car Concept’ is regularly mentioned when bodywork is changed on a Formula One car. Visual differences that are clear to see. But does that accurately reflect what a team means by a ‘car concept’?
For the answer, it’s worth rewinding a little. Let’s look at the basics of F1 car design. Understanding how cars generate performance and the factors involved in making that happen.
In F1, there are three key technical elements that generate car performance: tyres, power unit, and aerodynamics. We have an influence over all of them, but the biggest differentiator of the three is the aerodynamics. And when we talk about aero, we’re not just talking about the shape of the car and the bodywork.
It’s also about how we use the car, how we control the car, how we evolve the balance and set-up to work with the aero package. Because those factors also impact the aerodynamic performance on track.