The Aliens have arrived in Formula 1 with all new 2014 regulations

2014 F1 car? Not quite...

2014 F1 car? Not quite… but almost! (Concept by Ciprtoex)

Formula 1’s new crop of cars will look like something out of a science fiction horror movie with front ends that are the stuff of nightmares, according to Caterham Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul.

“It does remind me a little bit of the monster in ‘Alien’,” the Frenchman told Reuters when asked about the nose on his team’s yet-to-be-revealed 2014 creation.

The new cars will hit the track for the first time in testing at Jerez in southern Spain next Tuesday but some teams are discreetly presenting them this week online.

Force India released a side-on image of their VJM07 on Wednesday, showing off a new, blacker livery while avoiding a front-end view. They said the front of the car was a temporary solution and would look very different for the start of the season in March.

“It is going to be ugly,” Abiteboul said of the Renault-powered Caterham, which will be unveiled in the Jerez pitlane on Tuesday.

Williams Mercedes FW36

Williams Mercedes FW36

“Kids should be dreaming when they see a Formula 1 car. I don’t know what sort of dream or nightmare you will get when you look at those cars.

“It does remind me of Alien…with something coming out of the mouth and whatever. It’s not very nice.”

The technical rules have changed significantly this season and cars have to combine a high chassis and low nose tip, which can be much narrower than last year. There has already been talk of ‘anteater-style’ solutions.

“I think it’s a natural consequence of the regulation and the impact system at the front,” said Abiteboul.

“It is what it is. Maybe we will have to address that as a collective issue of F1 because we need to be seeing some dream,” he added. “I think it’s going to be a problem for F1 that maybe F1 will have to address.”

F1 went through an ‘ugly’ phase in 2012, when cars had stepped noses in response to a regulation change introduced for safety reasons to ensure that the high front end did not penetrate cockpits and injure drivers in an impact.

Force India VJM07 is the first 2014 to break cover

Force India VJM07 is the first 2014 to break cover

To improve the look, teams were allowed to use non-structural ‘vanity panels’ to cover the broken noses last year but the rules have changed again for 2014.

“Various solutions have been developed which satisfy the regulations but also try to recover some of the aero performance and that’s led to some structures that are a little bit different,” said Caterham technical director Mark Smith.

He recognised that fans might not find the lack of flowing, continous lines to be aesthetically pleasing.

“The regulation has obviously driven the tip of the nose down to help in certain types of impact situations,” he said.

“That has driven some solutions that clearly may not be the solution you’d come up with if you were purely looking for an aesthetic wing.”

McLaren is due to reveal its car on its website on Friday, with Ferrari following in similar fashion on Saturday and Sauber on Sunday. (Reuters)

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  • RBC

    How hard can it be for the FIA to come up with a set of rules that cannot be broken, twisted, manipulated or avoided, that also don’t create ugly cars? Impossible apparently, despite the millions they suck out of F1.

  • It is easy

    All the FIA has to do is create minimum specs for width on the front nose area and that would end this issue. FIA’s biggest mistake this year was not putting an end to these multi level wings on the front of the cars. Get these wings back to single level or no more than two levels and you will see better looking cars. The same with the rear wings.

  • Ian

    I like the Red Alien one. LOL. It looks like a maniac dragster.

    The Williams (real) front wing, is 3 different levels? Skinny nose and a ginormous front wing. Very ugly, imho.

  • Hop

    I laughed out loud seeing the stepped noses for the first time.

    I could not believe the quantum leap in uglyness after years of slowly castrating the beautiful F1 cars:

    Skinny tires in 1993
    Stepped bottom in 1995
    Narrow cars in 1998
    Grooved tyres (lol) in 1998
    Cartoon minesweeper front wing in 2009
    Anorexic rear wing in 2009

    I thought stepped noses were the rock bottom and laughed out loud.

    Today I am just sure of 1 thing: There are no limits to the INCOMPETENCE and lack of foresight of the FIA.

    An utter embarrassment, an F1 car with a nose resembling a male sexual organ.

    It reminds me of those caps with a dildo hanging off the forehead.