McLaren may have struggled in the current era of F1, but that’s not stopping them imagining a future direction for the sport.
Released overnight is their vision for how technology will continue to evolve the sport and come 2050, the sport could look very different to what we know today.
McLaren say their extensive research process into the needs and wants of the sport’s most important stakeholders, the fans, called upon their experts in powertrain, aerodynamics, design, materials technology, data science and human performance to create a blueprint for grand prix racing.
That vision is one I’d love to watch.
McLaren expects the speed of cars to have increased to a top speed of around 500 km/h and importantly take more of a Formula E direction (clearly the trend in the automotive industry) to be fully electric and use induction charging.
On-board advanced AI co-pilot
As part of the imagery released with the future vision, we see a new fighter-pilot style helmet that features AR overlays for the driver. This technology layer over the driver’s own vision is an interesting departure from the current challenge which places a huge emphasis on comparing human ability. An AI co-pilot could assist in decision making not just lap-by-lap, but corner-by-corner.
Shapeshifting active aerodynamics
Today the only movable part on the cars in terms of aero is really the DRS component of the rear-wing. When open, it reduces drag and allows a higher top speed for better overtaking. What McLaren sees in the future is almost a transformer that changes the aerodynamic properties of the vehicle to achieve ultimate performance.
Thrilling circuits, fierce banking
Can we stop for a second and talk about the amazing track concept artwork. It’s absolutely stunning and certainly looks like it takes inspiration from video games. The tracks we have today are essentially 2D (yes there’s some with elevation changes), but McLaren imagines where cars have significant rises and falls, making tracks much more 3D in nature. This would introduce almost a rollercoaster feel to racing. Very interesting and no doubt incredibly taxing on the human body.
You can read the full vision at McLaren