The cars of Formula 1 can almost be frustrating for automobile lovers, because they’re not exactly the sorts of vehicles you can purchase or imitate. These are vehicles built very specifically for their sport, and as such they can be more or less inaccessible to the rest of us. That said, they’re built by normal (if high-end) manufacturers, and watching them perform can be truly spectacular. This is our brief look at some of the cars that are dominating the circuits this year so far.
If you follow Formula 1 you know that Ferrari has been a little bit down of late, finishing third in the Constructors’ standings in 2016, with its drivers coming in fourth and sixth place. Yet in some ways this is still the company to watch in F1. That’s both thanks to Ferrari’s legendary name and because Sebastian Vettel, the lead driver for the manufacturer, is one of the best F1 drivers to ever live. This year, Ferrari unveiled the SF70H, with which hopes to improve upon last year’s finishes. Rules are enabling quicker rides this year, and accordingly Ferrari has concentrated on finding the right compromise between downforce and aerodynamic resistance. The result is a longer-looking car with a thin, long nose at the front and wing-like tip. It’s almost a funky look, but one that’s helped Vettel to second place thus far.
Mercedes F1 W08 EQ Power+
That’s quite a mouthful, yes? Well, it’s also probably the most impressive car on the F1 tour at the moment. This is the vehicle Mercedes went into 2017 with as it looked to repeat in both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ championships. And it’s so good that both of Mercedes’s main drivers are believed to be among the favorites at any given event. At the very first race of the season, experts suggested Valtteri Bottas as an alternative driver to support if not backing Lewis Hamilton, the defending champion. These are the Mercedes drivers, and while they opt for different setups, they’re both in a version of this car. It’s perhaps not as significantly altered from last year’s vehicle as Ferrari’s, though there are some aerodynamic alterations, most notably flipped-up T-wing at the back fo the car. Driving this car, Hamilton and Bo ttas are in first and third place respectively.
Red Bull Racing-Tag Heuer RB13
Red Bull has long been a big name on the Formula 1 circuit, and with this car they certainly made a statement. Since losing Vettel to Ferrari, the company has been looking for ways to get back on top with new number one driver Daniel Ricciardo, who currently sits in fourth place in the standings. And this could be the group’s most accomplished vehicle since Vettel’s prime. Introduced as “quite a departure” from its immediate predecessor, it’s quite frankly a bizarre looking but fun car. There are wider tires, enlarged wings, and most curiously, an open nose tip that’s gotten quite a lot of attention. More than any other car on the F1 circuit right now, this one looks like someone’s Hot Wheels dream come to life, and it’s brought some fun back to the Red Bull team.