A Polish artist’s rendering offers an interesting angle on F1 future cars.
Open-wheel racing has always been the most exhilarating as well as the most dangerous category of motor racing. In 2009 Henry Surtees, son of former F1 champion John Surtees, was killed when a wheel from another car hit his helmet during an F2 race at Brand Hatch, UK. A few weeks ago, another Briton, Dan Wheldon, lost his life when his Indy car flew into the catch fence at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
In another incident, Ferrari driver Felipe Massa was badly injured after a loose coil spring from Rubens Barrichello's Brawn GP car pierced his helmet during the 2009 Hungarian GP. Those incidents increased the awareness of the dangers in open-wheeled racing, particularly in the advanced categories where top speeds are above 200mph. So closing the cockpit for safety reasons seems to be a logical solution. Jacek Kolodziejczyk, a polish graphic artist, decided to promote this idea by sketching a closed cockpit Ferrari. The result is a stunning car, named FX1-i1, with a shape that doesn't break the idea of F1 racing but improves safety.
"I started this project in 2009 right after Massa's accident at the horrible Hungaroring," he wrote on his website. "I was fully aware that it won't be easy and all open-wheeler traditionalists and fans might kill me just for thinking about closing F1 cockpits for good. Anyway, I've decided to play with the traditional look of the modern F1 car and try to convince all (sic) that closed cockpits could still look good. "I've chosen Ferrari for my concept basically because I'm a huge Ferrari fan and a huge fan of Robert Kubica and I just would like to see him alongside Alonso driving for my favorite team - that's why you can see his name on the car.
I hope someday it becomes reality. Get well soon Robert. "Regarding aerodynamic properties and the way how the driver could escape from the car within 5 seconds, please do not ask me, let's leave this for those magicians like Adrian Newey. I just wanted to make it looks good."