Williams technical chief Pat Symonds has praised the influence Red Bull on the design of the 2017 cars.
Next year will see major changes with wider, and lower in the case of the rear, wings, as well as angled wings and bargeboards. Add to that an increase in the diffuser size and an overall greater ground effect and aerodynamics are set to play a much more important role.
Symonds admitted he wasn’t a fan of a ‘retro’ look that was the early philosophy being considered by the Strategy Group but was pleased with how the initial ideas evolved.
“I do think the cars look nice,” he told Autosport. “I really pat Red Bull on the back for doing a great job in styling the car because what they did was take away what the Strategy Group had asked for and they really styled it.
“They started with this premise that we want the car to look like it’s going fast even when it’s stationary and I thought yeah, that’s a really nice way of expressing it.
“They’ve come up with something that looks great. When you see the physical model in the windtunnel – and windtunnel cars never look particularly attractive – I think they are good-looking cars.”
While Symonds comments were complimentary of Red Bull’s work, some may see the level of input the team had and wonder if F1 could have another period of the Milton Keynes team dominating.
What must be noted, however, is the final designs that will be the blueprint for the 2017 cars are actually a watered down version of what Red Bull had initially proposed.
That means perhaps the level of advantage they could have gained from a more aggressive design may have already been reduced, but also the sport is in need of rebalancing the engine/ aero balance.
Pre-2014 it was all about the chassis and Red Bull were the pioneers of the blown diffuser, the main area of development by all teams at that time.
After the change in engine formula, the balance shifted too far the other way, as, with Mercedes far ahead in development, their rivals had no alternative way to beat them.