After signing a deal to receive engines from Honda, McLaren had a terrible season. The once-great nameplate came in ninth overall, and rumors are swirling regarding the fate of both of the team drivers. Things aren’t looking great for McLaren.
To quell naysayers, and possibly get journalists talking about something other than the team’s woes, McLaren has released a new concept of what it believes could be the future of Formula 1 racecar design. Called the MP4-X, the new Formula 1 racer takes inspiration from the team’s current car, but blends in a much more futuristic vibe with increased safety.
Last year, Formula 1 racer Jules Bianchi suffered a fatal blow to the head after impacting an obstacle off track. Since then, IndyCar racer Justin Wilson, was involved in a similar accident and tragically passed away from those injuries as well. Due to these two rather high profile open-wheel deaths, many have called for some sort of closed cockpit design to increase driver safety. McLaren, with the MP4-X, has taken that next step, and designed a racecar that fully encompasses the driver in a protective canopy.
Where modern Formula 1 racecars have to follow unbelievably strict rules on what they can and can’t have, the MP4-X looks to a future where the sport can once again be the shining example of engineering and design. The racecar uses a shape-shifting chassis, advanced active aerodynamics, and was “designed to harness alternative power sources.” The end result is a racecar that looks as if we’ve stepped into Speed Racer, but with less subtitles and more aggression.
As mentioned above, many people believe the sport is being strangled out of existence due to countless, ever-shifting regulations.
Perhaps McLaren’s MP4-X is the way forward. Perhaps it’s time to release the shackles on the teams and make Formula 1 the spectacle we all fell in love with?