Formula 1 is where you can see the future of cars racing against each other. Historically, what shows up in F1 cars, like , eventually ends up on the road. However, that technical bravado can turn F1 into a battle of specs sheets, which can turn away viewers who aren't hardcore. So, F1 has been refocusing those specs towards what viewers want: Faster and more aggressive racing.
Real Engineering takes a look at the changes F1 has made for the 2017 races.
The width of the cars has increased, for one thing, mainly focused around larger tires. Bigger tires mean a bigger area, which increases traction. These wider tires spread out the friction of the car, which allows race teams to use softer, grippier tires.
These wider tires require a wider front wing to manipulate the incoming air. Tires moving at Formula 1 speeds can create a not-insignificant amount of drag, so the fronts of these cars keep the air moving in an orderly and controlled fashion, which creates vortices streaming out of the wheels.
The changes have been working, for the most part. F1 cars are going faster than before. But Newton's Third Law says that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and that's proving to be the case here. The superior aerodynamics of these cars creates dirty air behind them, making it difficult for cars to pass. F1 is a constant struggle between forces as complex as the physics driving their cars: Tradition, drawing in new fans, how to create the best racing experience. The search for the perfect race car continues.