In racing, pretty is as pretty does. Aero often makes for some strange looking cars and most beautiful cars have poor aero qualities. Tracks such as Daytona and Le Mans favor good aero shapes.
I agree - they're all about airflow management. It isn't necessarily the slipperiest shape, it's massive cooling, intercoolers, downforce, drag, and stability at high speeds. The science seeks the maximum performance in all those areas, making the shape an odd compromise of extremely manipulated forms - look at all the bizarre fins and winglets all over an F1 car, and that weird tv antenna hoop on the back. The 919 was disappointing to me to look at, but it went like stink and was half rocket ship. The weird humpback look of Prototypes is all about safety rules and impact protection at extreme speeds. Now it's obsolete - PSK is right about nostalgia. And remember that unbelievable Audi crash early in a recent Le Mans race, and he stepped out of the shredded hulk and walked away? The same accident in the 60s was certain death.
It's all about the rules and maximizing advantage - we could write a new Formula class with an enforced zero (or maybe 100 lbs positive) downforce, no undertray, no external wings. We'd see shapes like the Gurney Eagle again. Tires and mechanical grip would determine how much horsepower you could actually use. But people are smart - they'll figure out how to make downforce that can't be measured in the inspections. Remember Smokey Yunick - the game will go on!
1967 1600 Spider
Last edited by Vivace; 02-09-2018 at 10:36 AM.