The world of Formula One is infamously closed-off, but fans are going to be able to experience the sport like never before starting in 2018.
F1 revealed pictures Thursday of the changes that the series will make to its two-seat show car for the 2018 season. The series has brought the car to this 2017 Australian Grand Prix, British Grand Prix and Hungarian Grand Prix, and will also send it to the United States Grand Prix and the Mexican Grand Prix, though the program is set to ramp up next year.
The modifications to the F1X2, which will be at every round of the 2018 championship, are aimed at improving the fan experience, Motorsport.com reports.
“We don’t need to take weight out of it or anything, what we’re looking at doing is improving the experience for the passenger,” F1X2 technical chief, Mike Gascoyne said, “what he can see, what displays are available to him, comfort.”
The most visually obvious change made to the 2018 F1X2 will be the addition of a modern aero kit, which will help people get a better understanding of the forces that pilots are exposed to. In addition, Gascoyne suggests they could make the driver’s roll hoop smaller to improve passengers’ field of vision, and install a digital dashboard inside the cockpit for fans to monitor where they are on circuits.
The current two-seater is based on a 1998 Tyrrell 026 car, which many will be happy to know has a V-10 engine. Former Minardi Formula One team boss, Paul Stoddard, has used it to give ride-alongs at the Australian Grand Prix since 2009, according to Motorsport.com. It wasn’t until F1 was purchased by Liberty Media, however, that the car traveled to other rounds.
“Having stood next to the car for almost each and every session, I’m never ceased to be amazed by people’s faces when they get out. It’s the experience of a lifetime,” F1X2 technical chief, Mike Gascoyne, told Motorsport.com. “While the car is getting a bit old now, the sound and experience of being in the back of a Formula One car is something you never forget.”
Justin Timberlake undoubtedly will go for a ride along at the Circuit of the Americas in October, given that he’s performing a concert ahead of qualifying. Hopefully F1 lets Lewis Hamilton, or any current driver, hop inside the F1X2 with him so he can get the most realistic experience possible — and so fans can watch him get scared half to death.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@latimages