The 2021 Formula One season is still shaping up and the sport is sparing no details in their preparation. From ground effects to radical-looking cars, the list goes on and on, but there is still more to come. Apparently, the latest gimmick is displaying information to fans on the cars’ bodywork and even wheel rims in the 2021 season.
According to RaceFans, the draft 2021 regulations say that there will be six display panels fitted on the cars. Two panels will be situated on the bodywork on either side of the car. Meanwhile, the remaining four will be rotating LED display panels fitted to wheel rims.
The wheel rim lights will be seen running on the 18-inch wheels which are to be introduced that year. According to the Formula One Management, the purpose of the display panels is to provide information to spectators. This includes driver position Number of pit stops and other miscellaneous and useful data.
It is worth noting that in 2014 the erstwhile Force India team tested a visual display called the ‘Info Wing’. This was said to be mounted to the car’s onboard camera and designed to show a driver’s position to fans. Unfortunately, the ‘Info Wing’ never saw the light of day other than the test.
Thought-provokingly, wheel rim displays are not a foreign concept in motor-racing. In fact, IndyCar tested wheel rim display lights in 2015. However that too never took off and the company which produced the test versions later folded. The championship has also used display panels on its cars but removed them three races ago following problems with the devices.
Simpler display lights are also used in other series, such as the World Endurance Championship, to indicate which position or class a car is running in. It would be interesting to see what the drivers and teams think of the idea when it is pitched.