Formula One 2050: McLaren Style

McLaren 2050 6.jpg

McLaren Applied Technologies have revealed their vision of Formula One in 2050 - producing dramatic images of a 500 km/h inductively charged, electric racing car.

Designed with potential future technology advances in mind, the 2050 Grand Prix concept from McLaren is most certainly a dramatic one - the British team going as far as suggesting that performance of racing cars in the future could be so far ahead of today's technology that the drivers would require artificial intelligence and specially developed circuits in order to accommodate the requirements of driving the hyper fast racing machines.

"Give teams the opportunity to really push the boundaries of active aero as part of their natural car development, and suddenly you have the adoption of a technology that has the possibility to dynamically alter the outcome of a race in an authentic way as drivers battle it out," says Rodi Basso, Motorsport Director at McLaren Applied Technologies.
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The former World Championship winning outfit believe that racing cars of the future could make use of shape shifting technology to increase performance and efficiency under certain circumstances, coupled with electric power and driver AI support, moving the sport far away from that of which we know and love at present.

"In the future we could get to the point where human ingenuity is replaced with an AI algorithm," explains Karl Surmacz, Head of Modelling and Decision Science at McLaren Applied Technologies. "Machine learning would see human preferences and decisions, as well as our domain expertise and instinct, captured. Take enough examples of our creative processes and outcomes, and this could be codified into an algorithm which would enable AI to make creative decisions consistent with those of a human counterpart."
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McLaren also believe that in future racing will have to move away from traditional circuits, taking in the advances in "smart cities" to race on futuristic locations closer to the fans, giving rise to the potential for some spectacular sounding new opportunities to view the cars up close in ways not thought possible today.

"Smart cities will give us the chance to put the track action on people’s doorsteps," says Basso. "We’re going to see more racing take place where the fans are, as part of a continued effort to bring the show to them – and because the cars will travel at even more ferocious pace than is currently the case, it raises the possibility for race tracks to span far greater distances.

"Why confine the grand prix cars of tomorrow to the tracks of today? The Italian Grand Prix of 2050 would still run through the heart of one of the largest historical parks in Europe, but go on to scythe its way through the streets of Milan city centre, before making its way back to Monza’s leafy park."
All very interesting concepts and ideas, but how close to reality do you think McLaren have come with this new concept 2050 race car?

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McLaren 2050.jpg

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RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.


Apr 19, 2010
Not my cup of tea :thumbsdown:
Nov 24, 2017
thank god I'll be senile by 2050 :)

(such a ghastly vision of the future, some circuit looking like the Citadel in Mass Effect, sited on some expensive real estate with the cliffs and blue ocean, whizzing cars cheered on by the super rich - hard to read anything else into that mock up. Good to see they have designed a track that looks like it's impossible to overtake on though haha)
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I breathe a lot. I guess i just really like air.
Oct 10, 2011
What is the point of all these concepts lately (=this decade)?

I don't think they are anywhere close reality, they don't look good, they don't excite me.
McLaren should focus on bringing the team to success again instead of looking that far into the future.
Jun 13, 2011
Seems McLaren had money to burn.
If this would be the future, there is no reason to have any real world racing.
Thats good news for simracing. :geek:


Feb 13, 2013

Stands below the track... So they'll pay overpriced tickets to watch the race on their cell phone.:D


Nov 13, 2017
I dislike the "this is what the future will look like" articles that companies keep on creating.

They are misleading and put out only for publicity, the above images are ridiculous and pure fantasy.

Paul Jeffrey

RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief
Original poster
Jun 5, 2009
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