[How much does the fictional APXGP car differ to real F1 machinery?
Using the Dallara-built Formula 2 chassis, the car has been augmented with new bodywork to offer the illusion of contemporary F1 machinery, leaning into the design sensibilities enforced by the 2022-spec regulatory framework.
The details are admittedly convincing, although the car is slightly shorter compared to the rest of the field as the F2 chassis is approximately 400mm shorter in its original form.
To extend the length slightly, the nosecone has been extended further forward to also assist with merging the tip into the front wing, the evidence of which is in the greater distance from the endplate to the front wheels.
There are hallmarks from the prevailing 2023 design trends, with simplified downwashing sidepods and cooling louvres fitted on top of the bodywork. This is underpinned by the exaggerated floor opening; although F2 cars use Venturi tunnels for downforce in a similar manner to an F1 car, the leading edge of the floor is much smaller in size. Fins and strakes are also visible from the front and the sides, enhancing that impression.
The nose cone of Bradd Pitt’s fictional Apple Orginals Formula 1 team in the pit lane
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Furthermore, the engine cover features the tube-like outlets either side of the central exhaust pipe, with an appropriate fin added topside.
At the rear, the 2022-spec rear wing is also present, complete with beam wing and a sculpted mainplane to increase the attention to detail on the car.
Those tiny details continue elsewhere around the car; the wheel deflectors over the front tyres appear, while the mirrors have been carefully shaped to maintain the complexities seen in current F1.
Looking even closer, a small fairing mimicking a tyre sensor also appears at the top of the front wing endplate to further that impression of a contemporary F1 car, and the rear corner of the floor is apparently held in place by a metal rod to simulate those used to moderate floor flex.
However, despite all of the key details put in place to create the illusion of an F1 car, those in charge of the car’s overhaul have been unable to compensate for the shorter width of the F2 chassis. This is 100mm narrower, and thus everything looks slightly squashed together.
As the chassis must maintain all of the designated hard points and structural elements, the car could not be modified to take the wider F1-spec wheels and thus is kitted out with the F2-spec Pirellis – the rear wheels being about 55mm narrower.
But that’s a clear limitation that the developers have had to assume as given, and a commendable job has been done in making the chassis look like an F1 car. However, the test of the aesthetics will be visible when the car sits on the grid next to the 20 real cars in the field, and how the cars appear in the final film.