When Williams pulled the wraps off its wider, lower and sleeker FW40 challenger this morning it confirmed 2017’s Formula 1 cars will look like proper racers again.

Gone are the awkward, lanky proportions of the post-2009 era cars, and in their place is a shape that harks back to the 1990s when F1 cars were cool and the sport was almost gladiatorial.

The cars of Formula 1 2017

Along with the dimension change, the FW40 gains angled front wing and fins on its sidepods. Larger bargeboards, vertical slats and a bigger floor show that this car will work the air a heck of a lot harder than last year’s FW38, and wider rubber will mean mechanical grip is also boosted – key in ensuring cars can still follow each other closely.

The results should make for higher speeds through the corners, more G-forces for drivers to contend with and cars that are even more of a handful to drive. Drivers will have their work cut out, both physically and mentally. This is all good news.

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Fw40 angle

Formula 1 had, in my opinion, lost its edge through recent years. Drivers were looking more like jockeys who were over-trained to drive cars that lapped 4-5sec slower than the mighty V10-era monsters. Fernando Alonso said the cars weren’t spectacular to drive anymore. Fans were no longer watching drivers strain themselves to their absolute physical limit. Formula 1 had lost its mojo.

If, as the championship’s big bosses have suggested, this year’s cars are 4-5sec a lap quicker and still be able to race wheel to wheel, F1 will be both entertaining and awe-inspiring. Lap times to rival the cars of the early noughties but racing that contrasts the processions of that period -  this is what the longstanding fans of Formula 1 have been asking for.