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Formula One: The Great Design Race (preview)

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

AN EXHIBITION tracing the history of Formula One since it began in the 1950s, Formula One: The Great Design Race, runs until October 29, 2006, at London’s Design Museum.

For the first time, the public can discover the design innovations at the heart of Formula One, a sport supported by an intensely secretive industry that invests millions of pounds in design and technology every year.

The exhibition features an iconic car from each decade, for example, the 1988 MP4/4-2 driven by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, which won 15 out of 16 races for McLaren. Visitors can also see an ‘exploded’ car – one that deconstructs the design and development of the different parts.

And a series of design stories examine the art of speed from a car’s point of view – the aerodynamics of chassis and cockpit and the power generated by the engine, gearbox and fuel, for instance. It also examines the control of extraordinarily high speed in dangerous conditions.

The exhibition also presents a year in the life of Formula One – a behind-the-scenes look at how a team competes throughout a season. Teams represented include Ferrari, Honda, McLaren, Red Bull, Renault, Toyota and Williams.

Iconic cars from the Donington Grand Prix Collection are also on display.

Tickets: Adults £7, Students and Concessions £4, free to under 12s.

Opening Times: Daily from 10am to 5.45pm (last admission at 5.15pm).