Thanks to our partner in Brazil, Fortuna Tiger from Parimatch, I had the opportunity to personally attend the Brazilian Grand Prix and witness Sebastian Vettel's dominance and the Red Bull team's performance at the current year. However, while the RB19 simply dominates, there have been much stranger cars in history. Let's reminisce about them together.
Undoubtedly one of the most eccentric F1 cars ever designed, the Tyrrell P34 featured six wheels—four small ones at the front and two large ones at the back. This unique configuration aimed to reduce drag and increase the total contact patch of the front tires. Despite its oddity, the car proved successful, participating in 30 races in 1976 and 1977, claiming one victory and 13 podiums. However, due to developmental challenges, Tyrrell abandoned the design in 1978.
Williams, along with Ferrari, experimented with six-wheeled cars. The Williams FW07D, tested once by Alan Jones in 1981, had four driven rear wheels and two non-driven front wheels. Although this design was incorporated into the FW08B, neither car raced, and the FIA banned six-wheeled cars shortly after.
Recognized for its peculiar aesthetics, especially its high front wing resembling either a tea tray or surfboard, the March 711 proved to be surprisingly fast. In 1971, Ronnie Peterson drove it to five podiums and secured second place in the drivers' standings.
The Ensign N179, raced by the backmarker team Ensign in 1979, featured a distinctive "step-ladder" front end. Despite its unique appearance, the car was neither competitive nor enduring, leading to its swift abandonment.
Brabham BT46B (Fan Car)
Gordon Murray conceived the famous "fan car" after struggling to replicate the ground effect of the Lotus 79. Introduced at the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix, the car utilized a fan to cool the engine and generate substantial downforce. Although controversial, Niki Lauda won the race by over 30 seconds before the car was banned.
Eifelland Type 21
The German team Eifelland competed in F1 for just one season. The Eifelland Type 21, driven by Rolf Stommelen in 1972, featured a design reimagined by Luigi Colani, including a single rearview mirror placed in front of the driver. This unusual choice likely didn't enhance visibility.
Ligier's first F1 car, the JS5, raced in 1976, stood out with its large, peculiar air intake that gave it the appearance of a teapot. Designed with a touch of cartoonish flair, Jacques Laffite secured three podiums in this distinctive machine.