With the 2017 regulations set to allow greater freedom of design, here are 5 of the most bizarre, weird and unconventional cars of the past that have been churned out by some F1 engineers who were possibly high at the time of designing.
5. March 711 – 1971
Despite having a horrendous looking front-end that was dubbed the “tea tray”, the March 711 is actually a race winner! Here it is sweeping around Monte Carlo. Although if you look towards the front of the car, it appears that the surfer dude who should still be attached is missing.
4. Tyrrell P34 – 1976
Yes, that’s a six-wheeler. The radical Tyrrell P34 is a race winner, its single victory coming at the Swedish GP with Jody Scheckter at the wheel. But its win came at the cost of being f***ing hideous. The P34 was ahead of its time in that it looks like something you unlock on Rocket League. Scheckter himself called it “a piece of sh*t to drive”, resulting in the South African driver leaving Tyrrell once the 1976 season finished.
3. Ensign N179 – 1979
The Ensign N179 goes beyond the realms of unconventional. That’s the radiator going up the front nose, giving the step-ladder effect that makes the eyes bleed. Maybe the step-ladder was implemented because Ensign were thinking about signing a toddler that year? Easy access to the cockpit.
2. Ligier JS5 – 1976
Ever wondered what solution the Smurfs would come up with if they’d entered a team into Formula One? Me neither, but we’re left gawping at the engine intake of the Ligier JS5 from 1976 nonetheless. The real question here is, is there enough air in the Earth’s atmosphere to feed that intake? Ligier quickly reformed their design halfway through the season, opting for something more conventional and less Papa Smurf.
1. Most cars from the 2014 Season
The 2014 technical regulations led to some interesting front-nose solutions. Most of the grid went for a thin, metallic shaft solution. The cars looked… Well… Phallic. When Toro Rosso unsheathed their weapon in testing, it nearly took a photographer’s eye out.