Formula one is the place where many of the innovative features that we have on our cars now are first tried out. Anti-lock and ceramic brakes, turbo engines and traction control all had their infancy and testing on the tracks of the GP world. The drivers are willing testers as any improvement in the amount of speed they can glean from the car can be the difference between first and second. A prime example of this would be the rear diffuser that featured on the back of the 2009 world champion Jensen Button’s Brawn GP car.  But then the Brawn team was built from the bedrock of one of the most innovative and radical car design teams Tyrrell and in the shape of the P34 those boundaries of what a Formula one car should look like were pushed to the limit.

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In the 1970’s Formula one was still a bit ragged edge for the Drivers. The safety features that we have today were not a consideration and the ability to make the car go as fast as possible was the main force of development. Although when you visit a F1 Paddock Club Mexico such as at you will still appreciate the speed that these cars travel. One of those ways was to try and radically reduce the drag that the car produced as it cut through the air. Aerodynamics combined with the sheer grunt and pushing power of a v10 or v 12 engine would power a car onwards. However with restrictions on the allowance of the front wing the tyre on a car would stick up over the top and create drag. Tyrrells brilliant concept was that the tyres should be small enough to fit under the wing so that the air flowed over the wing and through the car to the rear in an unbroken stream. The only problem with this was that to make the tyre that small it would not have sufficient grip to be viable. The answer was simple; add another tyre behind it to give better grip and control.

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The car was launched in 1975 to great fanfare. It was made to look like it had four wheels beneath it’s sheet until the big revel showed there were in fact 6. Initially the press though it was some kind of stunt or comment about the front wing size but they were assured the car would race in 1976. It duly did at the Spanish Grand Prix. It proved to be very successful on straights but bad on bumpy surfaces (and there were plenty back then) where the car did not have all its wheels on the track.

It won one race, driven by Jody Scheckter who hated it, until the FIA decide that only 4 wheel should be allowed.

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