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This strange F1 car from the 1970s has six wheels!

This F1 is the Tyrrell P34, one of the only six-wheeled single-seaters. It was designed in 1975 to improve tire grip.

British driver Ben Collins just released a new video last week dedicated to a very specific F1 model. it’s about the Tyrrell P34, one of the rare six-wheeled single-seaters. It was designed in the mid-1970s forBritish Tyrrell team and competed in the F1 world championship in 1976 and 1977.

The idea came from an engineer, Derek Gardner, which replaced the two front wheels with four casters measuring 25.4 centimeters in diameter. At the rear, the usual two large F1 wheels have been retained. The innovation was to enable increase in contact surface tires with the ground. Therefore, adhesion had to increase, and air resistance had to decrease. Hence the existence of this six-wheeled Formula 1.

The infamous Tyrrell P34, one of the few six-wheeled F1 cars

In reality, this six-wheeled F1 was a resounding failure. Certainly, the Tyrrell P34 made a promising debut during the Formula 1 world championships in 1976. At the wheel of this car, the driver Jody Schechter had won first place. This machine even finished third in the general classification in 1976. However, many reservations were expressed by the pilots that year.

These fears were clearly well-founded. The Tyrrell P34 performed particularly disappointingly during the F1 world championships in 1977. Difficult to handle according to several drivers, it was characterized by poor weight distribution, unsuitable tires and an inefficient engine. The Tyrrell team has also decided to abandon it the same year and the car never competed again after that.

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A difficult, although exhilarating, ride

It is not for nothing that Ben Collins named this F1, in his video, the ” infamous “ Tyrrell P34. This pilot still wanted try a test on track. And the experience was rather positive, according to him. “It was the kind of behavior you wish would never end.”, did he declare. He still recognized that driving it is not the easiest of exercises.

“It’s not the kind of car that drives itself. You have to manipulate it to extract the performance. At the limit of braking to get the most out of what small and large tires have to offer. Aggressive driving style to slide those big rear tires into a slip angle to generate more brute force”, detailed Ben Collins. In short, a six-wheeled F1 is ultimately not the most interesting innovation in terms of performance.

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