Wrong constructions in Formula 1: The big flops

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Incorrect constructions in Formula 1
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E success and failure are often decided in the engineering office. There were many designers who fell flat out with their creations. Most of the time it failed because of the money. Some constructions had to be looked after for failure. Projects like Life with the Rocchi W12 engine just couldn't go well. There was a lack of budget, people, and infrastructure.

We look back on the cars that, despite having a reasonable starting point, became a huge blow on the racetrack. Because the concept was wrong, a good idea was implemented sloppily or the technicians ate wrong data. Not infrequently, the engine was to blame. Zakspeed built a decent chassis with the 891 model. But the Yamaha engine barely lasted a racing distance.

Bugatti T251

Bugatti wanted to give the big name another shine in 1956. The then designer Gioacchino Colombo was supposed to build the car. The Bugatti T251 carried an eight-cylinder in-line across the rear axle. The car looked like a cross between a Mercedes W196 and a Lancia D50. With a sports car nose, side boxes between the wheels, a faired cockpit and a De Dion axle at the front and rear. With 245 hp, Bugatti lagged the competition by 40 hp. The debut at the French GP with Maurice Trintignant at the wheel came to an end after 18 laps. And with it the chapter Bugatti in Formula 1.

Aston Martin DBR4 /250

After success in sports car races, Aston Martin moved into Formula 1 in 1959. Unfortunately with the wrong concept. Although Cooper had already indicated the direction last year with the mid-engine principle, Aston Martin stubbornly relied on the engine in front. The DBR4 /250 was too heavy and cumbersome. Even the 280 hp, which the factory optimistically stated for its six-cylinder in-line engine, didn't help. In 1959 there were still two sixth places, but one year later the concept was completely out of date. Aston Martin immediately withdrew from Formula 1.

B.R.M. P138

In 1969 there were resounding slaps in the face for the twelve-cylinder league. The Cosworth V8 dominated at will. Ferrari and B.R.M. had their worst season with 7 points each. John Surtees despaired of the B.R.M. P138, which was a bad development of the previous year's car. The Englishman made the chassis as a scapegoat, made modifications to the suspensions on his own, but was called off by technical director Tony Rudd. Also the new oneFour-valve twelve-cylinder from B.R.M. disappointed. Even when it reached the rumored 450 hp, it still lacked torque, drivability and endurance. When it became clear that the P138 was a freak, Rudd had to leave.

March 721X-Cosworth

After the success of the March 711 with the breakfast tray on the nose, March-Designer wanted it Robin Herd know. With the 721X he built a car that would drive for the world title with Ronnie Peterson. The main objective of the design was to concentrate as much weight as possible in the center of the vehicle in order to keep the moment of inertia low. Therefore, the Alfa Romeo gearbox had to be in front of the rear axle and the spring /damper unit on the gearbox roof. The brakes were installed inside based on the Lotus model. Too bad for March that the tires didn't harmonize with the complicated chassis geometry. The front tires quickly went to their knees. Newcomer Niki Lauda quickly recognized the problem, but no one listened to the rookie. Ronnie Peterson just stepped on the gas. But when the Swede couldn't find a green branch either, Herd admitted the mistake. In the middle of the season, the Formula 2 car was brought to Formula 1 dimensions and called the 721G.

Jacky Icky in the Lotus 76 at the Belgian GP 1974.

Lotus 76-Cosworth

After four years, the Lotus 72 had done its job. Emerson Fittipaldi and Ronnie Peterson won the Constructors' Championship with the four-year-old car in 1973. In 1974 a transfer had to be made, and Colin Chapman came up with something very special again. But the genius landed a flop with his angular Type 76 with electrohydraulic clutch, four pedals and double rear wing. It should be 50 kilograms lighter than its predecessor. When he stood on the wheels, he was roughly the same amount heavier. After a few unsuccessful attempts with the Type 76, Colin Chapman had to unpack the old Lotus 72 again.

B.R.M. P207

It was the swan song of a big brand. B.R.M. made a very last attempt with the P207, which failed as miserably as the last but one. Len Terry's design looked outdated. An angular and massive chassis with cooling inlets in theCockpit flanks. At the end of the year, the famous Bourne racing team locked up forever. After a series of non-qualifications. Larry Perkins had asked for his contract to be terminated after two missions. His successors Conny Anderson and Teddy Pilette were even less able to cope with the capricious car.

Ferrari 312T5

Defending champion Ferrari experienced a Waterloo. The 1979 constructors' world champion only finished 10th in 1980 with 8 world championship points. World champion Jody Scheckter played no role. The South African decided early on that it was time to step back and he was dragging himself through the season more badly than well. Gilles Villeneuve risked head and neck for 6 World Cup points. The new 312T5 was still not a true groundeffect car. Ferrari had specially designed new cylinder heads with wider valve angles in order to shrink the engine in width by five centimeters. In addition, the side pods became fuller. That should create more space for the air ducts under the car. A vertical fin behind the roll bar should calm the flow to the rear wing. The shot backfired. All other teams made landslide-like progress with real wing cars. Ferrari stagnated.

Zakspeed 891-Yamaha

For three years Zakspeed fought with the courage of desperation against the big automobile factories. Like Ferrari, Robin Hood from the Eifel built his own car and engine. With the introduction of naturally aspirated engines, Erich Zakowski opted for the more pragmatic approach. He hired Gustav Brunner as a designer and got engines from Yamaha, which made their debut in the premier class with an eight-cylinder. With the 891, Brunner built a car that corresponded to the zeitgeist. The weak point of the package was the Yamaha V8. Zakspeed had to go through the pre-qualification in 1989 and then through the actual qualification for the race. Bernd Schneider only crossed all qualification hurdles twice. His team-mate Aguri Suzuki never once. Then the racing team from the Eifel disappeared from Formula 1.

The Porsche twelve-cylinder in arrows.

Arrows FA12-Porsche

The Arrows racing team , which was meanwhile mostly in the hands of the Japanese catering company Footwork, experienced1991 a nasty surprise. The FA12 from the pen of Alan Jenkins attracted attention by a front wing, which was carried by a single bridge in the middle. A chassis was irreparably damaged due to a broken wing in a test accident in Imola's Tamburello curve. With Porsche as their engine partner, optimists were already dreaming of their first victory. In fact, the Porsche V12 with center output turned out to be a bad thing: too heavy, too big, too weak, too fragile. After the GP Mexico, Porsche pulled the emergency brake. Then the Arrows FA12 was equipped with a Hart V8. That could only be a bad compromise. For the first time in the company's history, Arrows ended a season with zero points.

Tyrrell 021-Yamaha

The 1993 season was the low point for Ken Tyrrell. For the first time in his Formula 1 membership, none of his cars managed to finish in the points. Mike Coughlan's conservative Tyrrell 021 turned out to be a miscarriage. The car was slow and prone to breakdown. Ukyo Katayama and Andrea de Cesaris were canceled 22 times. The Yamaha engine was partly to blame. After moderate success, the Japanese manufacturer rounded off its range with a V8 and a V12 with a ten-cylinder.

McLaren MP4-10-Mercedes

The elephant marriage McLaren-Mercedes made a terrific false start in 1995 . On the floor, team boss Ron Dennis had trumped up with the sensational signing of Nigel Mansell. The press hype surrounding Mansell was followed by the embarrassment that the 1992 world champion was too fat for the cockpit of the MP4-10. Or rather, the workplace was too narrow. There was a lack of elbow room. Even Mika Hakkinen felt hemmed in. McLaren tossed five chassis and set up six new MP4-10B monocoques in record time. Mansell paused two races and was represented by Mark Blundell. Then the mustache drove two Grand Prix, fought around in midfield and abdicated. The 1992 world champion described the car with the mini-wing on the airbox as a flop that was not to be prayed for. Overall, Mansell's damning verdict was confirmed. With 30 points, McLaren landed behind in fourth place and was just lucky that Ligier and Jordan were even worse sorted.

BAR 001-Supertec

BAR debuted in 1999 with a big drum roll. The racing team, funded by British American Tobacco, grew out of what was left of the Tyrrell team. Team bosses Craig Pollock and Adrian Reynard gave a win as the minimum goal for the first season. In 14 months, with a budget of 50 million dollars, 202 people, a brand new factory in Brackley and Formula 1 engineers like Andy Green, Simon Lacey or Willem Toet and world champion Jacques Villeneuve in the cockpit, the new super team was to emerge from the ruins of Tyrrell .

Two cars were presented before the start of the season. One in the colors of Lucky Strikethe other with the paint of 555. The plan to have the cars compete in the races with different paints was prohibited by the FIA. BAR then gave its cars a 50/50 outfit. The most spectacular start-up in the last 20 years did not score a single point. The new racing team failed due to poor organization. The BAR 001 was only mediocre, the Supertec V10 no longer competitive and the preparation of the cars was poor. Jacques Villeneuve, Ricardo Zonta and temporary driver Mika Salo were out 23 times.

Benetton B201-Renault

Benetton did not get to its feet in the last year before the takeover by Renault. Giancarlo Fisichella and newcomer Jenson Button struggled in 2001 with Renault's new ten-cylinder with the unusual bank angle of 110 degrees. The engine, which weighed only 88 kilograms, was vulnerable and only delivered 790 hp. The low center of gravity was exchanged for poor torsional rigidity and high air resistance. Only an aerodynamic cure for the Belgian GP showed an effect. The efficiency improves by eight percent. Fisichella surprisingly came in third. It was the first move by the new designers Mike Gascoyne and Tim Densham. 'The car was so bad, it could only get better,' said Gascoyne, putting the move into perspective.

Test driver Wurz in a McLaren MP4-18: The car didn't see a race.

McLaren MP4-18

In 2003, McLaren and Mercedes wasted a lot of energy trying to build the ultimate Ferrari scare. Adrian Newey's wonder car MP4-18 only saw the racetrack for test runs. The Mercedes FO110P engine also disappeared in the museum without being used in racing. Initially, the debut of the car, which was created using completely new production techniques, was continuously postponed. After the MP4-18 had to be disposed of after 5,153 test kilometers and three failed crash tests, it became the MP4-19 in 2004.

The Mercedes FO110P engine became the F110Q. 60 percent of all parts were taken over from the museum car. The dolphin nose, which barely covered the front wing, the wavy wing profiles and the pronounced double keel gave Adrian Newey's prevented revolution his unmistakableFace.

Nevertheless, the ultra-slim and compact car suffered from many ailments. An uncomfortable sitting position because of the chassis cut too deeply, insufficient rigidity on the front axle, an airbox that gave the engine too little air, too soft and small wheel carriers, insufficient brake cooling, too poor heat dissipation of the cooling air, and a chassis that the tires barely brought up to temperature, were on the list of defects. At the French GP, a B version of the MP4-19 was laid down. At least she won a Grand Prix at the Belgian GP in 2004.

Sauber C33-Ferrari

21 years after his Formula 1 debut, Sauber had no points for the first time. As in the previous year, the team fought for survival in 2014. In the first year of the hybrid era, Sauber was overwhelmed by the task. There was always trouble with the brake-by-wire system. And Ferrari was still miles behind Mercedes with the engine. The C33 started the season clearly overweight. The pilots complained of sudden oversteer when turning. The problem was only cured gradually. The team lived from hand to mouth and did not have the means for aggressive development.

Williams FW41-Mercedes

It was not the first Williams crash in the recent past. In 2013 Williams finished 9th with 5 points. The Williams FW35 was not a masterpiece. Back then there were at least two teams, Caterham and Marussia, that were even worse. Last season, Williams landed at the bottom of the table by a clear margin. It was already clear after two races. This FW41 is a bad design.

The front wing did not work. Too much damaging turbulence arose in the front of the car that could not be recaptured. The wind tunnel and simulator were fed with incorrect data. Head of Technology Paddy Lowe gave the car a complicated cooling system that he knew from his ex-team Mercedes. Williams couldn't do it. That drove up the temperatures. Williams had to open the fairing, which further cost downforce. When the engineers understood the errors, it was too late to correct them. Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin were overwhelmed with the critical car.

auto motor und sport is celebrating the 1,000th. Formula 1 races this season with a large series in 100 parts. In the daily countdown we provide you with an exciting story and interesting video features from the history of the premier class. You can find all previous articles on our >> Overview page for the big anniversary Grand Prix.


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