Tyrell P34, Interesting Six-Wheelers & Formula 1   

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           Tyrell P34

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Tyrell P34 Six-Wheeler (1976-77)

Click on image below for video of P34 on Goodwood Hillclimb

Arguably the Greatest Race Car Design Ever

What a pity Formula 1 has, in the past years, chosen to outlaw non-costly inovations such as six wheels, turbos, any engine configuration, ground effect, etc., and sadly, continues to promate a "spec. series" (all cars equal), whereby F1 continues to lose its spectator base.......

Click on image below for video of P34 on Kyalami F1 Circuit in South Africa


Team owner, Ken Tyrrell (left) with car designer, Derek Gardner (right) and driver Patrick Depailler (in cockpit).

Overview of 3 drivers during 2 seasons (1976 and 1977)

Patrick Depailler - 1976 and 1977 seasons.

Jody Scheckter - 1976 season.

Ronnie Peterson - 1977 season.

Tyrrell P34 Race results for 1976

Event                              Scheckter                                       Depailler

Jarama               Was not in P34                    Qualifies 3rd but retires with fading brakes on lap 26.

Zolder                 Qualifies 7th, finishes 7th     Qualifies 4th but retires with engine failure
Monaco               Qualifies 5th, finishes 2nd    Qualifies 4th, finishes 3rd
Anderstorp           Qualifies 1st, finishes 1st     Qualifies 4th, finishes 2nd
Paul Ricard          Qualifies 5th, finishes 6th     Qualifies 3rd, finishes 2nd
Brands Hatch       Qualifies 8th, finishes 2nd     Qualifies 5th, but retires with engine failure
Nurburgring          Qualifies 8th, finishes 2nd     Qualifies 3rd, but crashes on lap 1
                           and takes fastest lap            
Osterreichring       Qualifies 10th but crashes    Qualifies 13th but retires with suspension failure
                           on lap 14 with suspension

Zandvoort            Qualifies 8th, finishes 5th      Qualifies 14th, finishes 7th
Monza                 Qualifies 2nd, finishes 5th     Qualifies 4th, finishes 6th
Mosport               Qualifies 7th, finishes 4th      Qualifies 4th, finishes 2nd and gets fastest lap
Watkins Glen       Qualifies 2nd, finishes 2nd     DNF
Fuji                     Qualifies 5th, but retires         Qualifies 13th, finishes 2nd in torrential rain
                          with overheating engine    

The P34 scored its only Formula 1 Grand Prix win in 1976, with Jody Scheckter wining the Swedish Grand Prix at Anderstorp.

Overall Jody Scheckter came 3rd in the 1976 Drivers Championship and Depailler came fourth. The P34 scored 71 points for Tyrrell, giving them 3rd place in the Constructors Championship. This was an impressive first year for such a radical car

Tyrrell P34 Race results for 1977

Event                              Peterson                                       Depailler

Buenos Aires        Qualifies 14th, spun out        Qualifies 3rd, retires on lap 32 with overheating engine
                            on lap 28   
Interlargos            Qualifies 8th, crashed           Qualifies 6th, crashed on lap 23 
                            on lap 12    

Kyalami                Qualifies 7th, retired on         Qualifies 4th, finishes 3rd
                            lap 5 with fuel loss    
Long Beach           Qualifies 10th, retired on       Qualifies 12th, finishes 4th
                            lap 5 with fuel line problem    
Jarama                 Qualifies 15th, finishes 8th    Qualifies 10th, retires on lap 12 with engine problem
Monaco                Qualifies 4th, retires on lap    Qualifies 8th, retires with brake & gearbox problem
                           10 with brake problem   
Zolder                  Qualifies 8th, finishes 3rd       Qualifies 5th, finishes 8th
Anderstorp           Qualifies 10th, retires with      Qualifies 6th, finishes 4th 
                           ignition problem    

Dijon-Prenois        Qualifies 17th, finishes 12th   Qualifies 12th, crashes on lap 21
Silverstone           Qualifies 10th, retires with      Qualifies 18th, crashes due to failing brakes 
                           engine problem   

Hockenheim         Qualifies 14th, retires with      Qualifies 15th, retires lap 22 with engine problem 
                           engine problem    

Osterreichring       Qualifies 15th, finishes 5th    Qualifies 10th, finishes 13th
Zandervoort          Qualifies 7th, retires              Qualifies 11th, retires lap 31 with engine problem 
                           with ignition problem    

Monza                 Qualifies 12th, finishes 6th     Qualifies 13th, retires lap 24 with engine problem
Watkins Glen       Qualifies 5th, finishes16th      Qualifies 8th, finishes 14th
Mosport               Qualifies 3rd, retires with        Qualifies 6th, finishes 2nd
                           fuel leak    
Fuji                      Qualifies 18th, crashes on       Qualifies 15th, finishes 3rd
                           lap 5    

Overall Ronnie Peterson came 14th in the 1977 Drivers Championship and Depailler came eighth, the P34 scored a disappointing 27 points for Tyrrell giving them 6th place in the 1977 Constructors Championship.

Clearly after such an awful season and without the commitment of Goodyear to develop the front tyres Tyrrell had no option but to abandon Project 34, and developed the 008 for the 1978 season, a car with just four wheels. The P34 was resigned to the history books and the cars sold to private collectors as historic F1 oddities.

Derek Gardners' Design Goals

Following his earlier and successful Tyrrell four wheel F1 design, which carried Jackie Stewart to the World Championship, he considered the primary things he had to deal with to improve a chassis for the 1976 season. These were :

            1) reduce drag
            2) improve cornering power
            3) increase braking grip

Four smaller wheels at the front seemed a logical solution. First calculations, showed just about everything going for it :

            1) a drop in height of the wheel and tyre of 4", lowered drag, increased top speed
            2) 2" narrower front wheels reduced frontal area, worth about 10-15 bhp
            3) a 40% increase in the area of contact patch on the road
            4) 34% more brake pad pressing on 26.5% more disc swept area
            5) smaller, lighter discs, wheels, tyres, dampers and coils  

Chassis Development

Alloy monocoque, riveted tub.

Curb Weight        575 kg

The need for such unusual parts' dimensions for the new design, cut the car off from some of the semi "off-the-shelf" parts and services obtainable at high speed and short notice within Britain's racing car industry. Initial test at the Paul Ricard circuit, showed instant promise
. It rapidly proved faster than the previous car with corner loads rising to a formidable 1.88G.

Braking was better and those three main objectives on which the original concept was developed, had initially been achieved. Paradoxically, a higher top speed is not necessarily a total blessing in a racing car. The driver arrives at a higher speed than previously experienced at every corner, and much has to be given awy in harder or earlier braking, extra heat, tyre wear, a slightly different line of approach or attitude in the corner itself.

Larger braking area and tyre contact patches dealt with two aspects, but the laws of thermodynamics were not going to permit the evasion of more heat.

The still massive rear, together with the wing, largely governed frontal area, and smaller fronts could not exert decisive effects. However, it was always quicker in a straight line. Having reduced the width of the car at the front, cornering force had to be recovered, a weakness mainly due to heaviness. Exotic materials weren't used yet, but as time went on, these exotic materials crept in, and the car drastically improved.

In the end, it was recognised by other F1 designers as brilliant, but gradually failed because, while constant development was going into the rear tyres, which all teams were using, the same work could not go into the small fronts, so it gradually fell behind everyone else.

The P34 had been born out of passion and the guts to try something different, and there are those who say that it was ahead of its time. If Goodyear had fully developed the tyre it needed, and the overheating brake problem was resolved, who knows what might have been possible.


Info to follow........


Top Speed            175 mph


Ford Cosworth DFV, 3-litre, 465 bhp.


Hewland FG400

Final Drive     
In unit with transaxle


Front            Twin double wishbones with outboard coils

Rear             Parallel lower links, single top link, twin radius rods, outboard coils  


Single rack and pinion with slave link to each axle


Outboard discs all round. Front calipers integral with uprights.

For the opposition, better turn-in grip was also improving their braking, and they had the elbow room to experiment with larger, multi-pot calipers, double installations and bigger, thicker discs. Such alternatives on the Tyrrell, where the caliper was actually an integral part of the upright, verged on the impossible. Bit by bit the weight load crept up as well.


Front            Twin wheels, 10" diameter, 9" wide

Rear             13" diameter, 18" wide   


Goodyear special fronts with 16" OD.

Goodyear agreed to make tyres in at least two compounds and constructions, in both wets and dry slicks. All other teams were using similarly-sized tyres on 13" front wheels, so any new experiments in carcase, tread rubber or combination of the two could be produced in relatively high numbers. They went to half a dozen teams, different cars, different drivers. The feedback was considerable with easy crosschecks to filter out really way-out compliments, ot criticisms.

Small tyres went against all the calculations by refusing to heat up properly on the first compounds. Other designers had forged ahead to utilise  altered front suspensions with nwer front tyres, and were a long way on their own improved high G turn-in success. With every race they nibbled away at the P34's advantage.

Drivers and other heavy objects were edging forwards in the chassis, increasing the front weight distribution, and somewhat ironically for Tyrrell, the much greater tyre contact area of four patches meant correspondingly less weght pressing on them. One undisputed component is the actual weight on the contact patch. Tyrrell were very much on their own, and Goodyear was having to produce the special tiny tyres in tiny numbers. No one had ever made such tyres or suitable wheels to carry them at those speeds and revs.

Given time Tyrrell was quoted as saying, we couls have solved the tyre problem, but time is what you've never got in F1 racing.

P34 Links

1976/77 March 2-4-0 Formula 1 Six Wheeler 

March 2-4-0

An alternative six-wheel F1 concept: four wheels at the rear

At March Engineering in Bicester, designer Robin Herd had watched the P34 experiment closely and, by late 1976, had come to the conclusion that the 'four front wheels' concept might have been a blind alley. In his assessment, the improved aerodynamics at the front were largely negated by the rear tyres which at 24" (60 cm) diameter would still have accounted for 30 to 40% of the car's total drag. He also felt that with a modern rear wheel drive F1 car, the extra grip could be employed more usefully for the driven wheels.

With this in mind, Herd drew up plans for a six-wheeled car with four driven wheels at the rear and all of the wheels the same 16" diameter. His theory was that with all six tyres the same size as the regular F1 front tyre, the car would not only be slimmer than normal F1 cars but would possess improved aerodynamic performance at the rear with much cleaner air passing over wing. Four driven wheels would also mean better traction and, unlike the Tyrrell, there would be no problem with tyre development since the car would use exactly the same rubber as a conventional F1 car. Herd called this concept '2-4-0', following the Whyte notation used to describe railway rolling stock: two wheels leading, four driven wheels, zero trailing wheels.

With the apparent technical advantages of this concept laid out, Max Mosley (Herd's partner at March Cars) gave the go-ahead for a prototype to be built. Mosley noted that the P34 had generated a lot of additional publicity for Tyrrell and, aside from the technical merits, believed a March six-wheeler would be an attractive package to present to potential sponsors.

Unfortunately, the March team was at something of a low point financially during 1976/77 and the development costs of an all-new six-wheel car would be high. As a compromise measure, a 1976-design Cosworth DFV-powered March 761 was adapted by team engineer Wayne Eckersley in a quiet corner of the Bicester factory. Existing parts from the factory stores were used wherever possible.
A key feature of a car with four driven wheels at the rear would be the transmission. An ingenious gearbox design was required to minimise any frictional power losses. It would also have to be stronger (and hence heavier) to counteract the higher torsional and flexural stresses that the close-coupled four-wheel-drive system would generate.

Herd's original design for the gearbox casing recognised these factors and specified a series of strengthening ribs to counteract the additional loading. However, at some point in development it was decided that the casting would be very complex and expensive to produce. By way of a cost-cutting measure, some of the ribs were duly removed from the drawing. In fact, the design utilised a standard Hewland F1 gearbox for the first axle. To this, the new casing, gears and an extended pinion for the second axle were fitted. Practically, this meant that any 761 chassis could be easily adapted should the concept prove workable. Once the 2-4-0 was partially built, the press were invited to the factory in late November 1976 for a viewing of the hitherto 'secret' project. The unveiling generated a huge amount of interest with articles in several motor sport magazines plus a photograph on the cover of the following week's Autosport magazine (dated 2nd December 1976). Simultaneously, the company also outlined plans for a full running demonstration and developmental testing at Silverstone circuit scheduled for a fortnight later.

The first test took place at Silverstone in late 1976. Unfortunately, on the initial lap the gearbox casing flexed and the gears became unmeshed. No immediate solution could be found and so the rear crown wheel and pinion were removed for the rest of the day's testing. Effectively the 2-4-0 had become a two-wheel drive car again. Fortunately for March, it was a wet day at the circuit and the driver Howden Ganley could not push the car too fast. Consequently, the test was reported as a success by the media.

The problems on the first lap highlighted the fact that the car needed a new, stronger gearbox casing and a serious development program. Unable to afford the time and resources that this would require, the 2-4-0 project was de-prioritised by the company. The car made a brief appearance during practice for the 1977 Brazilian Grand Prix at the end of January. At this time, the car was painted in blue and white Rothmans livery (March's sponsor at the time) but it did not take part in the race. A few days later in February, the car (now fitted with a stronger gearbox) ran again at Silverstone with driver Ian Scheckter at the wheel. Although it was another wet day, the car was run up and down the Hangar Straight and, with four driven wheels, Scheckter reported that the traction was 'incredible'. Additionally, the events of the day again made Autosport magazine's front page (dated 10th February 1977). But this was the end of 2-4-0's F1 development history. On its reappearance at the Belgium GP in June, the converted 761 chassis had been reconfigured as a conventional four wheeler.

Hill climbing -
In 1979 the 2-4-0 concept was revived by British Hillclimb specialist Roy Lane. Lane had bought a March 771 chassis and with Robin Herd's blessing was loaned the improved 2-4-0 transmission unit. The fact that the 2-4-0 was originally an inexpensive workshop conversion of the standard March F1 chassis meant that Lane was easily able to fit the unit to his car. Taking advantage of four-wheel traction, Lane won several British hill-climbing events in the 771/2-4-0 that year with the first win at Wiscombe Park in May. However, over the season the car proved troublesome and Lane eventually switched back to the four-wheel configuration.

Despite only limited success in short duration racing events, the 2-4-0 concept was never disproven. It is possible that if a weight-shedding program had been pursued (possibly using stronger and lighter materials) and the car's suspect handling improved, the 2-4-0 could have proved successful in F1. The concept would certainly have adapted well to ground effect which was the coming technology in grand prix racing.

The WilliamsF1 team seem to have agreed with Herd's theory because in 1982 they built and tested a '2-4-0' style six-wheeler - designated the FW08B. However, any hopes of seeing a '2-4-0' race car compete in a grand prix were dashed when the FIA banned all four-wheel drive systems in this category. The FW08B remains on display in the Williams' factory museum.

Gilles Vileneuve - The Greatest F1 Driver

A Tribute

Click image above to view video tribute

Covini C3A Six Wheeler

2011 Covini C3A Six Wheeler Supercar

New 6 Wheeler Takes 2011 Goodwood Festival by Storm

The Covini C3A is the first 6 wheeler supercar to receive the very exclusive invitation to Goodwood Festival of Speed by Lord March and was one of the stars of the show all weekend in 2011.

The exclusive and groundbreaking car attracted lots of interest from sport enthusiasts, both in the paddock and running up the hill. The Covini corner of the supercar paddock was constantly full of people marveling at the novelty of the car and wondering why... why 6 wheels?

We asked Gianluca Covini, son of the Italian expert and mechanical engineer Ferruccio Covini who developed his passion for cars and engines by focusing his experimentation and innovation towards a very unique prototype.

Gianluca explains that, for performance enthusiasts, four front wheels offer the ability to get around a racetrack faster than ever before as better traction offers higher cornering speeds and deeper braking, particularly when the pavement is slippery or less than ideal.

In a roadgoing sense, even without considering the passive safety afforded by two front wheels at each corner (which means a front tyre puncture will not cause the vehicle to lose control), 6 wheels will grant additional stopping power afforded by four front discs and four tyre treads to transmit the force - although the individual area of each tyre tread is smaller than that of a traditional tyre, the total area is greater. Increased grip is also guaranteed by the drop in the individual unsprung weight of each wheel, offering much better directional stability and higher cornering speeds than a four wheeler. Finally the Covini feels more comfortable than it's 4 wheels rivals, thanks to less unsprung weight at each wheel, that allows the suspension to control wheel movement better and guarantees more evenly distributed reaction forces in the suspension.
Powered by an Audi 4.2 litre V8 that produces nearly 500bhp, and with its weight kept to just 1150kg using a tubular steel frame and a lightweight carbon fibre body, the Covini C3A is capable of exceeding speeds of 300kph (190mph).

Powered by its great technical innovation and Italian passion, the Covini C3A has been presented in the UK by Genius Car Ltd, a company founded by Eugenio Carugati (another Italian engineer with a passion for cars) and it's aimed at the top end of the market who requires unique, bespoke and innovative solutions.

With its bold, timeless design, genius technical innovation and extraordinary performance, the Covini C3A might lead the way to more manufacturers going the way of six wheels and, if we judge by the interest from both enthusiasts and experts at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend, we'll certainly see some interesting developments in the world of motoring.

The Covini C3A Story

Covini is a niche name known primarily by car enthusiasts in automotive circles - that's almost certain to change thanks to the company's latest design - a six wheel sports car along similar engineering lines to the famous Tyrrell P34 Formula One racing car of the mid-seventies. The Tyrrell P34 is without doubt the most recognisable car in the history of world motor sport - it remains the only six wheeler ever to start (and even win) a Grand Prix. Today, the spirit of that extraordinary machine lives on in the exquisite, hand crafted Covini C3A - the only supercar in the world with a remarkable six wheel configuration. Powered by an Audi 4.2 litre V8 that produces nearly 500bhp, and with its weight kept to just 1150kg using a tubular steel frame and a lightweight carbon fibre body, the C3A is capable of exceeding speeds of 300kph (190mph).

The Covini C3A is the realisation of a 35 year dream that stretches back to the era of the Tyrell P34. After constructing a few prototypes as a hobby, in 1978 mechanic Ferruccio Covini founded Covini Engineering, a small company dedicated to the construction of static and automotive prototypes. Built from his passion for cars and engines, his artisan company has always kept its focus on experimentation and innovation rather than big volume production.

The inspiration for his six wheeled design came after Covini noticed how little grip and comfort his 4 wheeled cars afforded him, particularly on wet, slippery roads. Fuelled by a desire to erase this problem, Covini and his small team set to work developing a prototype that would give greater power, braking and handling performance than any other car in the world.

The first tests provided Covini with more encouragement then he could have predicted. The prototype showed remarkable levels of performance and safety, as the six wheels gave the car a greater tyre surface. In addition to its fantastic handling, speed and braking, the original prototype also nullified aquaplaning in wet conditions, because the two foremost wheels clear the water for the ones behind them and allow better road adhesion.
Encouraged by the margin that the prototype had exceeded its forecasts, the project soon attracted the attention of a second mechanical engineer, Eugenio Carugati. Instantly falling in love with the car, Carugati joined forces with Covini and headed up a passionate team that developed the project in Covini's small workshop.

Other partners in the project have included DAEWOO (technological research on prototypes), BOSCH (electronic and braking system), BREMBO (brake system), MOMO (airbag and new technology), PIRELLI (special tyres and research), ANTERA (special ultra-light alloy wheels) and POLITECNICO DI MILANO (optimization of the chassis set-up).

There are many arguments for four front wheels - Tyrrell's aim with the P34 front-end layout was intended to minimize induced drag by reducing lift at the front and to turn that gain into the ability to enter and leave corners faster. The modern day C3A's six wheeled design offers many advantages over a conventional four wheel car. For performance enthusiasts, four front wheels offer the ability to get around a racetrack faster than ever before as better traction offers higher cornering speeds and deeper braking, particularly when the pavement is slippery or less than ideal.

In a roadgoing sense, the passive safety afforded by two front wheels at each corner means a front tyre puncture will not cause the vehicle to lose control (thanks to the other wheel next to it). Then there's the additional stopping power afforded by four front discs and four tyre footprints to transmit the force - although the individual area of each tyre footprint is smaller than that of a traditional tyre, the total area is greater.

Comfort is another consideration - less unsprung weight at each wheel allows the suspension to control wheel movement better and the overall ride benefits from more evenly distributed reaction forces in the suspension. The drop in the individual unsprung weight of each wheel also offers much better grip and better directional stability - with a well-matched set of tyres, a six-wheeler can be expected to have higher cornering speeds than a four wheeler.

With its bold, timeless design, genius technical innovation and extraordinary performance, the Covini C3A might lead the way to more manufacturers going the way of six wheels, now that modern computers, sensors and material science have all advanced to the degree necessary to control all the complexities of what's happening with those front wheels.

Covini is Developing a Speedster Version of its Supercar

Genius Car Ltd is developing a prototype project for the speedster version of the C3A, the first 6 wheeled supercar. This exclusive car has been developed in the Covini factory and is now approaching the testing phase. This version of the C3A will only be driven on racing circuits and has already proven to be extremely fast and superior in braking, grip and road handling. GeniusCar is working hard on making Covini's exciting 6 wheeled sports car a champion that will change the rules of racing.

6 Wheeled ECO Supercar

Covini is a sports car competing in fast, powerful and luxurious environment where performance and speed are the most important aspects and manufacturers cannot afford to compromise these factors. Covini wants to stand out and be different, this manufacturer has invested time and money and finally developed an eco sustainable project. The C3A will be an hybrid car, half petrol and half electric, able to combine power and speed typical of sport cars together with creativity and responsibility towards the environment and the planet. The car's electric engine will also be able to reuse the braking power, which, using a technique known in Formula 1, will guarantee clean energy to drive around town or cruise in the countryside without harming the environment, at the same time assuring top performance when pushed to the max on the tracks.

Driving the Six-Wheeled Covini C6W

Given the pure shock and awe this car imposes on its beholders, it is pretty surprising to discover that the idea of a six-wheeled supercar is about as old as the supercar itself. The concept of four wheels at the front dates back to the early '70s and was first developed for Grand Prix racing, of all things. Those were the days of very few limitations to the formula of Formula 1 cars, and on the grid appeared a bizarre-looking car named the Tyrrell P34 that had four tiny wheels at the front and two larger ones at the back. The unique design promised reduced lift, increased front brake area and more front grip thanks to the four contact patches.

What everyone soon realized is that the Tyrell had even better grip and braking capabilities than its competitors. On its first racing season it achieved eight 2nd-place podiums and won the Swedish Grand Prix at the hands of Jody Scheckter (who later went on to win the F1 title for Ferrari). But despite this initial success, the project was abandoned after only two seasons, mostly because of Goodyear's failure to continue development on the proprietary 10-inch front tires.

In 1977 the concept first emerged in a road car called Panther 6, an extravagant six-wheel convertible, powered by a twin-turbo 8.2-liter Cadillac V8. It claimed to have had an ambitious 600 horsepower and a top speed of no less than 200 mph, but only two cars were ever made — the second after the company went bankrupt.

From that point in time, it seemed as if the idea of the six-wheel sports car was lost forever — until an unexpected double comeback in 2004. That same year Ford introduced a pinkish six-wheel concept for the movie Thunderbirds and the car starring here was born — the Covini C6W.

A History of Ingenuity

The idea of a six-wheel supercar started blooming in Ferruccio Covini's mind around the time that the Tyrrell P34 dominated the circuit. Back then, the young Italian engineer was designing concept cars as a hobby, and decided to start a small company (still as a hobby) that would specialize in technologically advanced automotive prototypes. Reality, however, has a way of revising even the best plans. He had to put off the realization of his dream car, and started producing more conventional machinery.

His first prototype was a square-shaped diesel 4x4 with replaceable outer panels, named T44. In 1982, he uncovered his second project, the B24 — a 130-hp two-seater that claimed to be the first production diesel car to exceed 124 mph. And yes, by production we mean a series of nine cars. Covini stayed loyal to diesel engines and revealed another prototype in 1986 named the T40. It was a five-cylinder 3.5-liter turbocharged GT that produced an impressive 225 hp using a unique overboost function.

During the '90s, Covini contributed to several projects, like the Dragon-Fly helicopter and the Callaway C7, before committing to another aspiring venture of his own — the C36 sports car: a lightweight coupe (2,200 pounds) powered by an advanced 3.6-liter common-rail turbodiesel that developed 300 hp. It was set to be one of the fastest diesel cars in the world, capable of 186 mph, though an official attempt was never made.

From Six-Wheel to Three-Axis
Covini then began designing his long-awaited dream car, the model that will become his future trademark. He called it the C6W, short for Covini 6-Wheeler, although the production model set for 2012 will bear a different name, C3A — Covini 3-Axis.

The designing process was assisted by Ferruccio's two sons: one an electronics engineer and racing driver, the other a mechanical engineer. He also managed to pull together a lot of big sponsors: Pirelli (tires), Brembo (brakes), Bosch (electronics) and Momo (airbags). However, the biggest sponsorship came from a different field, literally — PMI, one of the largest tractor makers in Italy, which contributed its assembly line for the planned production run of 20 cars per year.

There's a fine line between insanity and ingenuity.

The first prototype was introduced at the Geneva auto show in 2005, shocking the automotive world almost as much as the Tyrrell did in its time. The power plant is an Audi-sourced 4.2-liter V8 that has been tuned to 440 hp and coupled with a six-speed manual gearbox. The chassis is tubular steel, while the body is made of a combination of carbon and fiberglass, with a retractable plastic hardtop. Aided by a curb weight of just 2,535 pounds, the C6W promises to hit 62 mph in less than 4 seconds and climb to a top speed of more than 186 mph.

The big engineering obstacle was, of course, designing and tuning the front suspension. The wheels are attached to the front subframe using standard wishbones, and each couple is joined by a longitudinal strut. Now comes the tricky part — in the prototype we drove, each wheel had its own spring and damper, while the production vehicles will receive an inboard coil-over for both wheels on each side — one for the left set and one for the right. The reason, explains Covini, is to allow better stability at very high speeds, a difficult mission to accomplish if both wheels are not completely synchronized. Note to self: Beware of very high speeds when the time to drive comes.

Six and the City
Sitting low and snug in the passenger seat, you can't help but notice strange stares everywhere you go. These are not your typical "that lucky bastard" glances most exotic-car owners are used to, but a double-take "I need new glasses" kind of stare.

It's hard to sympathize with that visual shock from inside the car, though, not only because it feels very ordinary, but also because the cockpit is extremely unattractive. The lines are too simplistic; the dials look like something from the Starship Enterprise and that light blue color scheme is, well, plain awful.

After a brief demonstration, we swap seats and I'm already struggling: 1st gear is reluctant to engage and demands an exact combination of force and precision. Covini assures me that production cars will have smoother shifts and that they will also offer an automated manual option with steering-wheel-mounted paddles.

The engine disappoints. It doesn't feel as powerful as the figures suggest (though I assume retuning an Audi engine will not be a problem come production), but it is torquey enough and has a wonderful V8 gurgle on full throttle. Unlike the production cars, the brakes and steering on the prototype are unassisted. Sure enough, we wouldn't mind having a better bite from the stiff brake pedal, or shorter, lighter clutch and throttle pedals — but we would change nothing with the near-perfect steering.

Naturally, you expect a four-wheel unassisted steering system to be overly heavy, but the C6W's steering is relatively light and has very quick responses. Ferruccio says they, too, were surprised and continues with a fiery speech about the advantages of the car's unorthodox mechanics: "Every 15-inch front wheel weighs half as much as the rear 20-inch wheels. Also, because there's so much rubber on the road, there's more grip, especially on imperfect roads. It also increases braking capabilities, even before considering its six disc brakes, and aids passive safety — less aquaplaning in wet conditions and enhanced stability in case of a front wheel puncture."

It sounds too good to be overlooked. In theory, anyway.

In Practice

On the road the six-armed monster feels very tame and familiar. Besides the tiny, useless side mirrors and the notchy gearchange, all the controls are very easy to use and the ride really is very well sorted. The only extraordinary sensation comes from the fact that the nearest wheels are, indeed, very near — almost at my knee line. This results in ultra-sharp turn-in and a sense that the car is pivoting around you.

This is very good news, especially since our next stop is a Supermoto circuit on the outskirts of Milan. "Don't forget that this is only a prototype," said Covini before sending me off with his racing-driver son, Gianluca, who did everything in his power to prove the opposite. He made the car moan and groan under pressure, attacking apexes to the music of squealing tires and V8 rumble.

When my turn came to take the wheel, I quickly understood why he could not help but drive the prototype as if he stole it. Despite all its tiny flaws, this car really works great. It's accurate, tight and very composed in the bends. The steering provides superb feedback and there's lots of front-end grip. You can even get it going sideways with a very progressive transition from grip to oversteer. And there's nothing on earth that looks like this machine in a slide. Where else does one see four wheels in opposite lock?

In other words, it's got all the essentials of a good sports car.

Six Figures

With an estimated price tag of 400,000 euros, the Covini C3A can't really be a game-changer in sports car history, but it does raise a lot of questions about the forced habits of traditional car design, as well as the boxed thinking of a conservative car industry.

However easy it is to dismiss this as a concept, it is very hard not to be impressed by the execution. With further development, this could prove to be much more common in the future.

Ferruccio Covini, like the designers of the Tyrrell P34 and other visionaries before him, has shown us that thinking outside the box can lead to creative solutions. And he has proved once more that there's only a fine line between insanity and ingenuity.

Formula 1 - The Sad Decline and Death of a Wonderful Motor Sport

F1 - a slide from spectacle to spec. series


As a long-time, avid fan of Formula One, since the early sixties, I am saddened by its long, slow demise. Through the years, by the continued banning of innovative competition, enforced grid reduction, limited overtaking, and continual rule book changes, FIA has succeeded in producing a high-cost, lack-lustre, spec-series.

Being the pinacle of motor racing, F1 requires to throw out the old, fat rule book, and recommence with a fresh, simplified, slim one.

I have always believed that safety should be a first concern, but by its nature, it is a dangerous, gladatorial sport, and accidents happen, no matter what safety measures are taken. Drivers choose to take those risks, are paid very highly, and many young drivers await their turn on the F1 circuit. If you don't accept those risks, don't get involved in F1. However, although I propose a return to some of the old values, I do not want fatalities, so current car tub crash-worthiness must be maintained, while permitting more on-track spectacle, speed, "racing", and overtaking. 

This was the last time I remember seeing any "racing" in F1 :  Gilles Villeneuve v Rene Arnoux Video

This was At Dijon in 1979. Nowadays, both drivers would have been "blacked-flagged", and penalised.

Rules where all cars are equal, where drivers are penalised for a "racing incident", and where no designers can innovate, leaves the sport with a "no overtaking", "follow-the-leader", boring procession, where in effect, only "pit stop stategy" determines track position and results. This drives away spectators. The best races I ever witnessed, were on the pre-modified (non-chicane) tracks, with no fuel stops, that were sprint races, from start to finish. Quite often, a single-car, small-budget team, with clever and low-cost innovative design, developed a dominant car and gave a racing spectacle, while big-budget teams struggled to catch up. I'm thinking of such designs as Chapman's Lotus 88 ground-effect, Brabham's fan car, Tyrrell's P34 six-wheeler, etc.

Engine type, number of cylinders and compressor restrictions are also counter-productive for the sport. However, a capacity must be set for both atmospheric and turbo engines (say, only 35% of atmospheric permitted). Spectators enjoyed the different engine notes played by either a V16 BRM, a flat-12 Ferrari, a V8 Cosworth, a V10 Mercedes, Renault or Honda, or a small turbo V6.

The main problem arises, each time rules are changed, in a vain attempt, to prohibit any team's performance advantage, over others. FIA think that by constantly "moving the goal posts", reducing power, revs, tyres, aerodynamics, removing innovation, and slowing track speeds, they will maintain racing equality; boring for the paying spectators. In the later years I have perceived the rules "moving" in an attempt to control a wonderful, dominant Ferrari. We must remember, Ferrari is synonomous with Formula One; if Ferrari goes, there will be no F1.


F1 - Over the years, the only worthwhile rule book improvement, has been to driver cockpit safety:

  • FIA and Bernie Ecclestone have been, manipulating the rules for their requirements, and have been major factors in the recent decline. However, previously Jean Marie Balestre could also be implicated.
  • Cars were elegant and beautiful, developed through innovation, yet have ended up "fugly".
  • Overtaking is minimal due to madatory circuit "slow-down" chicanes along with driver penalties for any perceived aggressive overtaking attempt (that's what used to make the sport great; man and machine "racing" from start to finish).
  • While driver cockpits and circuit barriers and run-off areas, have quite rightly been devloped, for safety reasons, reductions in power, cornering speeds, added chicanes, etc., are detrimental to the spectacle, and has driven away the paying public, both at circuits and viewing on TV.
  • The rule book has grown far too fat (rules are far too complicated; need simplifying).
  • Strange rules adopted over the latter years to reduce cars on grids.
  • Detrimental rule introduced in 1992, whereby any team entering F1 must field 2 cars (single car, smaller budget teams were a mainstay of earlier F1, and helped pack the grids).
  • Enforced circuit modifications, in an attempt to reduce speeds, led to the introduction of spurious chicanes, which succeeded in reducing speed, overtaking and a spectacle for the viewer.
  • Admittedly, costs have increased over the years, but F1 is supposed to be the top echelon of motor sport, used by manufacturers to devlopment items to cross over to road cars. Trying to reduce this development, to keep costs down, only measn that F1 became a "spec. sport" with no innovation and all cars equal. Certainly of little spectator interest. However, costs could be reduced by again allowing lost cost innovation i.e Chapman’s winning “ground-effect”, Brabham’s “fan car”, turbos, rotaries, diesels, etc.
  • Refueling stops have drastically increased team staffing, fire and collision danger, yet at same time, removed the spectacle of a "sprint race". Once pit-stops begin, the spectator loses interest, as car/driver placement now only decided by the pit-stop stategy, and not track position nor overtaking ability.
  • Understandably, if a driver had a puncture and could limp home to pits, it was permissable to change that tyre, thereby continuing to join the race, but now it is a question of "1, 2 or 3 tyre changes during a race, again reducing spectator interest. Again, it is no longer which car and driver are fastest.
  • Vastly reduced testing mileage is detrimental to car devlopment.
  • Qualifying rule changes have reduced the spectacle.
  • Impounding of cars prior to race day has turned off specators (it was great in the old days to see teams swap out engines, etc. overnight, or totally rebuilda car, before Sunday’s race).
  • We have lost the "spirit" of F!: simple rules, private entrants, single car teams, engines only set for size (atmopheric and compressor allowed), any type of power unit and number of cylinders allowed, multiple wheels permitted, any layout and aerodynamic configuration within overall dimensions of maximum width, height, and minimum weight, and few penalties. 

Formula 1 - Development of the "Fatter" Rule Book


The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), is a non-profit association established in 1904 to represent the interests of motoring organisations and motor car users. Headquartered in Paris, the FIA consists of 213 national member organisations in 125 countries worldwide.

The Formula One series has its roots in the European Grand Prix Motor Racing of the 1920s and 1930s, and although a number of Grand Prix racing organisations had laid out rules for a world championship before the World War II, the world drivers' championsip was not formalised until 1947. The first world championship race was held at Silverstone, United Kingdom in 1950 and a championship for constructors followed in 1958. Formula 1 has a set of rules which all participants and cars must meet.


  • 4,500 cc atmospheric and 1,500 cc supercharged engines
  • Formula 2 cars were allowed, and the World Championship was run under F2 rules in 1952 and 1953, but F1 races were still held in those years
  • Maximum power around 425 bhp
  • The cars were designed purely for speed
  • No weight limit
  • Front engines
  • Drum brakes
  • A fascinating experience without medical back-up or any form of safety net


  • Engine size reduced to 2,500 cc and 1,500 cc supercharged
  • No weight limit
  • Maximum power around 290 bhp


  • Disc brakes introduced
  • Engine relocation took place (Australian Jack Brabham, in his Cooper, is the first Formula One competitor to drive a rear-engined car)


  • Commercial grade fuel became compulsory and alcohol-based racing fuels were banned


  • Engine size reduced to 1,500 cc (continued until 1965) amidst criticism
  • Compressors banned
  • Switch from front engine to mid-engine configurations
  • Power went from 150 bhp to 225 bhp by 1965
  • Begining of minimum weight, set at 992 lbs
  • First safety rules - roll bar, dual braking, and standardised seat-belt anchorage mandatory


  • Flag signals introduced
  • Cockpits restructured to allow the drivers to get out of the car more quickly
  • Drivers (for first time) required to wear fireproof suits and unbreakable full-visor helmets
  • Safety is advanced - improvemed fuel-tank, filler and breather fire protection construction


  • Engine size increased to 3,000 cc atmospheric and 1,500 cc supercharged (continued until 1986 during the most stable era of F1)
  • Compressors again allowed (but not viable until the 1977 Renault V6 turbo)


  • Minimum weight increased to 1,102 lbs
  • Oil catch tank, roll-bar 5 cm above driver’s head, and extinguisher system mandatory
  • Aerodynamic features had to be immobile (no air brakes) and fixed to a sprung part of the car
  • New Ford Cosworth DFV V8 - any small manufacturer could join series with a home-built tub


  • Maximum car height and chassis width introduced


  • FIA introduced circuit inspections before races
  • Double crash barriers, a safety distance of three metres between fences and spectators, and a wall between the pit lane and the track mandatory


  • Atmospheric engine power now around 500 bhp
  • Lotus experimented with a Pratt & Whitney turbine fitted to chassis which alos had 4WD
  • Mandatory cockpit designed in such a way that the driver could be rescued within five seconds


  • Head rests, red rear lights, safety foam in fuel tanks, and six-point harness mandatory
  • Minimum weight increased to 1,212 lbs
  • No magnesium sheeting to be less than 3 mm thick with minimum cockpit dimensions
  • Combined electrical cut off and extinguisher external handle mandatory


  • Medical tests now required for all drivers
  • Minimum weight increased to 1,267 lbs
  • Crushable structure around fuel tanks mandatory
  • No chrome plating of suspension parts allowed
  • Catch fencing and rescue equipment mandatory at races
  • Starting grid dimensions standardised
  • Fire service regulations established


  • Safety walls and sand traps added to catch fencing mandatory
  • Self-sealing fuel lines mandatory


  • FIA defined the standard for fireproof clothing
  • Presence of marshals mandatory


  • "Safety structures" around dashboard and pedals mandatory


  • FIA defined uniform specifications for gravel traps and standard for helmets
  • Turbo engines power now around 900 bhp in race and 1,500 bhp in qualifying


  • Brabham's BT46B innovative 'fan car' was deemed illegal and banned after its first (and only) appearance of the season where it won at the Swedish Grand Prix
  • Bulkhead behind driver and front roll bar defined
  • Licence qualification criteria set for all drivers


  • Medical air required to be piped into drivers helmet in the event of an accident
  • Bigger cockpit opening, two mirrors and better fire extinguisher on board cars mandatory
  • FIA appointed, professional, permanent race starter mandatory


  • Permanent medical facility required at all tracks, staffed by FIA approved medics
  • A fast response car mandatory at all races


  • Safety cell extended to include the driver’s foot area
  • Flexible side skirts banned to try and reduce down-force created by ground effect
  • Mandatory ground clearance of 6 cm required to limit ground effect further
  • Lotus Type 88 outlawed
  • Pit lane minimum width set at 10 metres
  • Minimum weight incresed to 1,290 lbs


  • Rotary, diesel, gas turbine, and orbital engines banned
  • Ride height restrictions removed (FIA admit that policing a ban is not possible, whilst many teams are using hydraulic suspension systems, to alter ride heights and circumvent the rules)
  • Minimum weight reduced to 1,279 lbs


  • Ground effect banned (flat under-trays mandatory)
  • Four wheel drive banned
  • Cars with more than four wheels banned
  • Minimum weight reduced to 1,190 lbs


  • In-race refuelling banned and maximum fuel capacity of 220 litres per race mandatory (to reduce the turbo engine outputs)
  • Fuel tank required to be in centre of car, between driver and engine
  • Teams required to build the chassis in which they compete


  • Initial crash tests now used to determine the effects of frontal impact
  • Catch fencing banned


  • Permanent FIA medical service inspector and medi-vac helicopter mandatory at race meetings
  • F1 test sessions to be completed under full race meeting safety conditions
  • Maximum fuel capacity reduced to 195 litres per race


  • Following turbo engine domination, the goal posts were again moved, and forced induction was allowed for only two further seasons before its ban
  • Boost pressure limited to 4 bars for 1,500 cc turbo
  • Atmospheric engines increased to 3,500 cc
  • Minimum weight reduced to 1,102 lbs


  • Boost pressure, on turbo engines, further limited to 2.5 bar
  • Maximum fuel capacity of 155 litres per race
  • Driver's feet must not extend beyond the front wheel axle
  • Static crash test of survival cell and fuel cell mandatory


  • New heights for safety and pit walls
  • Doping tests introduced, similar to those of the International Olympic Committee
  • Turbocharged engines banned
  • Atmospheric engines of 3,500 cc continued in 8 to 12 cylinders
  • Fuel restrictions removed
  • Maximum power around 600 bhp


  • Large mirrors and quick release steering wheel mandatory
  • Marshals and medical staff must practice driver extrication exercises
  • Maximum power around 680 bhp. 


  • More stringent testing of survival cell by FIA including seat belts, fuel tanks and roll-bar
  • Maximum power around 710 bhp


  • Two car team entries only (end of single car privateers)
  • Rear impact testing manadtory
  • Height of kerbing lowered
  • Pit lane changes
  • Safety car introduced
  • Points scoring system overhauled


  • Thickness of drivers’ head rest increased
  • Height of the rear wing reduced
  • Distance from the front wing to the ground is increased
  • Steering wheel circumference reduced
  • Commercial grade fuel mandatory
  • Rear tyre width reduced from 18” to 15” to reduce grip and speed (again reducing the spectacle)
  • CVT (continuously variable transmission) banned (before ever appearing at a race)


  • Traction control, ABS, 4-wheel steering, assisted brakes, active suspension, and automatic gears all banned
  • Mandatory smaller front and rear wings to reduced down-force (and again the spectacle)
  • The FIA identified 27 particularly dangerous corners, and imposed chicanes
  • Mid race refueling allowed for the first time since 1983
  • Ferrari's 043 was putting out 820 bhp at 15,800 rpm


  • Engine size reduced from 3,500 cc to 3,000 cc
  • Longer cockpit openings and survival cell side impact tests introduced
  • Chassis must extend further beyond drivers' feet
  • Maximum power around 650 bhp


  • To qualify for a race, cars must now be within 107% of pole time
  • Standardisation of all FIA safety cars and medical cars


  • Small winglets on the rear and sides are banned


  • Car width reduced from 2 to 1.8 metres
  • Cockpit dimensions increased
  • Grooved tyres instead of slicks mandatory (to reduce cornering speeds and the spectacle)
  • Asymmetric braking banned
  • Single fuel bladder mandatory


  • Wheels attached to the chassis by tethers mandatory (retain during accidents)
  • Crash tests for the front of the car become stricter


  • Impact speed for the mandatory crash test is raised from 13 to 14 metres per second
  • Stronger carbon fibre cockpit walls, raised and laterally stronger roll-bar mandatory
  • After an accident, driver required to exit car within ten seconds re-attaching the steering wheel


  • Traction control again allowed (FIA admit unable to police teams using the system effectively)
  • Beryllium alloys in chassis or engine construction banned
  • Cockpit walls at a driver’s head level raised


  • FIA allows not only engine, brake and suspension data to be transmitted to the pits, but also permits teams to send data back to the cars to adjust these parameters
  • Time penalties (stop-and-go) imposed on drivers who trigger a false start, cause an accident or collision, force another driver off the track, fail to heed a blue flag three times, intentionally impede another driver trying to overtake, for exceeding the speed limit in the pit lane, or for running over chicanes (if this gives an advantage to the driver in terms of track position)
  • New lateral crash test for the rear of the cars
  • Rear lights are increased in size to 6 x 6 centimetres
  • Power steering permitted without electronic control
  • Team orders banned after Rubens Barrichello hands victory to Michael Schumacher at final corner of the Austrian Grand Prix
  • More than 24 cars on grid banned


  • Numerous circuits are required to undergo safety reconstruction prior to the season
  • Bi-directional telemetry banned
  • HANS (head and neck safety) system mandatory
  • yet another change to the point scoring system
  • Testing allowed on a Friday of a race meeting in exchange for a reduction of testing mileage allowed outside of the Grand Prix calendar
  • Only one flying lap allowed in qualifying session for grid position
  • Cars may not be refuelled between final qualifying and the race start
  • BMW's P83 engine was putting out around 900 bhp at 19,200 rpm and weighed less than 200 lb


  • Engines to last a whole race meeting (an engine change resulted in 10 place grid penalty)
  • Minimum weight increased to 1,333 lbs during qualifying and at no less than 1,323 lbs at all other times (including driver and fuel)
  • Each driver must select his wet and dry weather tyre compounds before the start of the race
  • Fully automatic transmission banned


  • Standardised atmospheric 3,000 cc, V10, engines and no more than 5 valves per cylinder
  • Maximum power around 980 bhp
  • Front and rear wings and rear diffuser size reduced to limit down-force
  • Engines required to last two race weekends
  • Qualifying format again changed to two aggregate times from Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning to count towards grid positions


  • Engines now reduced to atmospheric, 90°, V8, of 2,400 cc, no more than 4 valves per cylinder, each cylinder only having one injector and spark plug, and a minimum weight of 209 lbs
  • Previous year's engines (with a rev-limiter) permitted for 2006 and 2007 for teams who can't obtain a competitive V8
  • Pre-cooling air before it enters the cylinders, injection of any substance other than air and fuel into the cylinders, variable-geometry intake and exhaust systems, variable valve timing are all banned
  • The crankcase and cylinder block were of cast or wrought aluminium alloys mandatory
  • The crankshaft and camshafts were of iron alloy mandatory
  • Pistons were of aluminium alloy mandatory
  • Valves were from from alloys based on iron, nickel, cobalt or titanium mandatory
  • Maximum power around 740 bhp at 19,000 rpm
  • The impact speed for the rear crash test is increased from 12 to 15 metres per second


  • Engine specification was frozen to keep development costs down, but certain design changes, intended to improve engine reliability, may be carried out with permission from the FIA (some engine manufacturers, notably Ferrari and Mercedes, exploited this ability by making design changes which not only improve reliability, but also boost engine power output as a side effect)
  • Tuned mass damper system banned
  • Rev limit of 19,000 rpm introduced
  • Rear wing structure strengthened to prevent flexing
  • increased strength required from rear crash structure
  • Single tyre supplier (Bridgestone) after withdrawal of Michelin, and revised tyre regulations


  • Traction control and electronic starting assistance banned
  • Gearboxes have to last for four Grand Prix weekends
  • Strict limits placed on the amount of CFD and wind tunnel testing allowed during year


  • Engines to last three races
  • Rev limiter reduced to 18,000 rpm
  • Aerodynamic devices were banned, other than front and rear wings (primary aim to reduce performance, making overtaking easier, but all had the opposite effect)
  • Reduced width but increased height of rear wing
  • Reduced ground clearance but increased width of front wing
  • Mandatory longer and higher rear diffuser to be longer and higher
  • Slick tyres reintroduced but keeping to narrow track dimensions
  • KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) introduced (stored some energy generated under braking to convert into temporary extra power of around 80 bhp, for overtaking)
  • Testing mileage further reduced


  • Weight increase from 605 kg to 620 kg to encourage more KERS use
  • Changes to body dimensions to prevent damage to other cars
  • More technical freedoms for teams who agree to abide by the budget cap, including greater adjustability of the front wing, an adjustable rear wing elemnet, doubling of KERS power output and relaxation of the rukes limiting engines to a maximum of 18,000 rpm, and two driver wheels
  • KERS may not be used above 300 kph (186 mph)
  • Drivers may use a special valve to reduce rear brake pressure when KERS is operated


  • Return of the "107% rule" (the scourge of the backmarkers)
  • Deletion of rule prohibiting team orders
  • Drag reduction system (adjustable rear wing) - can only be used in race limited circumstances
  • F-ducts (widely used in 2010) are banned
  • Each driver must use the same gearbox before it's done five races or receive a grid penalty
  • Drivers may only use 8 engines for the season
  • Double diffusers are banned
  • Drivers cannot make more than one change of direction to defend a position, nor deliberately  crowd a car beyond the edge of the track, nor any other abnormal change of direction
  • Drivers in Q3 must start the race on the same tyres on which they set their best lap


  • Lapped cars will once again now be allowed to pass the safety car
  • When an interrupted race is restarted, cars that were in the pit lane for any reason are now permitted to join the assembled grid in their race position
  • Drivers are not allowed to leave the lines of the track without a good reason i.e. no chicane cutting
  • A driver can now use all of his allocated tyres for the weekend on the first day of the event
  • The nose cones must now be lower
  • In a bid to prevent teams blowing exhaust gases into their diffusers to generate downforce, the rules now specify where the exhaust on the car should be
  • A car must have all parts attached before leaving the pits
  • 3 days of prior season testing only allowed
  • If a team wants to run a car outside testing or an event, the car must be significantly different to the F1 technical regulations of the current, previous and subsequent year
  • All teams must pass FIA crash testing befre participating in pre-season testing


  • More rules to further "kill" F1...........I have stopped here, as I no longer follow F1

Animation graphic of each year's winning F1 car

Images of all F1 cars from 1050 to 2004


In my humble opinion (but too late now) :

  • Hopefully, we see FIA regain their senses, and Bernie Ecclestone step aside, etc.
  • Retain all advances in driver car safety, especially the crash zone testing of the tubs.
  • Retain circuit safety walls, run-offs, etc.
  • Retain all medical safety facilities.
  • Throw out the fat rule book; simplify.
  • Permit private entrants and small budget single car teams (more teams on the grid, more competition, more variety, more team focus on one driver/car, more cars for sponsorship, etc.).
  • Remove qualifying restrictions (if they fail to qualify, let them go to the back of the grid, as slower cars being passed by faster makes a spectacle, and fills seats).
  • Revamp the constructors' titles, by simply having the car/driver that wins the most races or points win the constructor and driver championship.
  • Engines simply set for 3,000 cc atmospheric and turbos at 35% of atmospheric.
  • Any type of power unit (rotary, diesel, gas turbine, electric, etc.) permitted.
  • Any number of cylinders allowed (I loved the live sound of Ferrari's flat and V12s).
  • A fixed fuel tank size (200 litres) imposed, with that being the only fuel allowed during the race (ban fuel stops, reducing pit danger and costs, while at same time making engines more efficient, removing racing through boring "pit stategy", returning racing to track position, driver/car capability, performance and overtaking, thereby retaining spectator interest.
  • Ban regular tyre changes, with exception of a puncture or weather induced change (reduces costs and has same advantages as aforementioned banning of fuel stops).
  • Multiple wheels permitted (1976/77 Tyrrell P34and March).
  • Any layout and aerodynamic configuration permitted (remember the oulawing of the Lotus ground-effect, Brabham fan car, etc.) but constrained within overall dimensions of maximum width, height, and minimum weight (easier to scrutineer).
  • Return tracks to most of the older configurations, by removing most "slow-down" chicanes (overtaking and spectacle will return).
  • Remove driver penalties for any perceived aggressive overtaking attempt (that's racing).
  • As the top echelon of motor sport, used by manufacturers for future road car technological devlopment, costs will increase, but the "law of supply and demand" will self-regulate. Imposed regulation of costs has shown that it is futile, and damaging to the sport, with F1 becoming a non innovative "spec. sport", all cars equal, and uninteresting to spectators.
  • No limit placed on off-season testing (testing improves car devlopment/reliability, resulting in fewer car failures during racing, and holding speactor interest).
  • Revert to old qualifying rules, where times lap recorded during a designated 1 hour session, produced the grid formation (also, no 107% rules - all entrants race, even if stating from the rear).
  • Impounding of cars prior to race day banned as it has turned off lots of spectators (great in old days, to see teams swap out engines, etc. overnight before Sunday’s race).
  • Now we have artificial overtaking with KERS and DRS
  • Need to bring back team testing (not limit to 3 days pre-season
  • By 2014 season, I had nothing further to add. F1 continues dying a slow death.............