5 of the Most Bizarre Looking F1 Cars Ever

Ryan Ashenhurst
Ryan Ashenhurst
Ryan Ashenhurst
Contributor

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

US-American Skip Barber, who attended 4 GPs in F1 season 1971, in his March 711 entered by Gene Mason Racing, Monaco, Monte Carlo, 23 May 1971. (Photo by Rainer W. Schlegelmilch/Getty Images)
US-American Skip Barber, who attended 4 GPs in F1 season 1971, in his March 711 entered by Gene Mason Racing, Monaco, Monte Carlo, 23 May 1971. (Photo by Rainer W. Schlegelmilch/Getty Images)

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

Sport, Motor Racing, Formula One Trophy race, Silverstone, England, 1976, Jody Scheckter of South Africa in his six wheel Elf Tyrell 34/2 car (Photo by Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images)
Sport, Motor Racing, Formula One Trophy race, Silverstone, England, 1976, Jody Scheckter of South Africa in his six wheel Elf Tyrell 34/2 car (Photo by Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

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

Ensign N179

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

Jacques Laffite, Ligier-Matra JS5, United States Grand Prix, Long Beach 1976, Long Beach, United States, 28 March 1976. (Photo by Rainer W. Schlegelmilch/Getty Images)
Jacques Laffite, Ligier-Matra JS5, United States Grand Prix, Long Beach 1976, Long Beach, United States, 28 March 1976. (Photo by Rainer W. Schlegelmilch/Getty Images)

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

JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, SPAIN - JANUARY 28: Jean-Eric Vergne of France and Scuderia Toro Rosso drives the new STR9 during day one of Formula One Winter Testing at the Circuito de Jerez on January 28, 2014 in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, SPAIN – JANUARY 28: Jean-Eric Vergne of France and Scuderia Toro Rosso drives the new STR9 during day one of Formula One Winter Testing at the Circuito de Jerez on January 28, 2014 in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

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.

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