Yesterday, we discussed Formula One a bit, and how it will soon be changing various rules, yet again. However, one thing we did not touch on was the cars themselves. Formula One cars are drastically different from what they were ten years ago and even more so from twenty. They have changed in technology dramatically; utilizing the KERS system, changing engine sizes, switching to turbocharging.
All of these changes have made the cars look very, very different. Some of them look great; they look purpose built and high-tech. Some, however, look simply awful and ridiculous. Those are more fun to talk about, so let’s look at the top five ugliest F1 cars.
- 1971 March 711 –A very ugly thing, indeed, the March 711 was. From the front wheels and back, it looks fine, just like a standard F1 car. But it’s when you notice the giant, ridiculous wing on the front end. I understand the point of the wing, to create downforce on the front end as well as provide good aerodynamics, but did it have to look like they slapped an ironing board on the front? What a silly looking car, especially considering how expensive these cars are and how professional they are supposed to be. How are you going to intimidate other drivers when your car looks like a platypus?
- 1976 Ligier Js5
Apparently, the 70’s weren’t such a good time for F1 car design. The Ligier looks like it has an elephant trunk on its back. The purpose of it is to be a giant air intake for the engine, but it looks absolutely ridiculous. Granted, who cares about looks if it’s functional. But many other F1 car makers have been able to create similar air intakes without making the car look like the Elephant Man. Actually, that’s insulting to the Elephant Man. Sorry.
- 1973 Ferrari Spazzaneve
Here we go again, with the 70’s. You would think that anything made by Ferrari would be beautiful, because everything they make usually is. But, unfortunately, the Spazzaneve designers didn’t get the memo. With a front end that looks like it’s used to load motorcycles onto the car, the Spazzaneve ends up looking like a mess and not a purpose built race car. Maybe it worked and provided the proper downforce to make the front-end bite better, but it just seems like if a leaf were to blow in front of the car, it would rip that affront wing right off.
- 2008 Honda RA108
Finally we’re out of the 70’s and into modern times. However, that isn’t necessarily a good thing. The RA108 seems to have some strange antennae sticking up off of the nose. Now I can only assume that this is for some sort of aerodynamics, but those stupid winglets have to block the driver’s vision. How does he see through them? They’re right in front of the driver’s face. Surely, there was a better way to create the same aero effects without making the car look like an ant and basically obstructing the driver’s vision, which in F1, I’m assuming, is pretty important.
- Every F1 car with “Penis Nose”
Last year, F1 car makers were putting these strange phallic looking objects on the nose of their cars. The purpose for this was to channel air around it and into air intakes. However, it ended up looking quite inappropriate and was the butt of many jokes for the entire year. The FIA has since scrapped the design, as it was fit for crash regulations. Good thing, because so many of these Penis Noses F1 cars look awful. It actually made watching F1 somewhat awkward. Ferrari and Mercedes were able to make theirs look somewhat acceptable, but all of the others just looked like, well um, “marital aids” stuck to the front. Good riddance Penis Nose, we won’t miss you.