Formula 1 Video

VIDEO: Tyrrell P34 tested by Jackie Stewart

Jackie Stewart drives the Tyrrell P34

Last week we saw the emergence of the ‘platypus’ nose in Formula One. A result mainly due to a requirement forcing teams to lower the nose to meet new crash regulations. That messes with the current belief in F1 that a high nose helps contribute to optimum downforce; hence the stepped look we see today.

Of course, the ‘platypus’ is not the first oddball look we’ve seen in F1. There’s been a number over the years and few have been as out there as the six-wheeled Tyrrell P34. The P34 was first introduced in 1976 and ran four 10 inch wheels up front. The theory was the smaller wheels would offer a greater contact patch, increase braking performance and increase downforce.

The P34 and P34B (1977) ran for just two years and showed good promise. The zenith of the six-wheeler came at the 1976 Swedish Grand Prix when Jody Scheckter and Patrick Depailler finished first and second.

It’s believed the reluctance of Goodyear to continue tyre development for the smaller wheels helped contribute to the car losing its competitiveness.

As a treat for F1 fans we have a video below showing triple world champion Sir Jackie Stewart testing the P34. He retired in 1973 so was not long out of the sport. The camera angles are quite interesting too for the mid-70s and in some frames you can see the bulky rigs used to capture the footage.