The 9 most hideous Aero designs in F1 history

These were absolutely horrendous

4y ago
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As you may have spotted, there has been a fair degree of fuss on social media in the early part of the season among #Formula1 fans, who think that what could be a generation of fabulous looking F1 cars have been turned into ugly ones due to aerodynamic additions.

There are Shark fins, T-wings, Bingo wings, you name it, all ruining the look of great cars. It’s a bit like Cheryl Cole and her tattoos, they just spoil what already looked rather lovely.

Here are nine particularly awful designs through the ages:

1. 1968 Brabham BT23C

Imagine what Christian Horner would say about THAT!

Imagine what Christian Horner would say about THAT!

Back in the day, when they put a T-wing on a race car they REALLY went for it.

To be fair, this is actually an F2 car but being driven by an F1 driver, the brilliant Jochen Rindt, so on that basis and because of that truly awful, insane piece of aero madness, it makes the list.

2. 1969 Lotus-Ford 49B

Still, handy if you had a lot of stuff to iron in a hurry (Pic: Sutton)

Still, handy if you had a lot of stuff to iron in a hurry (Pic: Sutton)

The Lotus 49 raced in various guises, from 1967 to 1970 with varying degrees of success, lots of wins and lots of retirements.

It was however a fabulous looking bit of kit but just as with Cheryl and her tats, unwelcome additions would appear from time to time.

Here it is, being driven to second in the 1969 South African Grand Prix by Graham Hill. A testament to the bravery of drivers, prepared to hurtle around race tracks with bits of bodywork on tiny stilts just above their heads…

3. 1971 March 711

More tea, vicar? (Pic: Sutton)

More tea, vicar? (Pic: Sutton)

When the team unveiled the car, they said that the front wing was described as the ‘Spitfire’ (no idea why) but everybody else took one look at it and said it looked more like a tea-tray and that is the name that stuck.

It didn’t win any prizes for beauty or any races but it notched up a few podiums, so it wasn’t all that bad.

At the Monaco Grand Prix last year, Sotheby’s auctioned one for a cool £500,000.

4. 1975 March 751

Erm...

Erm...

One of the ‘If it looks bad, it probably is’ breed of F1 cars and another by March Engineering. That rear wing looks like an IKEA desk.

More often than not, the car failed to finish races, though unbelievably, Vittorio Brambilla (pictured) won the Austrian Grand Prix in it, with a masterclass in wet weather driving.

However, the second after he took the chequered flag, he promptly stuffed it into the barriers. Probably a good thing.

5. 1976 Ligier JS5

Now THAT is an air intake (Pic: Sutton)

Now THAT is an air intake (Pic: Sutton)

Otherwise known as the Teapot and just about as aerodynamically efficient as one.

Thankfully, mid-season changes to the regulations, specifically, ‘No car must resemble a giant Smurf’ saw the design consigned to the history books, only to be dragged out now and then by people like me, telling you just how bad things could be.

6. 1978 McLaren M26

"Ok, own up: who mounted the rear spoiler on the front?" (Pic: Sutton)

"Ok, own up: who mounted the rear spoiler on the front?" (Pic: Sutton)

The car was already ugly and even in James Hunt’s hands, rather useless and then somebody at the factory noticed they had a spare rear wing, so to add to the general awfulness they stuck it on the front.

It didn’t help, the car remained dreadful, both in looks and performance.

7. 2001 Arrows A22

No, this has not been Photoshopped (Pic: Sutton)

No, this has not been Photoshopped (Pic: Sutton)

If any track throws up (almost literally) some bonkers aero ideas, then it will be the high downforce, Monaco.

Here, Arrows thought that sticking a tall wing on the nose, directly in the drivers line of vision, on this most testing of tracks, was a good idea. It wasn’t.

Jos Verstappen (pictured) and Enrique Bernoldi finished 8th and 9th , in a race with only ten finishers.

The wings (and a similar version tried out by Jordan) were soon banned. No real reason was given by the FIA. On the grounds of lunacy probably.

8. 2008 Honda RA108

No wonder the 2008 Honda was a dud (Pic: Sutton)

No wonder the 2008 Honda was a dud (Pic: Sutton)

2008 was a pretty dire year for Honda, in fact, only 2017 may end up being worse.

Very rarely did it trouble the points and desperation began to creep in - that can have been the only reason for the addition of the much maligned ‘Dumbo-wings’.

Honda, pulled out at the end of the year and the team became Brawn and then Mercedes.

Both went on to be F1 championship winners. The season was pretty much summed up for Honda at the final race, the Brazilian Grand Prix, where Jenson Button’s RA108 helpfully set fire to itself, a kind of automotive Harakiri.

It was so bad, Jenson set fire to it (Pic: Sutton)

It was so bad, Jenson set fire to it (Pic: Sutton)

9. 2014 Caterham CT05

Most of these radical aero designs earned a nickname and the nose on this was referred to as the snowplough, until complaints flooded in from snowploughs saying this was being cruel to them.

No no no NO (Pic: Sutton)

No no no NO (Pic: Sutton)

The name was dropped and it was thereafter referred to as ‘Oh my God look at that bloody thing’.

The CT05 was the last car built by the much missed Caterham team, before they folded and in an era when almost every F1 car had an ugly nose, this one was a stand out.

In fact it was so ugly, many were relieved when Kamui Kobayashi destroyed his on lap one of the Australian Grand Prix.

(Pic: Sutton)

(Pic: Sutton)

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