Thursday, April 25, 2013

Top 10 Formula 1 Crapwagons?

Ferrari F2012: The Ugliest Ferrari racecar ever? (Source:
Fortunately for Mwah, as Y’all know by now, my eyesight is CRAP! And hence, I cannot really make out those atrocious looking Ant Eater noses which have become de riggour in F1 for the past two seasons.

And as typical, here’s another story that’s been laying  dormant in NoFendersville-land, as I simply cannot manage to type everythingy stuck inside my story vault fast enough to get it onto the Intrawoods...

Thus, having tried to choose one chassis from each of the major historic Constructors, i.e.; Ferrari, Lotus, McLaren, Williams, etc, along with some other oddities, here’s my list of entries, with NO help or advice from the man who came up with the term “CRAPWAGON;” Hya! As I know we’re still in the happy, fuzzy-wuzzy portion of the 2013 campaign; BUTT! I haven’t heard the term Crap Wagon used lately; although I’ve just read a somewhat snarky reference towards the Kardashian Humpmeister’s; Hooah! (Thanxs solely to Derek Daly for forever implanting those luscious words towards the Dallara DW12...)

Cannot recall which exact model it was, but there were some pretty ugly looking chassis during the early 1970’s as the proliferation of Airboxes just grew ‘N grew - overshadowing some of their respective drivers before the FIA mandated low Airboxes in ’76.

And I’m sure there are far more chassis then ten that fit this topic, as many would be quick to note the BAR-01 “Zipper Car,” which I for some reason have always liked, even having procured a Jacques Villeneuve 1/18 Minichamps version several moons ago. Thus, here goes nothin’

10) 2004 Williams FW26
The Team Willy “Walrus Tusk” Car seemed quite obnoxious with its overly wide, girthish protruding front nose pillars, which always made me think of a lumbering Walrus, and  hence my naming it this, albeit I’m apparently not alone on this thinking.

After a superb ‘Twenty-oh-three campaign, the team was hopeful of wrestling the Drivers & Constructors crown’s away from la Scuderia, with ‘MAC Montoya tipped as a title rival. But the short stubby overly wide front nose and twin keel design made setting up the car fairly inconsistent - seeing le ‘Reggie, (Renault) BAR and Ferrari all quicker then it, as Juan Pablo’s frustration towards trying to drag the Wooly Mammoth to the top of the points table saw the Columbian leaving for rival McLaren at the end of the season...

9) 1994 McLaren MP4/9
Although probably not its worst car, the storied Woking Constructor surely hit a very low point indeed with the lackluster MP4/9, most notably to being powered by the uncompetitive Peugeot V-10... Really McLaren, did you think that this engine would be competitive? As the Peugeot ‘lumps were never known for their reliability. As I seem to vaguely recall Martin “BillyBob” Brundle having a bunch of his ‘lumps go KABLAMOE!

Then add to the fact that “Mika-the-Finn” had that horrific shunt in Monaco which nearly ended his life - with Philippe Alliot filling in for the stricken Mika Hakkinen who made his return at the season ending Australian GP, and you have a pretty dismal car indeed...

8) 1992 Ferrari F92A
My first choice was the 1980 312T5, yet I chose this chassis instead since I believe its ‘Juan ‘O thee Tiafosi’s picks, albeit I think last year’s F2012 chassis was actually voted worst Ferrari ever...

Yet I’ve always liked this car, even having gone so far as having a print of it with the mercurial Frenchman Jean Alesi at the wheel adorning my wall. Guess its something to do with being fascinated by its double-floor concept which turned out to be a bust... Although supposedly Scuderia Toro Rossso tried its own adaptation of this philosophy - which first appeared on the 2011 STR-6 and continued on with the STR-7 before new  Technical Director James Key put a stop to it upon this year’s STR-8...

7) 1979 Lotus 80
Flush on the heels of Colin Chapman’s all conquering and revolutionary ground effects type 79, which Mario Andretti utilized to capture the 1978 F1 Drivers title, the team’s designers under Chapman’s tutelage sought to exploit the ground effects theory to its ultimate capability by building the Type 80 chassis with single flowing bodywork from nearly nose to tail which didn’t require any wings!

Yet the car’s ground effects were so stunning that they were basically overpowering the chassis and causing severe porpoising which couldn’t be cured, to which ‘New-boy Carlos Reutmann refused to drive the car!

Mario Andretti soldered on for three races with the beast, even after Chapman had attached a conventional front wing to it which had no effect upon the unwieldy chassis, ultimately causing the team to abandon the Type 80 and revert back to a hastily updated year old Type 79 instead with little avail, albeit the Lotus 80 would cause further controversy when morphing into the stillborn Type 88...

Jenson Button, Honda RA108, Barcelona, 2008 pre-season testing. (Source:
6) 1985 Lola THL1 HART (415T)
The Haas/Force F1 project with major American backing from corporate giant Beatrice, Lola branded chassis designed by Neil Oatley, John Baldwin and Ross Brawn, an exclusive three year contract for Ford Motor Company’s brand new V-6 turbo’s along with ex-world champion Alan Jones coming out of retirement surely looked like winners on paper.

Yet forced into utilizing the little engine that could, privateer Brian Hart’s underfinanced straight four cylinder single turbo lump during its debutant (partial) season while awaiting the overdue Ford TEC V-6 turbo lump, Jones only managed to run three races, making the team’s debut at Monza, Italy, but retired from all three events.

Once again the Ford TEC powerplant was delayed and the team was forced to revert to the Hart powered car in 1986 at the beginning of the season. And although ultimately Jones and teammate Patrick Tambay would score the team’s best finish of 4-5 respectively at Austria during 1986 in the new THL2’s, a change of management prior at Beatrice saw them pulling their funding of the project and Carl Haas was forced to shut down the company in October, while Benetton ran the TEC V-6 lumps for a further season in ’87 with little success...

5) 1984 Toleman TG184
Yeah, I know this is the car that garnered Ayrton Senna his first brief flash ‘O fame as a future world champion upon finishing runner-up to future teammate and arch nemesis Alain Prost in the somewhat controversial Monaco Grand Prix. Not to mention Senna scored another two podiums with the chassis; third places at Silverstone and Portugal.

And I realize that Rory Byrne was simply taking advantage of a loophole in the rules by putting a double wing upon the car’s rear flanks, but although I can somewhat enjoy this car, I also find its rear wing ruins the whole design aesthetically...

4) 2008 Honda RA108
Although I’m not sure if the “Earth Car” was worse than its predecessor, the RA107, especially with its much discussed “Dumbo Ears” solution vainly trying to claw back any semblance of front downforce...

But while I should have reveled in Honda’s decision to go totally devoid of sponsors ‘Deckel’s (decals) mucking it up, this car just seemed to be absolutely lost in the hinterlands and I’m sure that ‘JENSE (Button) was loathe to drive I-T! Not to mention the fact that it was so bad that Ross Brawn shifted the entire team’s focus onto the forthcoming ’09 design, which ultimately became world champion as the Brawn BGP001 after Honda had thrown in the towel!

Mika Salo rides the kerbs in the distinctive Tyrrell 025 X-Wing chassis. (Source:
3) 1990 Life L190
Apparently, this chassis’s engine was ahead of its time, as ex-Ferrari engineer Franco Rocchi designed a radical W12 - which sought to have the power of a traditional V-12 yet utilize the space of a more compact V-8.

Yet, the team truly was behind the eight-ball from the outset, having opted to utilize a year old stillborn FIRST Racing chassis, which had failed its mandatory FIA crash test the year before, not to mention having been designed for the mid-range conventional Judd V-8, and hence Gary Brabham was so despondent over the hopeless project that he quit after just two races!

F1 Fanatic’s Keith Collantine notes the listless L190 chassis was totally devoid of any life, routinely running some 20-seconds adrift of the front runners and failed to ever advance past the mandatory Pre-qualifying stage during its agonizing single year lifespan...

2) 1997 Tyrrell 025
For Mwah, the ’97-98 x-wing mirrors chassis, including the Tyrrell 025-Ford - which were the innovators of this technology were quite hideous and this is one of the few good thingys MAD MAX Mosley did, by outlawing them in ’98.

Sadly, this chassis designed by the late Dr. Harvey Postlethwaite was a fairly well balanced car with a brace of good drivers in Mika Salo and Jos “THE BOSS” Verstappen who were forced to battle for best in V-8 class honours with Minardi the majority of the season, with Salo’s fifth place finish in the X-Wing car being Tyrrell’s last ever points scored in Formula 1...

1) 1979 Arrows A2
Hands down, without a doubt, my choice for most hideous Formula 1 chassis of recent times is that most ugly looking Warsteiner Skirt Car, even in its gold livery, its wingless shape along with vacuum cleaner side skirting simply looks horrible to me!

And I’m guessing the car was a Dud also, since I think that it was replaced by its predecessor midway thru the season while design work was rushed ahead upon its replacement, the A3, which reverted back to a conventional front nose design...