Top 3 strange F1 pre-season innovations that failed 

McLaren's rear blockers caught a lot of intrigue during the 2014 F1 season
McLaren's rear blockers caught a lot of intrigue during the 2014 F1 season
Charanjot Singh

The 2022 F1 season will feature an entirely new set of regulations. While most teams are done with their car launches, it does appear that some have not truly shown their hand, with outfits like Red Bull only revealing a stock car in their new livery.

Most of the secrecy will be revealed, however, in the pre-season test when the cars take to the track. Even in the past, many teams have come together with innovative solutions as per their interpretations of the regulations. That innovation, however, has not always worked out. As a result, many times, the teams have been forced to either redesign their cars or suffer a massive dip in competitiveness.

In this article, we take a look at three such pre-season innovations that back-fired for their teams.

#3 Lotus twin tusk nose (2014 F1 season)

The lotus 2014 challenger had a weird twin tusk
The lotus 2014 challenger had a weird twin tusk

The 2014 F1 season arguably featured some of the worst-looking cars ever on an F1 grid. The strange and varied interpretations of the regulations around the front of the car gave rise to some weird solutions on the grid.

One of the standouts amongst the others was the twin tusk nose for the Lotus. The team opted for a completely different-looking solution as compared to the rest of the grid and it caught everyone's eye. The nose, however, faced a lot of scrutiny from the pundits as no one was entirely sure how the car would behave with such a configuration.

The answer? Not that good. A team that regularly contended for podiums and wins throughout the 2013 season plummeted down the order. Earning just 10 points in the 2014 F1 season, Lotus, a former perennial podium contender, turned into a backmarker, as the car was nowhere close to expectations.

#2 The Williams 'walrus' nose (2004 F1 season)

Ralf Schumacher & Juan Pablo Montoya unveiling the ‘Walrus nose’ Williams FW26 for the 2004 Formula One season #F1 #WilliamsF1

One of the most infamous designs of the 21st century was Williams' 'walrus nose' in the 2004 season. That year, the team was coming off a competitive 2003 season where it fought for the championship until late into the season. Despite having a state-of-the-art engine at the back, the car was not a match on the chassis side to the other front-runners.

In an attempt to put together something dynamic, Williams introduced a walrus-shaped nose for its 2004 challenger. Not only did the car look different from the entire grid, but it also didn't handle well at all, consequently suffering from a drop in competitiveness. As a result, by mid-season, the outfit bid adieu to the peculiar nose and went back to a more conventional solution.

#1 McLaren's rear blockers (2014 F1 season)

Australian GP: Kevin P3, Jenson P4. ROS wins from RIC, Kevin, Jenson, ALO, BOT, HUL, RAI, VER, KVY. We lead Constructor's Championship.

McLaren was in a peculiar situation in 2014. It had suffered a massive drop in form in the previous season. At the same time, it was entering an entirely new era in F1 where power units would play a massive role. To add to this, it was no longer a works team as Mercedes had its challenger on the grid.

Keeping all of this in mind, McLaren had every reason to put its best foot forward for the new regulations in 2014. The team rolled up to the first pre-season test with a set of blockers attached to its rear suspension. The blockers were intended to increase downforce at slow speeds and reduce drag at high speeds.

The Woking-based squad started the 2014 season with a double podium finish in Melbourne but never reached those lofty heights again. The blockers too seemingly did not help much as, during the season, the team got rid of them and worked on an entirely different philosophy.

What's your favorite race of the 2022 season so far? Tell us in the comments below..

Edited by Anurag C


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