Video: Riding high atop the Tyrrell P34 around Monaco

The Tyrrell P34 remains one of the most audacious experiments in the history of Formula One racing. Two normal racing wheels sat out back where you’d expect them, but four 10-inch wheels were position up front. That’s six in total, for those of you who dun flunked ‘rithmetic. Designed by Tyrrell Chief Engineer Derek Gardner, the idea behind the six-wheeled-setup was to increase frontal downforce, the total contact patch, and the swept area for the brakes. In 1976, the P34’s first year of competition, drivers Jody Scheckter and Patrick Depailler ran the cars to a 3rd place overall team finish. Scheckter even managed to stand atop the podium after winning the Swedish Grand Prix. However, Scheckter also hated the car, and quit at the end of the 1976 season, referring to the P34 as a “piece of junk.” Tyrrell ran the car for another season with Depailler and new driver Ronnie Peterson. The final team result was a 5th place overall finish. After that, a few teams tried to put together a six-wheeled racer of their own but no other car wound up in competition. In 1983, F1 officials ruled that four wheels would be the maximum number allowed on a racecar, and the possibility of another six-wheeled-racer was officially ended. Before the Tyrrell P34 went away, however, engineers strapped a camera high above it for a visual analysis of a run around Monaco. The front cowling is off the car, so you’re treated to a more in depth view of what’s happening with that quartet of rubber up front. Click past the break for the clip. [Source: YouTube | Thanks for the tip, Little Green Dino!]

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