What was Project 34?

What was Project 34?

Ken Tyrrell’s Tyrrell Racing was auto racing team competed in the highest level of open-wheel racing, the Formula One for 28 years and in this two decades, Tyrrell got many achievements to its name like winning the drivers championship thrice and two times constructors champions.
But above all the achievements which was a very unique and innovative one “Project 34”. Project 34 was a Formula One car originally named Tyrrell P34.
Traces of origin:
Tyrrell F1’s teams chief designer was Derek Gardner and he came up with the idea of using 6 Wheels in a F1 car, when he was the chief designer of a team before Tyrrell and but FIA were reluctant for the design, Gardner’s next job was to be technical officer of Tyrell F1 team and as soon as he joined to Tyrell, Gardener came up with the concept of bringing a 6 Wheel car in Formula One rather than the normal 4 Wheel car and Tyrell’s team owner Ken Tyrrell agreed to the concept of making a special car for the upcoming 1976 Formula One season and named the car Tyrell P34.
First time on track and reaction:
Tyrrell introduced the P34 to the world in 22nd September 1975 on a press conference and instantly it became a media sensation as next day photos of the new P34 were all over world in newspapers/magazines and the car was first tested in UK’s Silverstone circuit and within first 10 laps Derek Gardner and his technical team found problems in T34 like the four 10 inches tires spun 1.6 times more than the 16 inch rear tires which caused bruised the front four.
First Race:
After hours of track and garage testing the P34 was finally ready to compete in its first season of 1976. Tyrrell’s Patrick Depailler was the first driver to test the car in season’s fourth race of Spanish Grand Prix but Depailler retired after few laps and in the next race of Belgian Grand Prix both drivers started with P34, again Depailler had to retire but this time the P34 scored its first ever championship points through Jody Scheckter’s strong P4 finish in SPA.
First Podium and Win:
P34’s first podium was actually a double podium because Tyrrell’s both drivers finished in podium with Scheckter at second and Depailler at third and Niki Lauda taking the win on Circuit de Monaco.
After a fantastic finish in Monaco, Tyrrell got season’s best result in following race of Sweden where Scheckter got his first win and Depailler’s second consecutive podium and this was all possible because of an unfortunate moment where initially Mario Andretti was the leader of Swedish Grand Prix and led 90% of the race with Scheckter and Depailler behind and in the dying moments of the race leader Andretti, got an engine failure and the American had to forcefully retire after which P2 and P3 easily took the place of P1 and P2 and this way Tyrrell P34 got its first Formula One victory in Scandinavian Raceway, Anderstorp.
End of a successful season oof 1976:
Tyrrell ended 1976 season with 10 podiums and 1 win and Tyrrell finished third in manufactures championship and a third (Jody Scheckter) and fourth (Patrick Depailler) in Driver Championship.
Renovation in Tyrrell P34 before 1977 season:
The Tyrrell P34 went through many changes in the fall of 76 where the team increased the weight and did many changes which turned out to be a disaster for Tyrrell because this changes made the car unreliable and in 1977 Formula 1 season Tyrrell got their one of the worst performance where the P34 got multiple retirements due to some technical problems which continued throughout the season and were pushed three places back to sixth in Manufacturers Championship compared to their previous performance of 1976 (P3).
End of icon:
With the end of 1977 led to the end of Tyrrell P34 because the team had taken too many loses from one year (1977) so, Ken Tyrrell discontinued P34 from 1977 and returned to the standard four wheel Tyrrell 008 for 1978 Formula 1 season.


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October 31, 2020 - By Dhruv Trivedi

What happened on 1st August 1976?

What happened on 1st August 1976?

Ferrari’s Niki Lauda won his first world championship in 1975 and that year it was easy as there was no real competition for the Austrian and only handful of drivers like Emerson Fittipaldi and James hunt were good to give a fight to Lauda in 1975 but not the best. Next year, the same James Hunt turned out to be a serious competitor of Niki Lauda and it was all possible due to the shift to McLaren from Hesketh and the shift didn’t work out for Hunt as Lauda dominated the first nine races of 1976 Formula 1 season.

The 10th race was German Grand Prix at Nordschleife Nürburgring track on 1st August and a day before, it rained heavily in the Eifel and left the track completely wet so, Niki Lauda had called off an emergency meeting with the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile and drivers of other teams to cancel the race because the track was completely wet and was very risky to drive in such conditions and Lauda lost his request of cancellation by just one vote and the FIA came to the conclusion of not to cancel the race.

Niki Lauda and James Hunt
(Photo Credit: Getty Images).

All F1 teams suggested their drivers use wet weather tires except McLaren’s Jochen Mass who played the gamble of keeping dry tires instead of wet and when the race was started, all drivers realized that only one patch of the track was wet and rest of the part was dry so, in lap 2 half of the drivers came back to the pits to change their tires to dry and Mass came to the lead following his move of using dry tires and in lap 3 a big accident occurred where Niki Lauda’s car crashed into the fence and the car became a ball of fire which left Lauda with a half-burnt face and inhaling dangerous smokes during the crash which damaged his lungs and was rushed to hospital and it took him months to recover from the accident and only to make comeback in the 13th race of Italian Grand Prix where Lauda impressively finished fourth to regain his lead by just one point and here, irony is that the Austrian later, lost the World Championship over Hunt also by one point in the final race of Japanese Grand Prix.

Niki Lauda (Photo Credit: DPA/PA Images).

1st August 1976 is very important day in Niki Lauda’s life because that day he got a career-ending accident and the Austrian almost died from it but somehow his grit and determination brought him back to the car.

Niki Lauda's Helmet after the accident
(Photo Credit: Reddit.com).

And also, one movie (Rush) was based on the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda, it’s opening scene features the Nürburgring accident and has a famous dialogue in it:
“The other thing I was remembered for, is what happened on 1st August 1976, when I was chasing him like an Asshole”.

Ferrari's 312T after the accident
(Photo Credit: Getty Images).
The 11th race of 2020 Formula 1 season is Eifel Grand Prix at Nürburgring which starts from 11th October.

Connect to Us: dhruv@dksports.com

October 06, 2020 - By Dhruv Trivedi

Blast from Past: Force India's first Podium

Blast from Past: Force India's first Podium

Force India Mercedes made their Formula 1 debut in 2008 and that season they failed to get even a single point. Next season was almost pointless season for the Indian team because Force India failed to achieve a single point for half of the season (11 races) and were desperately in search for their first point in Formula 1 but destiny, had given more than some points for Force India because 12th race of 2009, F1 season was a race to recollect for Force India.

2009 Belgian Grand Prix: 

Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps 
(Photo Credit: Formula 1).

Practice and Qualifying Session:
Giancarlo Fisichella of Force India was first in a rain affected practice session and this momentum helped him to not only progress till qualifying 3 but also finish first in Q3 and win his fourth and Force India first pole position.

Race Day:
The first lap of Belgian Grand Prix saw four drivers collide with each other and this helped many drivers to catch up few places like Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen jumping from 6th on the grid to second and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettal jumping to third from eighth.
After having multiple crash on lap one, safety car was deployed on lap two and on lap five Ferrari with the KERS system inside, overtook the leader (Fisichella) and Ferrari’s Raikkonen led rest of the race with Fisichella behind him.
Ferrari won the race but Fisichella won hearts of the fans by winning Force India’s first points in their racing history and also first podium, after successfully fending off Sebastian Vettal for second place.

Giancarlo Fisichella crossing the chequred flag
(Photo Credit: Reddit).

Before, 2009 Belgian Grand Prix, Force India had got multiple 9th and 10th place finish in 2008-09 season but it was unfortunate for Force India, that ninth and tenth position were not included in points, because from 2003-2009, points were awarded only to the drivers finishing from 1st to 8th place.
This was changed in 2010, when highest body of Auto Racing, Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) introduced new rules in which 9th and 10th position was included in points.

Below is list of point scoring system of 2003-09 and 2010-present:

Season: 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
2003-2009: 10 8 6 5 4
2010-present: 25 18 15 12 10
6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
3 2 1 - -
8 6 4 2 1

Force India VJMO2 was used in 2009
Formula 1 season.

That’s why Giancarlo Fisichella’s runner-up finish was Force India’s first Formula 1 points.

April 14, 2020 - By Dhruv Trivedi

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