Most F1 cars are designed exclusively to see the inside of the circuit: it’s entire point of going through the extremely lengthy process of designing, crafting, producing, and distributing a car that’s meant to see plenty of hours on the track.
But this isn’t always the case, and there have been a number of F1 cars that were built and ready to race, but for one or more reasons, were unable to take place in any official Formula One races. These are cars that suffered from a range of problems that ultimately forced them out of professional racing forever, but would have no doubt have turned heads if given their chance out on the circuit.
Lola-Ford T97/30 – 1997
Lola had created plenty of F1 entries on previous occasions, but their 1997 bid may have destroyed any desires to return to the professional racing scene ever again. During the early 1990s the chassis builder designed the T95/30, which at that point was built to 1995 specifications, apart from one missing component: the airbox on its engine.
The team made a return for 1997 and created the T97/30, which was extremely conventional in regards to its aesthetics. The team managed to get the car to its first race but quickly discovered how slow it really was. Vincenzo Sospiri qualified at 1:40.972, 11.6 seconds slower than Jacques Villeneuve’s pole time. Ultimately, according to the rules of the time, the car had failed to qualify.
The DAMS F1 project during the mid 1990s was their attempt to bring a new French team into the F1 racing scene when the only other French teams already racing, Ligler and Larrousse, were struggling. The GD-01 was made obsolete from the same F1 regulations in 1994 and 1995 that give the Lola such a difficult time with their T94.30. It was a conservative car that didn’t see any road time due to failed agreements between Larrousse and DAMS, forcing both teams out of the F1.
The MP4-18 is one of the most famous cars in the F1 world that never raced. The McLaren team, desperate to close the gap to Ferrari in 2003, elected to begin the research and development of a new design on top of their current car at the time, the MP4-17D. Adrian Newey headed design for the successor to the previous iteration, which would be known as the MP4-18, and the team was hoping that it would allow them to catch up to and ultimately take the lead from Ferrari.
The car that was eventually produced gained as much attention as online pokies NZ do, but in this case it was thanks to its radical aerodynamics, with the front of the car being especially narrow, and the car quickly becoming known as ‘anteater’.
But the car also had some serious problems as the side impact structure failed during FIA crash tests. Unplanned crash tests saw both Alexander Wurz and Kimi Raikkonen suffer a number of shunts n the car. Reliability was a constant issue, to the point where it was eventually pulled from production altogether.