Our 3rd example of INSTA-BANNED comes from Williams. Again. But this example comes from a Williams era way before the team were pushing ideas like active ride height suspension and a CVT gearbox.
In the early 1980s the team essentially decided 4 wheels were, apparently, starting to look pretty dated – so they tried a 6 wheeled car. As you do.
The idea was nothing new in Formula 1, with Tyrrell running their now infamous P34 six-wheeler for two seasons in 1976 and 1977.
The car itself though was not actually that successful – only winning 1 race over the 2 seasons. The major problem was the small front tyres had to be custom made for Tyrrell only, and were therefore not as advanced in terms of grip as the standard front tyre made for everyone else.
Undeterred, Williams chief designer Patrick Head and the rest of the team took this idea, but got round the tyre issue by running 4 standard front wheel tyres on the rear of the car as opposed to doing anything special on the front – therefore not needing any custom sized tyres. It also had the advantage of allowing narrower tyres on the rear which reduced drag.
The first prototype to be tested used their ’79 car as a base and was dubbed the FW07D in 1981. An updated version however, dubbed the FW08B in late 1982 and based on the newer 1982 car, soon allegedly started to smash lap records in winter testing. Shortly thereafter the FIA declared that F1 cars could only be of a 4 wheeled design prior to the start of the 1983 season.
This therefore marked the final ever concept of a six-wheeled designed F1 car.