Cosworth F1 4WD: The All-Wheel Drive F.1 Jackie Stewart Got His Thumb Down On

Created in 1969 by the English engine manufacturer as an attempt to solve the grip problems generated by its impellers, it did not run after the Scotsman's disapproval.


La F1 It was not always as restrictive as it is today, where regulations place severe limits on engineers' creativity. The best example was Tyrrell P34 that with its six wheels got to win a race in 1976. Another case may be that of the Cosworth F1 4WD, an attempt by the famous engine manufacturer to have his own vehicle in the Maximum ...

Cosworth
From left to right, the four directors of Cosworth in the '60s: Bill Brown, Keith Duckworth, Mike Costin and Ben Rood.

Cosworth was born in 1958 through partnership among the English Mike costin and Keith Duckworth. Yes, one of the most famous names of the F.1 emerged from the combination of their surnames, with a track record that includes 176 wins and a ten titles.

The brand remained active between 1967 and 2004 and most of its successes were achieved with the legendary promoter DFV, an 8 cylinder 90 degree that was in force for two decades through different generations and that came to have a maximum power of 495 horses.

Costin and Duckworth's company were only a couple of years old in F.1 when they decided to create their own car with the goal of racing in the Grand Prix of Great Britain of 1969.

Cosworth F1 4WD
In the 60s several F.1 cars had already used the all-wheel drive system.

The Cosworth F1 4WD, created by Robin herd, stands out for being equipped with a all-wheel drive system, something that had already been experienced in other F.1s of the time. The difference happened because the Cosworth car had a 4WD transmission created by Duckworth, while the other teams that had chosen this solution, such as BRM, Lotus y Matra, they had opted for the one devised by Harry ferguson (father of the modern farm tractor).

The choice to use all-wheel drive was not a whimsical thing for Costin and Duckworth since They considered that this would solve the grip problem that the first generation of the DFV had., something that years later was improved with aerodynamic developments.

Costin during one of the vehicle's development tests.

Cosworth's car featured a very angular shape. The monocoque was made of aluminum and had a mallite liner (a laminated composite of wood and aluminum), a technique I had already used McLaren in 1966 on his M2B. The fuel tanks were located between the wheels and the passenger compartment was shifted to the left for better transmission performance as, as in all 4WD cars, the engine was rotated 180 degrees with the clutch forward.

With his mind set on making it debut in the British GP, the car began to add kilometers. English Trevor taylor, who had been designated as the car's title driver, and Costin himself were the testers.

One of the problems they had to solve was the location of the oil tank, which had originally been placed behind the pilot to improve weight distribution. The discomfort of having the tank in place forced it to be placed behind the engine, which in turn required a redesign of the front driveshafts.

El excessive understeer affecting all 4WD cars was impossible to correct. A limited-slip front differential was tested with some success and that brought some optimism to the Cowsorth men.

Jackie stewart
Jackie Stewart put her thumb down on Cosworth's car.

They wisely decided to ask Jackie stewart to give them the last word on the vehicle. The Scotsman tried it out and confirmed something Taylor and Costin already felt: the car was so heavy ahead that it was impossible to get into corners. Following Stewart's disapproval, the project was canceled just weeks before the Silverstone appointment.

Today this Cosworth F1 4WD is exhibited in the museum of the circuit of Donington Park. However, there is another specimen in Australia that belongs to a private collection and that was assembled with pieces that were in the factory of the English company.

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Diego durruty

Journalist with 30 years of experience. Worked in magazines STROKE, The graphic, Coequipier y Only TC, on the Internet sites SportsYa!, e-driver.com y kmcero.com and on the radios Rock pop y Vorterix.com. He covered the Dakar rally for the German agency dpa. He currently drives Two Daring Guys, a car magazine that is broadcast on Tuesdays from 18 to 19 by RadioArroba.com; is editor of motorsport in Red Bull Argentina, columnist on the show WorldSport (AM Splendid) and in Surf & Rock FM.  He is also a teacher in SPORTS. Now you can read it on his blog: automundo.com.ar.

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