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How a mistake helped create an F1 icon

The Lotus 79 is part of an elite group that Giorgio Piola considers to be milestone machines, with each of these cars incorporating designs, solutions or systems that would be widely adopted by their rivals such was their potency.

Gallery: All of Niki Lauda's F1 cars

On the anniversary of the death of the great Niki Lauda, we look back at the cars that helped define his brilliant career and were observed up close by Giorgio Piola.

What F1's 2020 wing designs tell us about each team - Part IV

Formula 1 really has been a three horse race for a number of years now, with Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull ruling the roost.

What F1's 2020 wing designs tell us about each team - Part III

A new rules package introduced last year led to a diverse selection of front wing designs, with even the frontrunners choosing very different designs. Now, after a year of development, we look at what lessons have been taken on board.

Giorgio Piola’s F1 tech decades: The big bang 1980s, part two

Giorgio Piola has been at the forefront of F1’s technical coverage throughout his career, helping to make the complex sport we love a little easier to understand. In this series of articles dedicated to his illustrative genius, we’ll uncover the cars that have captured his imagination.

Giorgio Piola’s F1 tech decades: The big bang 1980s, part one

Giorgio Piola has been at the forefront of F1’s technical coverage throughout his career, helping to make the complex sport we love a little easier to understand. In this series of articles dedicated to his illustrative genius, we’ll uncover the cars that have captured his imagination.

What F1's 2020 wing designs tell us about each team - Part II

A new rules package introduced last year led to a diverse selection of front wing designs, with even the frontrunners choosing very different designs. Now, after a year of development, we look at what lessons have been taken on board.

What F1's 2020 front wing designs tell us about each team

A new rules package introduced last year led to a diverse selection of front wing designs, with even the frontrunners choosing very different designs. Now, after a year of development, we look at what lessons have been taken on board.

The small wing detail that shows Mercedes is still pushing

While much of the focus of the changes to the Mercedes 2020 car have revolved around its new sidepod arrangement and DAS (Dual Axis Steering), there are some other important details that highlight how aggressive the team is in trying to find performance.

The secrets of Formula 1's six-wheeled racer

On this day in 1976, one of Formula 1’s most unique cars made its debut at the Spanish Grand Prix when Tyrrell introduced its infamous six-wheeled P34.

How McLaren and Ferrari went to war with the rules in '76

Formula 1’s epic battle for the 1976 world championship title between James Hunt and Niki Lauda will go down in history as one of the best ever.

How Formula 1 car safety changed forever after Imola 1994

The 1994 San Marino Grand Prix marked not only one of Formula 1’s darkest weekends, but proved to be a turning point in car safety that would change the sport forever.

Banned: Why Mercedes' double DRS was outlawed

Not all solutions in Formula 1 that face regulatory scrutiny are banned outright. In fact, many get at least a small stay of execution.

The lessons F1 learned from Berger's fiery Imola crash

On this day in 1989, Formula 1 witnessed one of the most terrifying accidents of modern times as Gerhard Berger suffered a high-speed crash at Imola that resulted in his car erupting in flames thanks to the fuel tank rupturing.

Revealed: The untold secret behind a Ferrari flop

While Ferrari is nowadays a team that sets it sights on wins and world championship battles, a few decades ago the team was in very different shape.

The Ferrari idea that shaped current F1 car thinking

Formula 1 teams never unlearn anything, so when good ideas get banished because of rule changes – often designers spend a lot of time trying to work out how to regain that lost advantage.

The car that changed Formula 1 history

This weekend marks the anniversary of the debut of what is perhaps one of the most important cars in Formula 1 history.

What we know about Formula 1's 2020 cars so far

Formula 1's 2020 cars may not yet have run in anger on an official grand prix weekend, but pre-season testing and the build-up to Melbourne has already offered us a good glimpse at what teams have come up with.

How McLaren shattered all F1 records in 1988

On this day in 1988, McLaren kicked off the most dominant campaign by a team in the history of Formula 1, winning nearly all 16 races with the legendary MP4/4. Giorgio Piola and Matt Sommerfield reflect on the season, using the extensive archive of Motorsport Images.

The fascinating story of McLaren's most iconic F1 car

The McLaren MP4/4 remains Formula 1's most successful machine, with a 93.8% win ratio that helped Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost storm to victory in 15 out of the 16 races during 1988.

How 'PAS' system shows Ferrari was on to DAS benefits

When Mercedes revealed its DAS system during pre-season testing, many expected its closest rivals to instantly go marching to the FIA to demand the system be banned.

How Mercedes has taken F1 brake design to the next level

Mercedes has made no secret of the fact that every element of its 2020 Formula 1 car has been improved for this year.

Is this the real secret behind the Mercedes DAS system?

Formula 1's technical attention has been dominated by Mercedes' DAS steering system this year, but it has now emerged that it could just be an offshoot of another clever solution already in use by the world champion team.

Why F1’s top teams are so divided on suspension

Formula 1's stable rules for 2020 were expected to lead to the top teams all converging with their designs, but actually the opposite has been true in some respects as there has been a fair bit of diverged thinking.