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3 Formula One Cars That Never Raced

Formula One, F1 or, Formula 1 is the highest class of international auto racing in the world for single-seater racing cars. It is sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The word “formula” in Formula 1 refers to the rules which all participants' cars must adhere to.

Formula One was introduced in the 1950s when the world’s first championship series took place. Many cars have graced the Grands Prix, the series of races that comprise a Formula 1 season. However, some cars have never made it that far. Here are three F1 cars that never made the grid but were ready to race.

Lola-Ford T97/30 – 1997

Lola had numerous F1 entries previously, but the 1997 bid put a stop to their F1 ambitions. In the early 1990s, the T95/30 was constructed according to 1995 specs by the chassis builder. But surprisingly, it missed one vital component: an airbox in its engine.

Lola made a return in 1997 with the T97/30, which had very conventional aesthetics. But after the team used the car in the first race, they quickly realized how slow it actually was. Vincenzo Sospiri’s time was 11.6 seconds slower than Jacques Villeneuve's pole time. Back then, drivers had to attain 107% of the pole time.

Lola went for the next round in Brazil, but Mastercard refused to back them and the outfit couldn’t continue because it had no money left. As a result, the T97/30 didn’t race. But that’s a good thing, because it wouldn’t have won anyway.

DAMS GD-01, 1995

In the mid-1990s, a new French team was brought into F1 when the two other French teams, Larrousse and Ligier, were already struggling to win races. However, the car the team used, the GD-01, wasn’t the best and could barely meet F1 regulations. It had an off-the-shelf Cosworth V8 engine, ample cooling, and very unadventurous aerodynamics.

But Larrousse found itself in trouble during the winter of 1994/5 when it tied with DAMS. The latter was shown the door so Larrousse could use its cars. However, the outfits failed to agree on terms, and their F1 ambitions came to a sudden conclusion. Larrousse went home and DAMS never made it to Formula 1. But to this day, DAMS still competes in the A1 Grand Prix and GP2.

Dome F105, 1996

Dome began testing its F1 car in 1996. It featured a Mugen-Honda engine and there were rumours that it was a Honda-funded entry into Grand Prix racing, but Dome denied these accusations. The car was tested by racers Shinji Nakano and Marco Apicella.

Later in the year, the Dome F105 caught fire at Suzuka during testing. The driver escaped unscathed, but there were no marshals nearby, so it was destroyed by the fire. Dome’s hopes of racing in Formula 1 were crushed because they didn’t have money to build a replacement car.

All these cars could have made it to the Grands Prix if the problems they had were addressed in advance--a mobile mechanic could have helped. But we’re sure the current Formula 1 teams know better. As the saying goes, to be prepared is half the victory.

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