20 years ago the X-wings got banned


BRING THEM BACK!!!!!! Yes i would love to see the X-Wings make their revival. I know I’m probably one of the few that loves the X-Wings. Probably one of the few that remembers the wings at all. The Tyrrell team once introduced the X-wings on their Tyrrell 025 in 1997.  The idea behind the Tyrrell Towers is when driving behind a car the wings generate more downforce. Harvey Postlethwaite came up with this brilliant design.  It was Tyrrell’s last technical delight before BAT bought the team from Ken Tyrrell.

As said already the idea behind the X-Wings is that the Wings will generate extra downforce when driving behind another car.  The extra downforce generated would give the car more grip and speed to overtake. Tyrrell introduced the X-wings as a cheap solution to make the cars better. As Tyrrell was in financial shortage and a takeover was near, the team did not invest much in the Tyrrell 025.  The team used old wings to create them.

It is questionable if the X-Wings really had a positive effect on the cars behaviour. Tyrrell was the only team to use the Tyrrell Towers, as fans also named them. In 1998 besides Tyrrell, also Sauber, Jordan, Prost and Ferrari experimented with the wings on their cars.  It was rumoured that another team was working on a different version of the design. It is not certain this actually happened. If you ask me which team this could be, I would say Minardi or the Arrows team.

At the end of April, after some speculations, Max Mosley announced in an interview that the X-wings or Tyrrell Towers would be banned from now on. As reason he said that the construction was too dangerous.  You can’t agree on that as the Wings were placed on the bodywork itself near the drivers head. The other risk was an accident. The possibility was there that the wing could ripped off by an accident, and hit another driver or spectators.

As I understand the FIA banned the X-wings, I have to admit that I likely fell in love with them. Agreed the Tyrrell Towers on the Tyrrell 025 and the Tyrrell 026 looked bad. The wings on the Sauber C17 did look good either, and it was questionable if the wings look good on the Jordan 198. Did you saw them on the Ferrari F300? They looked perfect, could also be as the Marlboro logo and the Ferrari logo fitted perfectly on it. On the Prost AP01 the X-wings looked the sexiest.

 Yes, they looked sexy on the Prost AP01. Loïc Bigois penned for Prost Grand Prix a sexy and good-looking car. Even though the car wasn’t that competitive it still looked sexy! The X-wings just completed the looks of the car. The team knew how they had to fit the wings properly; it did not feel as they did just something.  Maybe my love for these wing can be explained that I always loved Minardi’s inventions, mostly doomed, by placing flaps everywhere on the car just to gain some extra downforce.

Be honest, those Tyrrell Towers look much better on a Formula One car then those Flip Flop protectors!