The Williams FW26 thoroughly encapsulates the theory that a car that resembles a less-than-graceful animal is always likely to be somewhat challenged in the looks department. The ‘Walrus’ tusks on the nose of Williams’ 2004 challenger were designed so as to take full advantage of the car’s ‘twin-keel’ front suspension design, by maximising the airflow to the underside of the car. After strong showings in pre-season testing, the car failed to live up to the hype generated by the unusual design. The ‘Walrus’ was finally abandoned at the Hungarian Grand Prix, and with a more conventional nose, an upturn in form followed for the team. Unfortunately then, the last Williams car designed under the supervision of the legendary Patrick Head satisfies both categories of ugliness, not only by being slow, but also by sharing its features with that of a 3,700lb North Atlantic mammal.
by Josh Bonser