Certainly one of F1 racing’s most unique and interesting designs, the “6 wheeler” was also a successful design as it did win a Grand Prix.
At Zolder circuit, the Belgian GP, the 6-wheeled car scored its first points ever in the championship finishing 4th in 1976. However, the P34 has competed in the championship in two seasons 1976 and 1977.
Despite the success Jody Scheckter had in the P34 - one win, one pole, five podiums, third in the world championship - the South African has never spoken favorably of the P34, particularly not liking its braking characteristics.
#F1Fact 🇬🇧 Tyrrel-Ford has designed the most complex car in F1 history, the six-wheeled Tyrrell P34 has competed in the championship in two seasons 1976 & 1977.— Oprah Sagal (@F1Oprah) May 31, 2020
The P34 & P34B were the first (and only) successful six-wheeler #F1 cars with a single win and 15 podiums in between. pic.twitter.com/iLcvrCLe0O
With four front tires and six axles, brake balance was no longer just a matter of front-to-rear, but rather front-to-front-to-rear - something which would play havoc with the car’s handling as the wheelbase effectively lengthened or shortened depending on which axle locked. “The braking was supposed to be better: well, it was when you were braking in a straight line, but as soon as you turned in, the little wheels slid and you had to come off the pedal, so there was no advantage there,” Scheckter told Motor Sport magazine in 2008. “It only really worked on very smooth surfaces and, back then, there just weren't many of those around."
The P34 and P34B were the first (and only) successful six-wheeler F1 cars with a single win and 15 podiums.
The car was revamped aerodynamically and raced again in 1977 with less success as Goodyear really didn’t keep developing the custom made small front tires.