Note the medium-tall, and essentially unbraced high wing mounting on Jo Siffert’s race-winning Rob Walker Racing Lotus 49-Ford at the 1968 British Grand Prix.
Photo: Roger Dixon
Red Bull gives you wings” says the advertising strap line for the energy drink that funds not only the eponymous Formula One team but also, seemingly, virtually every other dangerous endeavor in the pantheon of world sport. However brilliant the aerodynamic properties of the Red Bull series of World Championship-winning cars, they owe their corner-hugging prowess to a short, bright period of innovation in 1968 when the wings grew high and the drivers had the “equipment” to master their unruly machines.
This was the era of high wings that F1 designers adopted in search of grip and performance from mid-1968 until early 1969. Yet downforce-creating wings were not a product of the fertile F1 mind: the man who must take the major credit for demonstrating the principle is an innovative genius from Midland, Texas, Jim Hall. Yet even before Hall sprang his beautiful Chaparral 2E on an unsuspecting grid of Can-Am contenders in 1966, wings had been deployed elsewhere.
Become a Member & Get Ad-Free Access To This Article (& About 6,000+ More)
Access to the full article is limited to paid subscribers only. Our membership removes most ads, lets you enjoy unlimited access to all our premium content, and offers you awesome discounts on partner products. Enjoy our premium content.