On This Day: An iconic F1 staff step away from Grand Prix racing

All through the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies, Group Lotus had been the Mercedes or Crimson Bull of the Method 1 day.

That they had the most effective drivers, in the most effective automobiles with arguably the most effective designer of all-time operating the staff to Grand Prix victories or World Championship successes like clockwork.

Between 1963 with Jim Clark and their remaining success with Mario Andretti in 1978, Group Lotus received the Drivers’ title six instances, with seven Constructors’ Crowns additionally surrendering to Colin Chapman’s genius.

Even now, 45 years after that remaining success, solely Ferrari, McLaren, Williams and Mercedes rank above Lotus by way of most championships received.

Nevertheless, after Chapman’s loss of life in 1982, the start of the tip adopted for Lotus.

Additional Grand Prix wins got here within the mid-to-late Nineteen Eighties by way of the likes of Ayrton Senna and Nelson Piquet, however the staff wouldn’t get near championship success after Chapman’s passing.

As F1 entered the high-tech and commercialised Nineties, Lotus had been left behind as a relic of Grand Prix racing’s illustrious previous and staggered on in the direction of 1994.

Nevertheless, extreme monetary difficulties meant the staff introduced they might not race in 1995 on January seventeenth, bringing to finish the story of certainly one of F1’s best ever groups.

Come 2010, and the Lotus identify was again in F1, however this was by way of a Malaysian effort and had little in frequent with the unique title-winning staff.

They didn’t rating some extent, had been rebadged as Caterham and left F1 on the finish of 2014.

Nevertheless, in 2011 there was the weird state of affairs with two groups operating with the ‘Lotus’ identify.

Along with the Malaysian effort, the Lotus street automotive division elected to grow to be the title sponsor of the Renault staff – thus changing into ‘Lotus Renault GP’.

This specific Lotus-badged staff – who would later merely grow to be the Renault, then Alpine staff – had far more success, with Kimi Raikkonen taking two wins for the black-and-gold staff in 2012 and 2013.

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