When you speak about Formula 1, you have to speak about its technological vanguard. This world of excellence and technical achievements was, for a long time, represented by the mythical Lotus, which was responsible for the most unlikely and sophisticated award-winning machines, driven (literally) to victory by the best-known names of Jim Clark and Ayrton Senna. Sadly the presence of the brand in Formula 1 didn't survive for long after the death of its creator Colin Chapman, in 1982. Without his genious, it lost all of its creativity.
Out of all the models, the most innovative and also the most award-winning, was the Lotus 72. Created in 1969, it would be considered so revolutionary that four years later it was still unsurpassed. After six consecutive seasons in Formula 1, its long career came to an end in 1975, the year it was finally overtaken by its opponent's technological advance. Something unbelievable nowadays...
Lotus 49 - 1969
The creation of the 72 was due to Colin Chapman, evidently, but also to engineer Maurice Philippe. Don't forget that, at this point, the formula 1 had a cylindric shape, basically with a radiator in the front and the motor in the back, with no cover, such was the case of the Lotus 49. So, as you can see, the project for this new car was quite a leap into the unknown. Nonetheless, it came to impose a new design paradigm that is still followed today: wedge shape , side mounted radiators in sidepods and aileron placed on the back. In addition, it had a series of other very elaborate technical details, such as the in-board frontal breaks and a fabulous suspension of variable flexibility.
The 72 won a total of 148 Great Awards, through the hands of 16 different pilots that scored a total of 292 points in the World Championship. It earned three Constructors titles (1970, 1972 and 1973) and two Drivers titles. The first was earned posthumously in 1970 by Jochen Rindt, thanks to one Emerson Fittipaldi that, in 1972 would also become Champion of the World. The Lotus 72, initially red and gold of Gold Leaf Team Lotus and, afterwards, black and gold of John Player Special, has become an icon for posterity.
Reine Wisell - 1971
Emerson Fittipaldi - 1972
Ronnie Peterson - 1973
Jacky Ickx - 1974
Ronnie Peterson - 1975