Active years: 1958-1994, 2010-
Previous identities: Toleman
(1986-2001), Renault (2002-2012)
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Lotus was one of the leading outfits of the sixties and seventies when it was run by Colin Chapman. Drivers like Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Emerson Fittipaldi and Mario Andretti won championships in a series of ground-breaking Lotuses.
They were famed for producing leaps ahead in technology. Cars like the Cosworth DFV-powered 49, the wedge-shaped 72 and the ground effect 79 left the opposition reeling.
But Lotus were also prone to producing over-ambitious and unreliable machines. Sometimes Chapman found himself pursuing what turned out to be technological dead-ends for F1 cars such as turbine power or four-wheel-drive. Other times he got into fights with the governing body, such as when he produced the twin-chassis 88 which was banned before it started a race.
By the time of Chapman’s death in 1982 the team had already won its last championship. Further race wins followed, most coming courtesy of Ayrton Senna in the mid-eighties. But by the early nineties Lotus was on its last legs and it collapsed before the 1995 season.
A new Lotus team, run by Tony Fernandes, entered F1 in 2010. However following a dispute with car manufacturer Group Lotus, the name changed hands in 2012. The team which competed as Renault in 2011 became Lotus, and Fernandes’ team was rebranded as Caterham.
The third iteration of Lotus rediscovered its winning ways with Kimi Raikkonen in 2012, triumphing in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Raikkonen, returning to F1 after a two-year break, ended the year third in the drivers’ championship and the team beat Mercedes to fourth in the constructors’ points.
See the complete list of Lotus F1 drivers.
Major team personnel
Chairman: Gerard Lopez
Team principal: Eric Boullier
Chief executive officer: Patrick Louis
Chief operating officer: Thomas Mayer
Technical director: Nick Chester
Trackside operations director: Alan Permane
Chief designer: Martin Tolliday
Deputy managing director, engine: Rob White
Head of aerodynamics: Dirk De Beer
Team manager: Paul Seaby
Race team chief mechanic: Greg Baker
Floating number one mechanic: Daniel Pugh
Engineering co-ordinator: Phil Mitchell
Chief race engineer: Ciaron Pilbeam
Race engineer (Kimi Raikkonen): Mark Slade
Race engineer (Romain Grosjean): Ayao Komatsu
Lotus featured articles
Lotus latest articles
- Lotus to maintain momentum despite loss of Allison
- Boullier criticises Pirelli tyre tweaks
- Lotus confirm Allison to be replaced by Chester
- Lotus to evaluate Double DRS before Spain
- Raikkonen doesn’t understand tyre complaints
- Boullier: Raikkonen doing less of what he hates
- Strategy switch spoiled Grosjean’s race
- Raikkonen: Australian GP win was “not too difficult”
- Lotus catching up with their rivals and targetting the top three
- Engine map ruling no concern for Lotus – Allison
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Image © Lotus F1 Team/LAT