Colin Chapman’s Lotus F1 team is not only one of the most successful the sport has ever seen but certainly one of the most iconic.
Names such as Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jochen Rindt, Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna achieved notable success with the Norfolk team.
But when many people think of the Lotus glory days, they think of one driver in particular. The great Jim Clark dominated the 1963 season in his Lotus 25, winning seven out of the 10 races, and he was almost as dominant in 1965 with six victories.
Clark surely would have added to the tally but for his tragic death in an F2 race in 1968, as Graham Hill took the title.
If Adrian Newey is the genius of today, it was Colin Chapman who set the precedent. His principle was to add speed through lightness, and he made his cars more agile and efficient when everyone else’s focus was to add more power. He pioneered the monocoque chassis, aerofoil wings and ground effect, changing F1 forever.
Rindt, Fittipaldi and Andretti would all go on to secure world titles with Lotus before the team left the sport in 1994.
The team name is now back in the sport after a lengthy and complex legal dispute over naming rights but the Chapman legacy lives on with the famous Lotus emblem adorning the black and gold liveries on Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean’s machines.
History and tradition: 5 stars
Constructors’ titles: 7
Star drivers: Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Stirling Moss, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jochen Rindt, Ronnie Peterson, Carlos Reutemann, Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna, Nelson Piquet, Mika Hakkinen.