The Design That Started A Dynasty

By Tom Martin

September 30, 2021

 

This Lotus 21, driven by Innes Ireland, captured the first victory ever for Team Lotus and Ireland’s only win in his F1 career. Ireland won over Stirling Moss who was in a Lotus which retired. The rest, as they say, is history, with Team Lotus going on to be the first team to win 50 grands prix (ahead of Ferrari). Team Lotus of course developed many important technical innovations in the 1960’s and 1970’s, which special emphasis on chassis construction and ground effect aerodynamics.

 

 

The 1961 win was somewhat bittersweet. From Wikipedia: “The 1961 season had seen Californian Phil Hill crowned the first American World Champion. However, he did not take part in the race as the Scuderia Ferrari team had remained home. In the previous race, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Ferrari driver and team leader Wolfgang von Trips had been killed in a crash while leading the Drivers' Championship, handing victory and the Championship to Hill. Since Ferrari had clinched the Constructors' Championship as well as the Drivers', the team chose not to make the trip across the Atlantic for the season finale.”

 

If you are interested in a model of this historic Lotus, see more here.