- Lotus 25
Car_name = Lotus 25
F1 car = Y
Team Lotus Reg Parnell Racing
Drivers = flagicon|UK
Front suspension = Double wishbone, with inboard
Rear suspension = Lower wishbone, top link and radius rod suspension, with outboard
Engine name =
Coventry Climax"FWMV", or
Capacity = 1498 cc,
Configuration = 90°
Engine position = mid-mounted.
Gearbox name =
Gears = 5-speed
Type = manual.
Tyres = Dunlop
1962 Dutch Grand Prix
Races = 49
Wins = 14
Cons_champ = 2 (F1|1963, F1|1965)
Drivers_champ = 2 (F1|1963, F1|1965)
Poles = 14
Fastest_laps = 18
The Lotus 25 was a racing car designed by
Colin Chapmanfor the 1962 Formula 1season. It was a revolutionary design, the first fully stressed monocoquechassis to appear in F1. An early brainchild of Chapman's fertile mind, the original sketches for the car were made on napkins while Chapman discussed his idea while dining out with Lotus chassis designer Mike Costin.
The monocoque made the car more rigid and structurally stronger than typical F1 cars of the period. The 25 was three times stiffer than the interim 21, while the chassis weighed only half as much. [Setright, L.J.K. "Lotus: The Golden Mean", in Northey, Tom, ed. "The World of Automobiles" (London: Orbis, 1974), Volume 11, p.1230.] As a result, the car was extremely low and narrow (frontal area only 8.0 ft², 0.74m² compared to the normal 9.5 ft², 0.88 m² [Setright, p.1230.] ). To assist this, the driver reclined sharply behind the wheel (an idea seen in the 18, and pioneered over a decade previously by
Gustav Baummat NSU[Setright, p.1230.] [Wikipedia, Lotus 18.] ), leading to the nickname 'The Bathtub', while front suspension pieces were moved inboard (as in the 1948 Maserati). ["Chapman was not concerned to be original, merely to be thorough." Setright, p.1230. Or, one might say, to make a better car, steal the best ideas.] The 25 was powered by a 1498cc Coventry ClimaxFWMV V8, although Reg Parnell Racingin 1964 fitted BRM P56s of similar specification to their second-hand 25s. Such was 25's effect on motor racing, even today's modern F1 cars follow its basic principles.
Some Privateers who had been buying Lotus chassis were disgruntled by the fact Chapman refused to provide them 25s. These teams, including Rob Walker Racing, were given
Lotus 24s, while the works team had exclusive use of the 25 for Jim Clarkand Trevor Taylor. When it first appeared at the Dutch Grand Prix, the futuristic 25 was inspected by John Cooper, who asked Chapman where he had put the chassis in the car.
The car gave Jim Clark his first Grand Prix victory at Spa that year. He followed by taking another win in Britain, and again in the USA, which put him in contention for the title, but at the final race, South Africa while leading, a much publicised engine seizure cost him the title to
Clark gained his revenge the following year, taking his first world championship in the 25, by winning 7 races, Belgium, France, Holland, Britain, Italy, South Africa, and Mexico. Lotus also won its first constructors' championship. The 25 was used during the 1964 season, winning a further three races in Clark's hands. At the final race in Mexico, just as in 1962, the Climax engine developed an oil leak and with literally a lap to run Clark coasted to a halt in sight of world championship victory, this time conceding to
Clark went on to take the car's final win at the
1965 French Grand Prixbefore it was replaced by the Lotus 33. The Lotus 25 won 13 races, set 17 pole positions and 13 fastest laps. [ [F1 Facts & Trivia. pp.113 - John White 2007] ] .
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