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Lotus97Tsmall
Lotus 97T
Race Car
Category Formula One
Constructor Lotus
Chassis Carbon fibre monocoque
Suspension (front)
Suspension (rear)
Engine Renault EF4B or EF15B turbocharged V6
Power N/A hp @ N/A rpm
N/A lb-ft. of torque @ N/A rpm
Transmission
Fuel Elf
Tyres Goodyear
Notable entrants John Player Special Team Lotus
Notable drivers Ayrton Senna
Elio de Angelis
Johnny Dumfries
Debut 1985 Brazilian Grand Prix
Races competed 16
Race victories 3
Constructors' Championships 0
Drivers' Championships 0
Pole positions 8
Fastest laps 3
Designer Gérard Ducarouge
Martin Ogilvie

The Lotus 97T was a Formula One racing car designed and built by Team Lotus. A development of the Lotus 95T of 1984, it was designed for the 1985 Formula One season by French engineer Gérard Ducarouge and powered by a 1500cc Renault turbocharged engine. Sponsorship came from John Player Special and French oil company Elf. The 97T was a simple design but was robust and powerful. It used elements from the defunct Lotus 96T Indycar project in the aerodynamics. The 97T featured another innovative piece of Lotus design: an early form of bargeboards.

Lotus' major coup for 1985 was signing rising star Ayrton Senna from the Toleman team to partner Elio de Angelis. De Angelis had finished third in the previous season's drivers' championship and had had many promising results with the 95T. The 97T was a natural development, but taking into account new sporting regulation changes over the rear wings of the cars.

The 97T was very competitive during the season, taking 8 poles, 7 with Senna and 1 with De Angelis and 3 wins. Senna's first was a brilliant performance in the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix where he won by over a minute in monsoon conditions. His second came at Spa, held in wet/dry conditions. De Angelis added a third win at Imola after Prost was disqualified.

The 97T was fast but was unreliable. Senna in particular had a run of bad luck mid season, many times while leading which cost him a possible chance at the world championship. Eventually, Lotus finished fourth in the constructors championship.

In total the Lotus 97T scored 3 victories, 2 second places and 4 third places. The car also achieved 8 pole positions and 3 fastest laps.

The car marked the start of a brief return to the successful days of the 1960s and 1970s for Lotus, which was continued by the 98T of 1986 and the Honda-powered 99T of 1987.

GalleryEdit


Complete Racing ResultsEdit

(key) (Results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Points WCC
1985 Lotus Renault V6 (t/c) G BRA POR SMR MON CAN DET FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA BEL EUR RSA AUS 71 4th
Ayrton Senna Ret 1 7 Ret 16 Ret Ret 10 Ret 2 3 3 1 2 Ret Ret
Elio de Angelis 3 4 1 3 5 5 5 NC Ret 5 5 6 Ret 5 Ret DSQ

Notes and referencesEdit

See AlsoEdit


1972a
LOTUS

Proton Holdings Berhad


Proton | Lotus Group Plc. | Lotus


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Group Lotus · Lotus Racing · Lotus Sport · Colin Chapman


Colin Chapman Corporate website A Division of Group Lotus


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