The Lotus 49 was a Formula 1 racing car, built and used from 1967 to 1970 by British Formula 1 Team Lotus.
The Lotus 49 sat 1967 standards in the construction of racing cars and became the first Formula 1 car in his rear a Ford Cosworth engine was running, in the history of Grand Prix racing one. After the insecure first year of the 3-liter formula was introduced in 1966 in Formula 1, was the Lotus 49 as a way for the team this formula.
History of development
Lotus team boss Colin Chapman brought the two 1966 Ford Technician Haley Coop and Walter Hayes with Keith Duckworth of Cosworth with the aim of developing a new engine for Formula 1. Ford supported the development of the DFV ( Double Four Valve = double four valve ) intensive and Lotus, with an exclusive contract for use, cut the Lotus 49 on this engine too.
He was an uncomplicated car with a timeless lines. Of 90 degree V8 certain cross section of the monocoque. He was so attached behind the cockpit that he played a major role. The sub-frame of the rear suspension was bolted to the engine block and the cylinder heads. Although it was expensive to swap the engines, but the car had a good center of gravity. Drivers raved about the 49, which was light and nimble and its engine had a wide speed range.
Lotus built twelve chassis with the designation 49 (three of which were conversions of existing, but given a new hull number ). One or one of the car remained an exhibit and was never driven, the other eleven were used under the Evo -names from B to T until the early 1970s. The T with a 2.5 -liter Cosworth V8 has only been driven in the Tasman series (hence the T), a racing series in Oceania, which was very popular in the late 1960s.
The Lotus 49B of 1968 had a longer wheelbase, which from this season allowed wider wheels, a slightly more wedge shaped body and changed the subframe. To improve traction, first the front was fitted with short wings at the rear a tearing edge formed.
1969 came front and rear oversized wings are used, which were placed on high supports with rubber elements directly to the steering knuckles and not like the competition on the vehicle frame. The output powers should not act on the whole car, but only to the wheels. However, the front wing soon proved to be a disadvantage, since the supports bent and the tires touched. At the Grand Prix of Spain, the front wings were again replaced by stub wings on either side of the front hood. In the race buckled to the rear wing and finally failed completely. First, Graham Hill crashed behind a high-speed jump, but was uninjured. Three laps later, Jochen Rindt was killed at this point for the same reason. He met the wreck of Hills car and was recovered only with a broken nose from the bent chassis. After these serious accidents in Barcelona and the rear wing was dismantled. Because during training for the Monaco Grand Prix 1969, the Commission Sportive Internationale ( CSI) finally banned all wings. Immediately fixed stabilizing surfaces were allowed only at the sprung part of the chassis. Rear wing maximum of 800 mm in height and a maximum of 1100 mm wide: Shortly after the rule has been clarified.
The Lotus 49C, which is still occasionally came into use in 1970, received the three-piece rear wing of the Lotus 72
The 49 was driven by the great champions of his era. Already at the first appearance in 1967 at the Grand Prix of the Netherlands Jim Clark thus celebrated the victory. It was also the first victory for the Cosworth V8 engine when you first start. Even his last victory in 1968 in South Africa scored Jim Clark in a 49 four years was the Lotus 49, the measure of all things in Formula 1 drivers won twelve times with these racing cars at world championship events.
Graham Hill in 1968 49er for the second time in his career, world champion and gave Lotus after 1963 and 1965, the third title of Constructors' World Champion. The Lotus 49 was also the last vehicle used by a genuine privateer won a Grand Prix. Jo Siffert won in 1968 for Rob Walker the Grand Prix of Great Britain at Brands Hatch.
The last success of this legendary racing car drove Jochen Rindt 1970. Rindt, of the new Lotus 72 reluctant drove, reached the Grand Prix of Monaco back again on the 49 and won just after Jack Brabham had braked at the last round in the Rascasse.