Lotus 91

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Lotus 91
The Lotus 91 being exhibited in March 2007. This car was presented to Tamiya Corporation, a sponsor in the 1991 season, by Lotus[1]
CategoryFormula One
ConstructorLotus
Designer(s)Colin Chapman
Martin Ogilvie
Predecessor87B
Successor92
Technical specifications[2]
ChassisCarbon fibre and Kevlar monocoque
EngineCosworth DFV, 2,993 cc (182.6 cu in), 90° V8, NA, mid-engine, longitudinally mounted
TransmissionLotus / Hewland 5-speed manual
FuelValvoline
TyresPirelli
Goodyear
Competition history
Notable entrantsJohn Player Team Lotus
Notable drivers11. Italy Elio de Angelis
12. United Kingdom Nigel Mansell
12. Brazil Roberto Moreno
12. United Kingdom Geoff Lees
Debut1982 Brazilian Grand Prix
RacesWinsPolesFastest laps
15100
Constructors' Championships0
Drivers' Championships0
 
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Lotus 91
The Lotus 91 being exhibited in March 2007. This car was presented to Tamiya Corporation, a sponsor in the 1991 season, by Lotus[1]
CategoryFormula One
ConstructorLotus
Designer(s)Colin Chapman
Martin Ogilvie
Predecessor87B
Successor92
Technical specifications[2]
ChassisCarbon fibre and Kevlar monocoque
EngineCosworth DFV, 2,993 cc (182.6 cu in), 90° V8, NA, mid-engine, longitudinally mounted
TransmissionLotus / Hewland 5-speed manual
FuelValvoline
TyresPirelli
Goodyear
Competition history
Notable entrantsJohn Player Team Lotus
Notable drivers11. Italy Elio de Angelis
12. United Kingdom Nigel Mansell
12. Brazil Roberto Moreno
12. United Kingdom Geoff Lees
Debut1982 Brazilian Grand Prix
RacesWinsPolesFastest laps
15100
Constructors' Championships0
Drivers' Championships0

The Lotus 91 was a car used by the English team Lotus in the 1982 Formula One season, designed by Colin Chapman, Martin Ogilvie and Tony Rudd. After several uncompetitive seasons with experimental or mediocre cars, Colin Chapman went back to basics and designed the graceful Lotus 91, based in part on the Williams FW07 and Lotus' own 88 design. Powered by the Ford Cosworth DFV, and using a standard Hewland gearbox, the 91 was uncomplicated and easy to maintain. Following Brabham's lead, the new car was the first Lotus chassis to use carbon brakes, improving braking performance considerably.

After a design study by Chapman into new composite materials, the decision was taken to build the car in carbon fibre, making it after the McLaren MP4/1 the second F1 car to race to be built from the material - the Lotus 86/88 not having raced.

Under the direction of Peter Warr, the team worked hard to make the car as competitive as possible. The lightweight chassis gave the 91 a fighting chance against the far more powerful turbo engined cars, and Cosworth worked on a short stroke version of the DFV purely for Lotus' use. The suspension was revolutionary. Using an on-board system to control the ride height and behavior of the suspension, the Lotus 91 was the first car to be fitted with active suspension. The system was partially controlled by computers, but at this early stage was mostly operated by hydro-pneumatic valves. Elio de Angelis used the car well, but found the 91 was mostly competitive on ultra fast tracks like Hockenheim, Monza and the Österreichring. The latter track provided a thrilling final lap win for De Angelis against Keke Rosberg in the Williams. That as well as several other podium places helped the team to fifth in the final standings in 1982, before ground effects were banned for the 1983 Formula One season, and the 91 was replaced by the first Lotus turbo car. The 91 was the last Lotus F1 car to win a race under Colin Chapman's rule before he died of a heart attack in December 1982.

The Lotus 91 without front wing


Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key)

YearTeamEngineTyresDrivers12345678910111213141516Pts.WCC
1982John Player Team LotusCosworth DFV
V8 NA
GRSABRAUSWSMRBELMONDETCANNEDGBRFRAGERAUTSUIITACPL305th
United Kingdom Nigel Mansell37Ret4RetRetRet9Ret87Ret
Italy Elio de AngelisRet545Ret4Ret4RetRet16RetRet
Brazil Roberto MorenoDNQ
United Kingdom Geoff Lees12

References[edit]