Part of a rich fabric

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On the morning that this issue of Motor Sport closed for press. there was still hope that Team Lotus could be extant in 1995, albeit as part of a combined force.

We’re sure that there are many, like us, who have no wish to see the name disappear from Formula One, although equally we would prefer to see the marque return stronger and fitter in 1996 than to see it struggling along just for the sake of remaining in F1 for one more year.

Elsewhere in this issue, you can read FIA President Max Mosley’s somewhat dispassionate views on the subject. In harsh economic terms, of course, he’s absolutely right. And the decision of Team Lotus MD David Hunt to withdraw was made with just such considerations in mind. Past glories and public affection won’t build you a Formula One car. This is an expensive business, and in the annual, desperate fight for sponsorship, there will always be some teams who fail to raise enough.

The fact that Team Lotus has not won a World Championship Grand Prix since Ayrton Senna took the chequered flag at Detroit in 1987 is an irrelevance in this context. For all its recent troubles, Team Lotus is an integral part of motor racing’s rich fabric: 490 Grands Prix contested since Monaco 1958, 79 victories, 107 pole positions, 71 fastest laps, seven world constructors’ titles, six world drivers’ titles… As Hunt said when announcing his decision to suspend the team’s F1 participation, “Other than Ferrari the Team Lotus name is arguably the strongest in Grand Prix racing.”

That is a fair point, and we are confident that we speak for the vast majority when we say that we fervently hope to see the team return to the Formula One World Championship. We wish those who are presently trying to salvage the situation the very best of luck.