Lotus: back where it belongs?


Jim-ClarkThe Lotus name returns to Formula 1 this year. Neither Tony Fernandes nor Mike Gascoyne are pretending this new team has any direct link to Colin Chapman’s great squad, but still the use of the Lotus badge is seen as controversial in some quarters. After all, the legacy is a huge one to live up to and anyone who goes racing under the auspices of “Britain’s Ferrari” (as Johnny Herbert so correctly describes the marque) accepts great responsibility.

We have our own reservations about the use of the name by an all-new squad, but would those most closely associated with Team Lotus feel the same? We asked Paul Fearnley to find out as part of our celebration of Lotus in F1, the centrepiece of the March issue of Motor Sport. The verdict? Well, read the magazine to find out!

As part of the Lotus special, editor-in-chief Nigel Roebuck recounts his personal memories of Team Lotus and explains why the team means so much to him. Meanwhile, lucky Andrew Frankel gets behind the wheel of the F1 car that first inspired him: Mario Andretti’s Type 79, the ‘wing’ car that stormed the 1978 World Championship. And Rob Widdows meets Fernandes and Gascoyne to hear about the revival of Lotus in F1.

From a personal point of view, this issue felt like a long time coming. In fact, it seemed as if it would never end! Hopefully that should come across when you read it (in a good way) because there is plenty between the covers.

Highlights include more from the 1970s, as dep ed Gordon Cruickshank witnesses a very cool reunion: Andy Rouse and the British Leyland Jaguar XJC tin-topper, the epitome of that romantic motor racing standard – the glorious failure! Then it’s that man Frankel again as we remember the Tour of Britain, which attracted stars from stage and track – plus the odd Radio 1 DJ…

Finally, I must mention Simon Taylor’s latest ‘Lunch with’ interview. He met March co-founder Robin Herd for what would prove to be an entertaining bout of reminiscence, but in a venue with a twist. You’ll find out what I mean on page 74.

The April issue is already well underway, and so far it’s coming together nicely. In fact, I’d better get back to it! In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the March edition and do let us know your thoughts on the return of Lotus to F1.

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