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Lotus 91

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]
Category Formula One
Constructor Lotus
Designer(s) Colin Chapman
Martin Ogilvie
Predecessor 87B
Successor 92
Technical specifications[2]
Chassis Carbon fibre and Kevlar monocoque
Engine Cosworth DFV, Script error: No such module "convert"., 90° V8, NA, mid-engine, longitudinally mounted
Transmission Lotus / Hewland 5-speed manual
Fuel Valvoline
Tyres Pirelli
Competition history
Notable entrants John Player Team Lotus
Notable drivers 11. 23x15px Elio de Angelis
12. 23x15px Nigel Mansell
12. 23x15px Roberto Moreno
12. 23x15px Geoff Lees
Debut 1982 Brazilian Grand Prix
Constructors' Championships 0
Drivers' Championships 0

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.

File:Lotus 91 cropped.jpg
The Lotus 91 without front wing

Complete Formula One results


Year Team Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Pts. WCC
1982 John Player Team Lotus Cosworth DFV
23x15px Nigel Mansell 3 7 Ret 4 Ret Ret Ret 9 Ret 8 7 Ret
23x15px Elio de Angelis Ret 5 4 5 Ret 4 Ret 4 Ret Ret 1 6 Ret Ret
23x15px Roberto Moreno DNQ
23x15px Geoff Lees 12