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Team Lotus 1992


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#1 Louis Mr. F1

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Posted 02 August 2001 - 15:51

Guys,
do you remember Team Lotus's performance in the 1992 season?

In the past, i wasn't really a Lotus fan except for the very beautiful JPS livery. But since it's near disappearance at the end of 1990 and the effort by Peter Collins, i started to follow this team in 91 (esp with Mika driving for them) and in 1992, their performance has leapfrogged a big step since the introduction of a new car in the Barcelona weekend, replacing the old Lotus chassis which was about 2 years old. The green and yellow livery was also very attractive, one of my favourite. with Mika and Johnny driving, they pushed each other and they often threaten the Ford's work team Benetton. I wonder how much difference it would've been if they had the new car since the start of the year.

what do you remember about them that year?

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#2 clickhappy

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Posted 02 August 2001 - 16:02

As a big Herbet fan I remember being excited that he finally had a 'proper' car to show his talent in. Too bad they still had budget issues...and that F1 was in a hyper-tech growth mode (read: active suspension).

#3 Zawed

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Posted 03 August 2001 - 03:03

I just remember Herbert being unlucky, hardly finishing a race; he ended up with 2 points to Hakkinen's 11...

#4 clickhappy

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Posted 03 August 2001 - 03:27

true, but you also have to admit Mika was the fastest driver. I am sure Johnny got first class treatment, and equipment, but Mika was the quicker of the two.

#5 Zawed

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Posted 03 August 2001 - 03:37

Johnny outqualified Mika 8 times in 15 races. Mika DNQ for one race. I'd say things were pretty even stevens at the time...

#6 Mila

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Posted 03 August 2001 - 22:54

the team did indeed seem to be revived, but the budget was still super-tight.

MH did particularly well at Magny-Cour and the Hungaroring--4th places at both, just missing out on a podium spot.

#7 clickhappy

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Posted 04 August 2001 - 02:52

I was referring to the WC points total, Mika 11, Johnny 2.

Originally posted by Zawed
Johnny outqualified Mika 8 times in 15 races. Mika DNQ for one race. I'd say things were pretty even stevens at the time...



#8 JonC

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Posted 04 August 2001 - 17:31

They were certainly competitive in 92, got some Castrol title sponsorship and had the solid Ford V8. Having Mika and Johnny wasn't bad either. 93 wasn't bad either, Herbert scooped a couple of 4th's with the car. The 92 livery was great though, a throwback to Lotus' past.
It makes you wonder what Ford might have done had Honda not quit...maybe Lotus could have got works Ford engines. They then qualified 4th with JH in Monza 94 with an upgraded Mugen..that suggests the later 109 car wasn't too bad either.
All told, I reckon Lotus could have made it had they picked up some big-money backing...92 was a big step in the right direction for them but they just couldn't follow it through.

#9 Wellington

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Posted 05 October 2001 - 17:37

Hello there...

The Lotus 107 was indeed the savior needed at that time!! Chris Murphy's design was, to my mind, the best as far as diving nose cars are concerned. Sleek from the front to the back wing, a pure aerodynamic illumination: look at the front wing, the openings in the side pods and the overall lining and balance! Everything there makes the 102D looks like prehistoric... I had an engineering teacher who used to say: "if something looks good, then it IS good". How true it is in that case...

Completely adapted to the Ford V8 HB, it was also designed for the active suspension, which was successful with its sucessor 107B. Fortunately enough, the 107 incited Castrol to make its come back in F1 by assuming a title sponsoring. Unfortunately, their sponsor-hunter (Edwards?) was keeping 25% of every contract for himself.

On the track, the 107 was particularly surprising at times. In France, for example, it raced for 3rd with Hakkinen at the wheel, against Berger's McLaren. It was faster and handling better at the end of the race, but Hakkinen spun off while attempting to overtake. He even stalled his engine but managed to re-start it when replacing the car in the right direction.

Between 92 and 93, the specialised press was eager to compare the McLaren and the Lotus, for they had the same engine. The 107B was the best imaginable evolution of the 107: more compact, and keeping the front wing aero experiments added to a shorter nose. But even if the active suspension was the best in the whole circus, they neglected the other crucial element: the half-automatic gearbox. Of course, Senna was a GREAT advantage, and by no means comparable to an almost rookie Zanardi. I felt very sad when I knew that Hakkinen would not be a Lotus pilot in 93. It was worse at the end of the year, considering every great things achieved by Herbert (the race in Brazil in particular, with the storm and perfectly timed tyre changes). But money shortage meant that the development of the car had to slow before the half of the championship.

92 and the birth of the 107 were great achievements for Team Lotus' managers Collins and Wright, for they were to get the ownership of the team (property of Chapman's widow) in case the results were there. And they were far beyond expectation. Their ambition was as huge as their debts, which were the Team's executioner in late 94. I will always wonder what things would have been if they had started the season with the 109 and the Mugen engine seen at Monza (highest top speed of the week end). And without all those silly security-related decisions that killed much of the innovations of the 109 before it made its first race.

I have not watched a F1 race nor read F1 magazines the same way since the Team left. I cannot feel the same enthusiasm or awe any more.

Regards

Xavier

#10 rallen

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 12:09

I was really gutted when Team Lotus folded, going back to 1992 then - apart from the stats which you can't really use because of Herberts bad luck - just how good was Herbert compared to Mika? I sort of get the feeling Herbert was a tad better, is this actually true I was a bit to young then to recall correctly.

#11 TennisUK

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 19:35

I was really gutted when Team Lotus folded, going back to 1992 then - apart from the stats which you can't really use because of Herberts bad luck - just how good was Herbert compared to Mika? I sort of get the feeling Herbert was a tad better, is this actually true I was a bit to young then to recall correctly.

It was pretty close, but I recall thinking that Hakkinen made better use of what he had been given , slightly. They normally qualified pretty closely to each other. There were a few races when they were looking very competitive indeed, as well as France, Hungary sticks out, when Hakkinen made a last lap lunge for third ahead of Berger but went off, but they were also running very well in Canada, after qualifying (I think) 6th and 7th (until they broke down, again) and would probably have snatched a podium there, and if the car hadn't been so hideously unreliable may have snatched another (even two). They were poised to take over 3rd and 4th in Suzuka, and ran the Benettons very closely indeed, until yet again both cars retired... within about a lap of each other iirc.

They were fantastic looking cars, the original 107s, too.

#12 rallen

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 08:31

It was pretty close, but I recall thinking that Hakkinen made better use of what he had been given , slightly. They normally qualified pretty closely to each other. There were a few races when they were looking very competitive indeed, as well as France, Hungary sticks out, when Hakkinen made a last lap lunge for third ahead of Berger but went off, but they were also running very well in Canada, after qualifying (I think) 6th and 7th (until they broke down, again) and would probably have snatched a podium there, and if the car hadn't been so hideously unreliable may have snatched another (even two). They were poised to take over 3rd and 4th in Suzuka, and ran the Benettons very closely indeed, until yet again both cars retired... within about a lap of each other iirc.

They were fantastic looking cars, the original 107s, too.


Thanks, really appreciate all that - I have never had a passion for a team appart from Lotus, I remember Herbert saying he thought he would win at Imola with the new car - you could say it was that crash caused by Irvine that was the final nail in the coffin. :cry:


#13 ivandjj

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 11:23

I was really gutted when Team Lotus folded, going back to 1992 then - apart from the stats which you can't really use because of Herberts bad luck - just how good was Herbert compared to Mika? I sort of get the feeling Herbert was a tad better, is this actually true I was a bit to young then to recall correctly.


From the memory, i remember Hakkinen having 2 outstanding races at Hungaroring and Estoril where he clung to the tail of usual Mclarens/Benettons battle. At Hungaroring he even passed Brundle around the outside of T1 for P4. And that was coming from 13th or so on the grid.

Don't remember Herbert having any such races in 92'. In qualy and most of the races Hakkinen and Herbert were evenly matched, but sometimes Hakkinen could pull something special out of the bag.

Herbert also had strange habit of leaving the door wide open until the very last moment. I'd say that contributed to his many Lap 1 crashes and so called bad luck.

#14 sherer

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 14:08

I remember the 94 Monza race very well with the new Mugen engine and Herbert getting forth on the grid. IIRC there was a restart and Herbert damaged his car first time out so for the restart he had to use the spare car that had the old engine. Such a shame when the team folded.

I know at one point due to the finances the team had Hakkinen and Herbert's contracts for sale, did anyone buy them out e.g Mika to McLaren or did his contract just run out and they moved on

#15 bigears

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 15:19

Posted Image

Here is the Lotus show car (or an actual chassis?) at the 1992 British Grand Prix.

#16 Thundersport

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 20:49

Eddie Mclurg has at least 2 or 3 of these chassis.


#17 TennisUK

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 21:56

Posted Image

Here is the Lotus show car (or an actual chassis?) at the 1992 British Grand Prix.

That's a 102D, which looked prehistoric compared to the 107 - it was indeed a show car. I remember as a kid actually leaning out and touching the car, and being quite overwhelmed. Which is pretty tragic!