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Why was the Lotus T18 so slow?


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#1 Tony Condon

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 19:00

In 1960 when lotus built the type 18 It was potentially a faster car than the equivalent cooper
However despite having a frontal area ,of over a square foot less than the lowline cooper ,it suffered dreadfully in terms of straight line speed compared with the cooper especialy at high speed tracks like rheims and silverstone
To counter this lotus built a more streamline version (IE longer nose and ducted carb) for the french and british gp ,but the end result was the same
in fact it would appear the the long nose was actually worse than the standard nose
In the international trophy at sliverstone in may 1960 innes irelanda works 18 comprehensively trounced brabhams cooper ,with the standard body work
Forward 8 weeks to the GP and the Loti of surtees and Ireland(Fitted with the long noses) trail in 2nd and 3rd well beaten by Brabhams cooper
Any one got a take on the lotuses lack of straight line speed
I cant believe it was just there shape ,bearing in mind how much drag the tyres on an F1 produce

cheers tonyCondon

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#2 FerrariV12

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 22:02

Don't think the Lotus 18 was so much SLOWER than the 1960 Cooper, but it was certainly more fragile. It was Colin Chapman's first rear-engined F1 design, whereas Cooper had been building conventionally-driven cars in this format since 1957(?). I've also heard the Cooper was a lot more "user friendly", while the Lotus needed a real genius to extract the maximum from it. It had one in Stirling Moss, who was promptly injured for most of the 1960 season after crashing at Spa.

Meanwhile the factory team was blooding through two youngsters in Jim Clark and John Surtees, their future careers need no introduction, at the time they probably lacked the experience of Jack Brabham or even Bruce McLaren.

1960 was very much Cooper's peak, and from 1961 onwards Lotuses generally had the better of them, and once Ferrari and BRM perfected their rear-engined designs, and Brabham went off to do his own thing, the team faded into midfield by the mid-60s.

As for the Lotus's lack of straight line speed, I'm not sure on that one, did it definitely have a smaller frontal area than the lowline Cooper, "lowline" being the operative word?

#3 Peter Morley

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 08:48

If the Lotus was slower than the Cooper perhaps the Cooper was more aerodynamically efficient (e.g. lower Cd), frontal area isn't the only cause of drag?

The bodywork on the Cooper comes out closer to the front wheels, maybe that tidied up the airflow? (It might also have been illegal - I'm sure I saw recently that the rules at the time said the wheels must be fully exposed at all times).

#4 RTH

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 09:22

Wasn't this also the car they wasted a huge amount of time , effort / manpower and money on the 'queerbox. Innes Ireland said it was fine when everything in it was brand new but it wore very quickly then you missed gears and lost gears altogether just keeping the cars running was a major pre-occupation.

#5 Peter Morley

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 09:57

Originally posted by RTH
Wasn't this also the car they wasted a huge amount of time , effort / manpower and money on the 'queerbox. Innes Ireland said it was fine when everything in it was brand new but it wore very quickly then you missed gears and lost gears altogether just keeping the cars running was a major pre-occupation.


Queerbox was around before the 18 - 12 had it first I think (some 15s & 16s also used them).

Walker/Moss used a Colotti in their 18 to avoid the problems of a Queerbox, but there were a surprising number of Lotuses that used Queerboxes successfully.

#6 David Beard

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 11:45

Originally posted by Peter Morley


Queerbox was around before the 18 - 12 had it first I think (some 15s & 16s also used them).


ALL the 16s had the queerbox in period when they left the works, although one soon gained a Cooper Bristol box and a couple had the 4 speed Wilks box substituted in th 70s.

The queerbox had its faults but I didn't think power loss was one of them, so if the 18 had a low top speed I don't think the box was to blame.

Where is the evidence that the 18 was slow in a straight line, anyway?

#7 D-Type

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 12:44

Aerodynamic resistance = Cd * A where Cd is the drag coefficient and A the frontal area. So a 10% reduction in either has a similar effect.

The 1959 Cooper (T51) had a greater frontal area than the Lotus 18 but probably a better Cd. Overall the Lotus was better. It certainly held the road better. The performance of the car in Argentina prompted Cooper to develop the 'Lowline' in double quick time.

I think the 1960 lowline Cooper (T53) still had a slightly greater frontal area than the Lotus 18 but probably a lower Cd. The nett effect could be either greater or less, but there probably wouldn't be much in it. Tony seems to think the Cooper was better.

I think that the Cooper gearbox/ final drive offered a greater choice of ratios making it easier to optimise the gearing than on the Lotus.

As others have said the Cooper was more reliable and in the absence of Stirling Moss more experienced drivers.

In contemporary Histeric Racing driving standards vary so much that it's difficult to make a meaningful comparison but neither car has an obvious advantage.

(Please read my signature in conjunction with this post.)



Edit: Type numbers corrected

#8 Sharman

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 14:07

November 2005 Motorsport does a back to back on the two. Somebody tell me if it is a misprint or not but the 18 is shown as weighing 980lbs and the T53 as 1331lbs ie the Lotus has only 73% of the Cooper's weight

#9 Tony Condon

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 14:51

Hi
I think the idea that lotus 18s were slow in a straight line came from a couple of data points
1) that the 18s driven mainly by moss it has to be admited ,were at least as good as the cooper lowline on slow and medium speed tracks but not at the races at spa, Rheims and probably monza although that is unproven .

secondly in doug nyes book, theme lotus he certainly alludes to this problem
3)I seem to remember a quote form innes irelandsomewhere ,when he said he was slipstreaming someone at Spa ,and when he pulled out to overtake the 18 went backwards.
i guess it must have been this that caused chapman to make the hurried body mods to the 18 in time for Rheims afew weeks later
chapman still had access to Frank costin (Didn,t he ?) One of the most talented aero men of his generation and mike costin still worked for lotus at this time why didn,t they pick franks brains?
I take your point about frontal area and drag factor ,and I suppose since wheels on an open car have a large effect on drag factor ,the cooper bodywork may have provided more in the way of air deflection around them
What do you think?

Thanks for the feed back

Cheers tony

#10 Tony Condon

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 15:34

Re the weights of the two cars,I can confirm the weight of the lotus as 980 lbs(Anthony pritchards book on lotus,s ) The cooper I am still working on .
I would have expected it to be heavier than the lotus ,but not by that much ,after all Jack brabham was involved in the design and spec of the car ,and he was not a great fan of weight

Cheers tony

#11 Roger Clark

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 16:59

Ireland did, of course set equal fastest lap at Spa, 3.5 seconds faster than his best practice time. At Reims he was within a few tenths of everybody except Brabham, on perhaps most relevantly, over a second faster than McLaren. Brabham was 1.4 seconds faster than the next best, Phil Hill.

These were the only really fast circuits the cars raced on. Silverstone was a medium speed circuit in those days. We shouldn't forget that Moss went very well at Reims in 1961, admittedly with the 18/21 but I have always found it difficult to believe that the bodywork changes made much difference to the top speed.

If the 18 did suffer in top speed, is it possible that the engine was to blame? In the 1960 French Grand Prix report, lotus brought a new car with inclined engine. DSJ wrote: " Lotus have been dogged by poor carburation, inexplicable as they use the same engine and same carburetters as Cooper, and mounted in more or less the same position, and this change of engine position was an attempt to improve the carburation on the principle that 'what works for Cooper should work for Lotus' what they lack, of course, is a Jack Brabham among the drivers, but that is something that is difficult to achieve.

#12 Roger Clark

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 17:12

On the subject of the queerbox, don't forget that Moss won the Monaco Grand Prix with one. Not a race that was easy on a delicate 'box.

#13 Tony Condon

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 18:23

Hi Roger
I hadn,t spotted that Innes Irelands time at Spa was The same as Brabhams ,which is interesting
Perhaps one of Innes famous red haze laps aided perhaps by a tow (he was trying to make up time after clutch trouble )
Also the nature of spa as different to rheims ,spa being a series of hi speed flat out corners where rheims was long straights joined by 3 corners ,interstingly phill hill also shared fastest lap in what was a dismal season for the scuderia. /the fact is that despite the driving talent available to them the 18s trailed in 5 ,6,7 at rheims being beaten by two 59 coopers as well as the 1960 works cars
i also refute that moss was that fast at rheims in 61 ok he was fastest o f the cov climax cars ,albeit 3 secs slower than pole ,also The walker lotus was by this time fitted with pseudo 21 body work
The 21 body work did make a difference, which could be seen by the fact that Jimmy clark was fastest of all through the speed trap at zandvoort in 61
regarding the weights of the cars asked earlier cyril posthumous reckons the T53 cooper lowlin was 1040 lbs about 60 more than the lotus 18

CheersTony

#14 Tony Condon

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 18:30

Hi
there may be something in the afore mentioned carburetter installation
At least one of the long nose cars had the engine canted over and the carb intake blanked off
The others had an elephant trunk down the side of the car from the nose to provide cooled ram air to the webers
It would appear that the lotus boys believed that turbulent air from the rear wheels was screwing up the breathing
It is worth noting that the wquivalent coopers had ashroud over the inlet trumpets ,probably to prevent turbulent air (any o ne know for sure )
All of which makes sense except that that even with all these mods the 18s were crap at Rheims

Cheers tony

#15 T54

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 20:35

tracks like rheims...


Grrrr.... REIMS!!!! :mad: :)

And Coopers rock! :wave:
(Well, not ALL of them of course... : )

#16 David McKinney

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 21:24

Originally posted by T54

Grrrr.... REIMS!!!! :mad: :)

I don't have a problem with the 'Rheims' spelling in an English-language forum

#17 Roger Clark

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 23:30

Originally posted by Tony Condon

Also the nature of spa as different to rheims ,spa being a series of hi speed flat out corners where rheims was long straights joined by 3 corners ,interstingly phill hill also shared fastest lap in what was a dismal season for the scuderia. /the fact is that despite the driving talent available to them the 18s trailed in 5 ,6,7 at rheims being beaten by two 59 coopers as well as the 1960 works cars
i also refute that moss was that fast at rheims in 61 ok he was fastest o f the cov climax cars ,albeit 3 secs slower than pole ,also The walker lotus was by this time fitted with pseudo 21 body work
The 21 body work did make a difference, which could be seen by the fact that Jimmy clark was fastest of all through the speed trap at zandvoort in 61

Don't forget that Ireland was running second at Reims after the Ferraris retired and before his own suspension broke. Not Brabham beating but better than the results suggest.

I think the fact that Moss was the fastest Climax engined car at Reims in '61 is itself remarkable, although it was with the aid of a Ferrari tow. I can believe that the 21s were more slippery than the 18, but i will take some convincing that the 18/21 was much better. The frontal area was the same as the 18and they didn't have the 21's inboard front springs. I've always believed that the drag coefficient of on open wheeler is dominated by the wheels, so there probably wasn't much gain there.

There is an interesting supplementary question about fastest lap at Spa, Forix gives it to Brabham, Ireland and Phil Hill, but Sheldon says Graham Hill. Phil seems more likely given their performance. Motor Sport says only Brabham. I'll have to wait for David Beard to find out what Autosport said. :mad: David needs a cowboy hat.

#18 Wolf

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 00:31

But IIANM 18/21 had revised rear suspension as well, with upper wishbones- that couldn't have hurt the handling either.

Tony, I don't think there was ram effect involved with the air feed to the engine- IIRC it had only to do with delivering the air in state of laminar flow.

As for 18 vs. Cooper, I'll trust Moss' judgement on both, as I paraphrased in another recent 18 thread.

#19 David McKinney

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 05:04

Originally posted by Roger Clark
I'll have to wait for David Beard to find out what Autosport said

Not at all - I get up earlier
Autosport says Brabham, P Hill and Ireland

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#20 Roger Clark

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 05:26

Originally posted by Wolf
But IIANM 18/21 had revised rear suspension as well, with upper wishbones- that couldn't have hurt the handling either.

And pannier fuel tanks replaced the large one over the driver's legs which must have lowered the CoG, but I was talking about top speed.

#21 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 07:22

Re the weight of the 1960 F1 Cooper.

The Cooper Golden Years book gives the weight, with oil, water and 33 gals of fuel as:

11.9 cwt

1331 lbs

604 kg

#22 Sharman

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 10:42

I suppose one has to ask was the Lotus weight "dry" and the Cooper "wet", there has to be some reason for the discrepancy because lower top speed or not the the 18 should have p----d on the 53. A gal Avgas is abt 7.2 lbs I don't know the fuel capacity of the Cooper but let's guess at 40 gallons, 7.2x40 = 288lbs. 1331-288 gives us 1o43 which is near as dammit.

#23 Tony Condon

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 16:32

Hi guys
That may be where the discrepancy arises in terms of weght ,ie wet and dry
The 2 data points i gave were for the dry weights
Bearing in mind the cars used the same engines tyres etc ,it seems likely that the more conservatively engineered coopers may have been 60-70 lbs heaver ,but not a couple of /cwt(224 lbs)
Cheer stony

#24 David Beard

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 18:40

Originally posted by Roger Clark

I'll have to wait for David Beard to find out what Autosport said. :mad: David needs a cowboy hat.


I'll bring the Autosports back soon, honest Roger

For those who don't understand the cowboy hat reference...I could explain by copying to you a PM that I received from an American TNFer after I poked fun at a hat......but perhaps not. Roger has seen it.

I thought of changing my signature to another Norman Clegg line: " Never joke about a hat ".

Other reasons for a car being slow in a straight line:

Excessive toe in or out at front or rear wheels?
Poor radiator ducting?
Wrong gearing? Max revs too soon or not at all?
Poor dry sump scavenging?
Soft tyres?
Was Willy Griffiths still jetting the carbs at Lotus? Was he the equal of the men at Cooper?
Carpet under the throttle pedal?

And finally...does a hypoid final drive use more power than a normal CW & P? The 18 had one. Did the Cooper?

#25 Allan Lupton

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 20:13

Originally posted by David Beard

And finally...does a hypoid final drive use more power than a normal CW & P? The 18 had one. Did the Cooper?


Early Coopers used the ERSA Citroën-based gearbox which was not hypoid. The Walker Cooper used a Collotti 'box which I cannot find data on quickly. The queerbox was an inline 'box, not a transaxle - can't recall what the 18 used, perhaps early Hewland?
BUT I would say that the power absorption would be similar for spiral bevel and hypoid and would be trivial: to make a difference to the top speed you need to lose many horsepower, and gears don't do that.
If you're hunting the last bit, try to compare as follows: the non-hypoid transaxle's gearbox has a two-shaft layout which means all speeds have a pair of gears operating; the hypoid is used so that input and output can be coaxial, so all speeds but one have two pairs of gears operating but that one is a direct drive.
I still am confused whether it's top speed or lap speed you are comparing: if it's the former, then all this talk about weight (and I agree there can't have been much between them) is irrelevant as weight mainly affects acceleration (positive and negative).

#26 Bonde

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 20:21

Allan,

Weight - and where it's located - certainly affects cornering as well, in my mind often more importantly than straight-line acceleration and deceleration. From a cursory glance, it appears to me that the low-line Cooper may have had a lower centre of gravity, and perhaps a weight distribution better suited to the Dunlop rubber at the time - that scuttle tank on the T18 doesn't appear to me to help cornering one little bit compared to low-mounted side pannier tanks.

#27 Sharman

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 20:52

If I had to choose which to race given that
a) They had the same engines
b)The handling to a duffer like me would be irrelevant as I could not exploit it
c)One being only 73% of the other would accelerate (And I can't work the sums at this time of night) rather better.
I'd choose the lighter car as weight is very very relevant in lap times

#28 Ian McKean

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 22:05

Originally posted by Tony Condon
In 1960 when lotus built the type 18 It was potentially a faster car than the equivalent cooper
However despite having a frontal area ,of over a square foot less than the lowline cooper ,it suffered dreadfully in terms of straight line speed compared with the cooper especialy at high speed tracks like rheims and silverstone
To counter this lotus built a more streamline version (IE longer nose and ducted carb) for the french and british gp ,but the end result was the same
in fact it would appear the the long nose was actually worse than the standard nose
In the international trophy at sliverstone in may 1960 innes irelanda works 18 comprehensively trounced brabhams cooper ,with the standard body work
Forward 8 weeks to the GP and the Loti of surtees and Ireland(Fitted with the long noses) trail in 2nd and 3rd well beaten by Brabhams cooper
Any one got a take on the lotuses lack of straight line speed
I cant believe it was just there shape ,bearing in mind how much drag the tyres on an F1 produce

cheers tonyCondon


Was Brabham in the low line Cooper at the International Trophy? If so it must have been its first event and perhaps it was not fully sorted. Ireland was pursued heroically at the International Trophy by Moss in the 1959-year Cooper, who reduced the previous best time by a 59-year type Cooper by IIRC about 3 seconds. I saw it on TV and don't remember Brabham at all. Moss would make up yards on Ireland coming into Becketts but could not overtake. Sorry I never remember the Cooper type numbers.

IIRC Ireland set a new lap record at 1' 34.2" (or was it 1' 34.6") at the International Trophy and I think I am right in saying but haven't checked that his time was not beaten at the GP by anyone. So maybe the Lotus engines were overdue a rebuild by the time the GP came around. I don't think they got under 1' 35" did they?

#29 wdm

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 22:40

In "It was fun!", Tony Rudd made the following observation at the 1960 GP de l'ACF...

"I did manage a wry smile at Reims. Colin Chapman had confided in me at Zandvoort that he could not understand why a Cooper with the same engine was so much faster in a straight line than his Lotus. He had asked my opinion as to whether it had anything to do with Cooper leaning their engine over at twenty degrees so that the carburettors were well within the body shell. Lotus mounted the engine vertically with the carburettors hanging well out. I did not think it had anything to do with it and pointed out that the Yeoman Credit Coopers had long intakes down the nose. For Reims, Lotus had one car with the engine inclined, Cooper style - it went no faster. Meanwhile Coopers, who could not understand why Lotus were faster than they were in a straight line, modified a car to have a vertical engine like the Lotus. John Cooper had worked it out that if the Lotus went so fast with a vertical engine, he did not need all the problems of an inclined sump, and it helped him get the engine lower. They both reverted to their standard arrangement for the next race, and probably cursed the drivers who gave them the false information which started the expensive witch hunt."

(At the risk of being struck down for heresy, does DSJ not contradict himself the quote in post 11? He seems to begin by saying that the engine mountings are the same for both Lotus and Cooper... then suggests that Lotus decide to mimic Cooper. Or is he using the word 'position' twice, with two different meanings?)

Willie

#30 TIPO61

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 23:16

Originally posted by Bonde
Weight - and where it's located - certainly affects cornering as well, in my mind often more importantly than straight-line acceleration and deceleration.


I believe that it was none other than Jim Hall who said (at an SAE convention in Detroit); 'the car doesn't know where the engine is...it only knows where the weight is.'

#31 Wolf

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 00:25

Roger- the reason I brought in the handling/grip is because on the track one of the important factors for 'top speed' is how fast one exits from corner that leads on the straight. On Reims however, I'd say it's the drag/horsepower would carry more weight because of those looong straights.

BTW, did both teams use same rear tyres (width)? With the same profile wider tyres would have a bigger diameter- which might account for the difference in top speed (one way or another). In GPL we sometimes inflate tyres more to increase rolling radius, which helps on high speed tracks...

#32 Allan Lupton

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 09:14

Originally posted by Bonde
Allan,

Weight - and where it's located - certainly affects cornering as well, in my mind often more importantly than straight-line acceleration and deceleration.


Of course it does: I was trying to curtail a rather long post, and I still don't know whether we are talking about true top speed (i.e. so long after a corner that no more acceleration is available) or lap speed.

The quotation from Tony Rudd seems to be an answer in that both teams thought the other had greater top speed so in all probability neither had.

As has already been posted, and we all know, lap speeds depend on everything, particularly driver ability. Read Innes Ireland on the subject of Stirling Moss for an insight into that.

#33 kayemod

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 09:55

Originally posted by David Beard
Carpet under the throttle pedal?


Apologies for lowering the tone of this learned discussion, but wasn't that one of Nigel Mansell's excuses?

I'll go away now.

#34 RTH

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 10:07

The Lotus 18 made its debut in junior form on Boxing Day 1959.

In Grand Prix guise it's 2 1/2 litre Climax FPF was mated to the Lotus manufactured positive stop sequential gearbox (queerbox ) which was a transaxle in this application using some Renault castings. For the Portugese GP ( after Moss' Monaco win) Walker built an 18 with a Colotti gearbox with outboard brakes, in an effort to gain better reliability.

Contemporary reports all say the cars had a visible lack of straight line speed for no immediately apparent reason , attempted aero dynamic efforts at reducing drag appeared to make little difference. Moss went on to win Monaco for the second successive year in 1961 in an 18 now in 1 1/2 litre form in the year dominated by the sharknoses. Corner exit speeds clearly have a great effect on terminal staight line speed. So in all probability a number of factors were at work here.

#35 Tony Condon

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 12:12

Hi guys
Whew, lots of stuff here to comment on
Firstly let me reiterate that it was terminal velocity I was referring to ,not lap times .Although One would seem to effect the other at the tracks like rheims (Probably ferraris most competitive outing in 1960 ) and they were generally reckoned to be the most powerful cars on the grid .
I do believe that jack brabham finished second to innes ireland at the international trophy ,and it was the T53 coopers first race ,so perhaps performance no quite maximised
I also believe that the fastest lap by ireland was probably the 1.34,2 quoted earlier ,as the fastest lap in the GP was 1.34.4 by G hill ,and it wasn,t a record
So this confirms basically what I said earlier ,that despite the Steamlining done to the 18s they were slower in the gp than they were 8 weeks earlier !
Of course there could be a less technical reason ,perhaps the drivers were lacking a bit of confidence with all the breakages that had occured since may
All of which makes irelands fastest lap at spa all the more remarkable, as that race was probably the peak of the 18s fragility ,and if there was one track you didn,t need a mecchanical failure at ,it was spa
Why didn,t lotus get frank costin involved ,or had he got fed up working for nothing ?

Cheers tony

#36 RTH

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 13:09

Eight 18 & 21s in this Monaco Historique from 2004

http://www.youtube.c...related&search=

#37 D-Type

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 16:07

Careful!

Comparing individual times between the Daily Express Trophy and the GP is not necessarily conclusive. In several years the lap record was broken in May and not bettered in July. I think you have to compare the times for the whole field to calibrate whether Silverstone was 'faster' in May or July.

#38 zoff2005

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 17:38

In my opinion, a Cooper just looks like it should be faster in a straight line than a Lotus 18. The Lotus has a huge radiator intake and the rest of the body, which also has to cover a fuel tank over the driver’s knees, is about the same aspect. A Cooper starts with a tapered radiator intake and rises to the cockpit and engine cover. The driver's head sticks out in the Lotus and is faired in in the Cooper. It is a bit like comparing an arrow and a biscuit box (as Clark described the 18). I have never driven an F1 Cooper however I have driven a 2.5 liter Lotus 18 and I found it very unstable at high speeds, for example on the Club straight at Silverstone where you get a bit of cross-wind. It made the car tricky to place accurately to brake for the next corner and I am sure Ireland must have been very brave to keep his foot in it at Spa (at least for one lap). Of course all this is immaterial at Monaco where the Lotus’ superior braking and acceleration makes the difference. At what other tracks in 1960 did the Lotus beat the latest version of the Cooper? I think only at Riverside, although of course Stirling Moss missed most of the races that year.

#39 roger ellis

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 19:56

If I may speak up for the 18 ( as instigator of the earlier thread - "Lotus 18 - unloved ?") I would like to quote 2 of the 18's drivers.

Innes Ireland - "All Arms & Elbows" - recalling his day of days at the Goodwood Easter Monday meeting - " I had the new, rear-engined Lotuses and at the time they were both superb motor-cars. They had better suspension than anyone else, better traction;they were lighter and had superior acceleration. Everything, in fact, was in my favour;I could get round the corners and out of the corners more quickly, and that is where motor races are won."

Stirling Moss - "Design & Behaviour of the Racing Car" - his recollection of the same event: SM states that The Autocar reported that " the Lotus was noticeably faster than the Cooper on the straights, and was much steadier - and, therefore, faster through the corners" and he continues to explain - " the car ( the 18 ) had superior traction.... and it was faster through the corners....Although the Lotus was thus faster down the straight and faster away from the bends..."

If there was a short fall in ultimate velocity on very long straights, surely that would be caused by aerodymanic drag.

You could not accuse the 18 of being, er, ...slippery.

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#40 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
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Posted 19 October 2006 - 22:45

Originally posted by roger ellis


Stirling Moss - "Design & Behaviour of the Racing Car" - his recollection of the same event: SM states that The Autocar reported that " the Lotus was noticeably faster than the Cooper on the straights, and was much steadier - and, therefore, faster through the corners" and he continues to explain - " the car ( the 18 ) had superior traction.... and it was faster through the corners....Although the Lotus was thus faster down the straight and faster away from the bends..."

That, of course, is comparing the Lotus 18 with the 1959 (or earlier) Cooper. i think it is true to say that Moss didn't even have the advantage (?) of the wishbone rear suspension he designed (?) in late 1959. Both the 18 and the T53 were a considerable step forward on anything seen previously as evidenced by their lap times. Once the Cooper appeared it held the advantage most of the time.

On top speed, i still think that DSJ's remarks about Lotus carburation are relevant.