May 8th, 1982 marks 30 years since the death of Gilles Villeneuve; one of the most-talented and fearless drivers the sport ever witnessed… Here, we bring you a short video-clip tribute narrated by the ever-colourful (and opinionated) Jeremy Clarkson to assist in documenting this incredibly entertaining jousting match (for 2nd place) between Rene Arnoux and Villeneuve at the ’79 French Grand Prix…
Unless you’ve been in a coma or living in your car over the past 10 months, you’ll undoubtedly be aware of the dramatic evolutionary changes (in every sense of the word) currently being conducted over at Lotus. Ex-Ferrari man, Dany Bahar, has fully armed himself with an ever-expanding team of highly notable individuals from the Automotive world that boast impressive track records of ‘Getting sh!t done’… amongst other questionable/cringeworthy forrays in the often face-palmed world of Automotive Marketing (Best to not get me started on the ridiculous Rapper Swizz Beatz ‘hiring’ and the recent ‘Freddie Mercury’ Special Edition)
But it’s a broad (and rather amusing) subject that’s been talked and discussed to death, so therefore I’ll keep my personal views and rational opinions up on the shelf for the time being… Let’s just see what happens when the new models actually start rolling out of Hethel over the forthcoming years instead.
As far as Marketing goes though, it should be remembered that Lotus was the first F1 team to initiate private sponsorship within the sport. Their 1968 Monaco Grand Prix debut of the Gold Leaf liveried Lotus 49 set about a trend that never let up and remains a domineering (and essential) aspect in motorsport to this day. But it was the beautifully iconic Lotus 72 introduced in 1970 that dropped jaws and won races. Lots of them.
Emerson Fittipaldi, Jochen Rindt, Ronnie Peterson and Jacky Ickx all enjoyed numerous wins and World Champion titles (World Champion titles for Rindt in ’70, Fittipaldi in ’72).
The move towards a John Players Special-liveried Lotus 72 donned in its commanding Black ‘n Gold paint scheme, complemented by that striking anvil-intake atop the Cosworth DFV engine, became legendary and a symbol for power, poise and presence… Not least, a pin-up that remains drool-inducing to this very day.
A few years back, I picked up an unofficial DVD copy of this excellent film documenting the Lotus JPS 1973 F1 season (sadly, NLA) that still warrants repeated viewings…
A fantastically intimate portrait of Chapman, his talented team and drivers. I was surprised to find it in its entirety on YouTube. Granted, not something to quickly watch while at work, but worth your viewing pleasure nonetheless… Enjoy.