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Lotus 95T

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Lotus 95T

Lotus 95T
Category Formula One
Constructor Lotus
Designer(s) Gérard Ducarouge
Predecessor 94T
Successor 97T
Technical specifications[1]
Chassis Kevlar / Nomex honeycomb monocoque
Suspension (front) Double wishbones, pull rod, coil springs
Suspension (rear) Double wishbones, pull rod, coil springs
Axle track Front: 1,800 mm (71 in)
Rear: 1,700 mm (67 in)
Wheelbase 2,775 mm (109.3 in)
Engine Renault Gordini EF4, 1,492 cc (91.0 cu in), 90° V6, turbocharger, mid-engine, longitudinally mounted
Transmission Lotus / Hewland 5 speed manual
Weight 540 kg (1,190 lb)
Fuel Elf
Tyres Goodyear
Competition history
Notable entrants John Player Team Lotus
Notable drivers 11. Elio de Angelis
12. Nigel Mansell
Debut 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix
Races Wins Poles F.Laps
16 0 2 0
Constructors' Championships 0
Drivers' Championships 0

The Lotus 95T was an F1 car designed by Gérard Ducarouge for Team Lotus' use in the 1984 Formula One season. It was Lotus' first newly designed chassis since the Lotus 88. The car was powered by a Renault turbo V6 engine which used both Garrett and KKK turbochargers throughout the season. It was a development of the previous Lotus 94T, which had proved competitive at the end of 1983. The team switched from Pirelli to Goodyear tyres for the new season, but the new rubber was not on a par with the Michelins run by the McLaren team who won 12 of the 16 races in 1984. Lotus were also the only top team running on Goodyear rubber who didn't win a race in 1984, with both Ferrari and Williams each winning a race.

Lotus 95T in the garages of the 1984 Detroit Grand Prix
Lotus 95T cockpit
Lotus 95T rear view of rear wing

The Ducarouge designed 95T was seen by many in Formula One as being as good as the McLaren MP4/2, its biggest problems being the tyres, the Lotus gearbox which continued to be plagued by unreliability, and the Renault engine, which while powerful at 800 bhp (597 kW; 811 PS), and mostly reliable, wasn't as fuel efficient as the TAG-Porsche engine powering the McLarens. Despite only being a Renault customer and in direct competition with the factory Renault RE50s, Lotus generally outpaced and outscored the French team throughout the season.

The car was a significant improvement, and helped the team be competitive consistently. Elio de Angelis was in contention for victory on more than one occasion, and four podium places along with several other points finishes helped him to third in the drivers' championship. After starting the season with pole position and 3rd place in Brazil, it would be a surprisingly impressive season for the Italian, who was in with an outside chance for the championship until his home race in Italy. Before the race at Monza de Angelis needed to win the final 3 rounds with neither Niki Lauda or Alain Prost scoring. However, Lauda won while de Angelis suffered gearbox failure putting him out of the championship, after which it was a two horse race between McLaren drivers Prost and eventual champion Lauda. Significantly, once de Angelis dropped out of the race for the Drivers' Championship he only scored once more by finishing 5th in the final race in Portugal after failing to finish at the European Grand Prix. At season's end, de Angelis was the only driver in the top 5 in points (indeed, the top 3) who did not actually win a race. De Angelis finished the season with 34 points, 3.5 in front of Ferrari's Michele Alboreto.

Nigel Mansell had a chance to win the Monaco Grand Prix during a rain hit race, but crashed in the early stages while leading, prompting team boss Peter Warr to famously comment "He'll never win a Grand Prix as long as I have a hole in my arse".[2] A potential podium finish for the Englishman was in Dallas, where on the winners dias, race winner Keke Rosberg (Williams) publicly berated Mansell's blocking tactics early in the race while leading. Mansell, after claiming his first career pole position was eventually classified in 6th place, collapsing from exhaustion in the oppressive heat while pushing his dead 95T to the line. Another podium finish went begging in the last race in Portugal where he suffered brake failure while in 2nd place (handing the place and the World Championship to Lauda). He did finish on the podium twice in France and at the Dutch Grand Prix, eventually finishing 10th in the championship on 13 points, the same as the man who would replace him in the team in 1985, rookie driver Ayrton Senna. Mansell departed the team for Wiliams at the end of the season after enduing a difficult relationship with team boss Peter Warr.

By season's end, Lotus finished third in the constructors' championship with 47 points, their best result since 1978. The 95T helped to re-establish Lotus as a force in F1 throughout the mid 1980s. It was replaced by the Lotus 97T in 1985.

Sale

A 95T was sold at auction on 17 August 2013 by Mecum Auctions for $450,000.

Complete Formula One results

() (results in bold indicate pole position)
Year Team Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Points WCC
1984 John Player Team Lotus Renault Gordini EF4
V6 tc
G BRA RSA BEL SMR FRA MON CAN DET DAL GBR GER AUT NED ITA EUR POR 47 3rd
Elio de Angelis 3 7 5 3 5 5 4 2 3 4 Ret Ret 4 Ret Ret 5
Nigel Mansell Ret Ret Ret Ret 3 Ret 6 Ret 6 Ret 4 Ret 3 Ret Ret Ret

Notes

  1. ^ "1984 Lotus 95T Renault - Images, Specifications and Information". Ultimatecarpage.com. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  2. ^ Taylor, Simon (December 2009). "Lunch with...Nigel Mansell".  
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