‘Flowers Mark the Apex’: Jochen Rindt: Lotus 72 Ford: Dutch GP 1970…

Posted: September 8, 2014 in F1, Icons & Iconoclasts
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lotus 72

Amazing composition, Jochen Rindt en route to the 72’s first victory, the car still competitive in Petersens’ hands, winning four Grands Prix in 1974…

The car made its championship debut at Jarama in April and was already in ‘C’ spec by Monaco, major changes centred around taking out the anti-dive, and anti-squat geometry of front and rear suspension respectively. Easy to say but it involved ‘unpicking’ the tub to do so.

No joy in the win for Jochen as his good friend Piers Courage perished in his De Tomaso 505 Ford during the race.

Chapman showed his hand with the wedge shaped, Pratt & Whitney turbine powered Lotus 56 at Indy in 1968, but the 72 with its wedge shape, hip radiators, torsion bar suspension and inboard front brakes, lowering unsprung weight and rear weight bias set a new F1 design benchmark and aerodynamic direction, as Colin Chapman was want to do every few years!

Few cars are as competitive for so long, the venerable 72 being pushed into service long after it’s useby date as a consequence of its successor, the Lotus 76’s ‘failure to produce the goods’ in 1975.

Another of my top 10 racing cars ever!


Rindt ahead of the Ickx Ferrari 312B, he placed 3rd. Jochen scoring the Lotus 72’s first victory (Pinterest unattributed)

monaco 70

The passing of the baton from the Lotus 49 to the Lotus 72 at Monaco 1970. The 72 was not raceworthy, Rindt elected to race a 49 and won its last Championship GP. Cars # 2 are John Miles, standing to the right of Chapman in the red GLTL jacket…Rindts’ winning 49 behind car # 2 (Pinterest)

lotus 1

Cockpit of Rindts’ Lotus 72, Zandvoort ’70, as luxurious as the Elan of the day! Mota-Lita steering wheel, Smiths chronometric tach and subsidiary instruments, ‘tell-tale’ @ about 10000rpm ,’fire-bomb’ button, chassis plate under the LHS guage, Fibreglass bodyword, aluminium tub, ducts for inboard discs all there…(Autosport)


Cutaway drawing showing the essential elements of another of Chapmans masterpieces; aluminium monocoque, wedge shape, hip radiators, Ford Cosworth DFV V8, torsion bar springs, inboard front & rear brakes …


Poignant shot in the context of Rindts’ tragic Monza ’70 death. Jochen famously refused to wear crotch straps, only a 4 point belt. Absence of coil spring/shock aids front aerodynamics of the car. Extinguisher mounted legally but pointlessly where even a minor frontal impact would remove it from its mountings. Inboard discs and driveshafts, one of which failed causing Rindts’ accident clearly shown. (Pinterest unattributed)

rindt british gp

In this case the photographers toes mark the apex…Druids Hill, British GP, Brands Hatch 1970. A win for Jochen after Jack Brabham ran low on fuel on the last lap (Pinterest)


Wonderful Bernard Cahier portrait of Jochen in his Lotus 72 Ford, 1970. (The Cahier Archive)

Photo Credits… Autosport, Pinterest unattributed, The Cahier Archive


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