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!
Photo Credits… Autosport, Pinterest unattributed, The Cahier Archive