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

Posted: September 8, 2014 in F1, Icons & Iconoclasts
Tags: , , , , ,

lotus 72

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

The car made its championship debut at Jarama in April 1970 and was already in ‘C’ spec by Monaco, major changes centred around taking out the anti-dive and anti-squat geometry of the front and rear suspension respectively. Easy to say but it involved ‘unpicking’ the tub to do so.

Their was no joy in the Zandvoort 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, lowered unsprung weight and putting a distinct 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 was 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! Click here for a feature article about this car; https://primotipo.com/2018/05/24/jochens-bt33-trumped-by-chunkys-72/

image

(Pinterest unattributed)

Rindt ahead of the Jacky Ickx Ferrari 312B, he placed third- Jochen scored the Lotus 72’s first victory.

monaco 70

(Pinterest)

The passing of the baton from the Lotus 49C to the Lotus 72 at Monaco 1970.

The 72 was not race-worthy, so Rindt elected to race a 49 and won its last Championship GP. Car # 2 is John Miles’ Lotus 72 he is leaning against the pit counter this side of Chapman in the red Gold Leaf Team Lotus jacket. Rindt’s winning 49C is behind or beyond car # 2.

John will be a bit grumpy. Chapman wanted him to stick with the 72 to get some race miles under its belt whereas John would rather race the tried and true- and predictable 49 around this most unforgiving of circuits. He missed the cut and did not race.

lotus 1

(Autosport)

Cockpit of Rindt’s Lotus 72 at Zandvoort in 1970, as luxurious as the Elan of the day!

Mota-Lita steering wheel, Smiths chronometric tach and subsidiary instruments, ‘tell-tale’ is at about 10,000rpm. ‘Fire-bomb’ button surrounded by red, chassis plate under the left hand side of dash gauge, fibreglass bodywork, aluminium monocoque chassis, ducts for inboard discs all there.

image

(unattributed)

Cutaway drawing showing the essential elements of another of Chapman’s masterpieces.

Aluminium monocoque, wedge shape, hip radiators, Ford Cosworth DFV V8 which gave about 420bhp in 1970, Hewland FG400 transaxle, torsion bar springs, inboard front and rear brakes.

image

(Pinterest)

This is somewhat of a poignant shot in the context of Jochen’s tragic Monza 1970 death.

Jochen famously refused to wear the crutch straps of his six-point Willans harness, only the shoulder and waist straps. The absence of the usual coil spring/shocks aids front aerodynamics of the car, whilst the fire extinguisher (far right of photograph) is mounted legally it has been done so pointlessly given a minor frontal impact would remove it from its mountings. The inboard discs and driveshafts, one of which failed causing Rindt’s accident are clearly shown.

rindt british gp

(Pinterest)

In this case the photographers toes mark the apex- Druids Hill, British GP, Brands Hatch 1970. A win for Jochen after Jack Brabham’s Brabham BT33 Ford ran low on fuel on the last lap, poor Jack managed to coast home in second but it was a lucky one for the Austrian on a day his old boss had the edge in speed.

image

(The Cahier Archive)

Wonderful Bernard Cahier portrait of Jochen in his Lotus 72 Ford, 1970.

Photo Credits…

Autosport, Pinterest, The Cahier Archive

Finito…

Comments
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