With the paintjob of its glory days in the ‘60s, a team with the name Lotus is back in Formula One.
They have little to do with Colin Chapman’s mad visionaries who ruled Formula One in the ‘60s and the ‘70s—at least on the days when the Loti delayed disintegration until after the checkered flag fell.
The modern Lotus is more of a branding exercise carried out by Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes with a nod by the Chapman family and financial backing by Proton, the similarly Malaysian company which owns the other Lotus, maker of sports cars we love.
They now have a racing car, introduced today at London’s Royal Horticultural Halls (where, I hope, examples of the lotus plants Nelumbo are also on display). It’s called the Lotus T127 and you already saw it being tested at Silverstone.
They also have drivers: Heikki Kovalainen, discarded by McLaren to make way for world champion Jenson Button, and Jarno Trulli, plucked from the ruins of Toyota F1, who quit Formula One after eight sad years. Also from Toyota by way of Force India comes technical director Mike Gascoyne, who reportedly makes a lot of money but has not produced winning cars thus far. The bald dude, that’s him:
So we’ll see. Until Trulli and Kovalainen do a Clark-and-Hill on the competition, you may proceed to YouTube and watch Jimmy Clark lay down the law in a Lotus 25:
Photo Credit: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images, CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images