The Lotus 72, designed by Colin Chapman and Maurice Philippe in 1969 and refined into 1970, is one of the most important and iconic models in F1 history. It was a great technical achievement and was developed and raced until 1976. Like all the cars made by Chapman it set new standards in innovation: inboard brakes, side mounted radiators, torsion bar suspension, motor air intake positioned high beside and then above the driver’s head, wedge shaped nose.
The chassis featured a stressed engine, as did the Lotus 49, and the whole package was years ahead of the competition. Driven by Jochen Rindt and Emerson Fittipaldi, it helped both conquer the F1 Driver’s World Championship, twice, as well as bringing home three F1 World Constructor’s titles for Lotus. Official Lotus drivers for 1970 were Jochen Rindt and John Miles. Rindt quickly put his talent to good use and thanks to the Lotus 72 potential quickly won the Dutch, French, British and German GPs, before dying in a qualifying crash in Monza. He was replaced by Emerson Fittipaldi, who won the US Grand Prix thus helping Rindt win, posthumously, the World Championship. Lotus also won its fourth constructors’ championship.