Lotus 107

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Lotus 107
Alessandro Zanardi - Lotus 107 during practice for the 1993 British Grand Prix (32873601273).jpg
CategoryFormula One
ConstructorTeam Lotus
Designer(s)Chris Murphy
Predecessor102D
Successor109
Technical specifications
ChassisCarbon fibre monocoque
Suspension (front)1992-1993: Active suspension
1994: Double wishbone, pushrod.
Suspension (rear)1992-1993: Active suspension
1994: Double wishbone, pushrod.
Engine1992-1993: Ford HB 3,494 cc (213.2 cu in), 75° V8, NA, mid-engine, longitudinally mounted.
1994: Mugen-Honda MF-351HC 3,500 cc (213.6 cu in), ° V10, NA, mid-engine, longitudinally-mounted
TransmissionLotus / Xtrac 6-speed semi-automatic
Power700 hp @ 13,000 rpm (Ford-Cosworth V8), 725 hp @ 13,500 rpm (Mugen-Honda V10)[1]
FuelBP (1992)
Castrol (1992-1993)
Mobil1 (1994)
TyresGoodyear
Competition history
Notable entrantsTeam Lotus Ford
Team Lotus Mugen-Honda
Notable drivers11. Finland Mika Häkkinen
11. / 12. United Kingdom Johnny Herbert
12. Italy Alessandro Zanardi
12. Portugal Pedro Lamy
Debut1992 San Marino Grand Prix
RacesWinsPodiumsPolesF.Laps
340000
Constructors' Championships0
Drivers' Championships0

The Lotus 107 was a Formula One car used by Team Lotus. Designed for the 1992 Formula One season, and used throughout most of 1992, 1993 and part of 1994, it brought in a final, short-lived period of competitiveness for the team in Formula One.

Design[edit]

The 107 is attributed to the design work of Chris Murphy and his design team.[2] Murphy joined Lotus after Akira Akagi's arrest and the Leyton House team he owned was thrown into turmoil. Murphy had designed the 1991 car; the 107 looked very similar to his earlier design leading some to say that the new Lotus was simply a rebadged Leyton House.[3] After several seasons spent perfecting the system, the 107 was fitted with active suspension, pioneered by Lotus ten years before.[4]

Unquestionably beautiful the 107 had smooth sweeping lines a world away from the long developed and antiquated Lotus 102D whose heritage can be traced to the 1990 Formula One Season. The installation of the Ford Cosworth HB V8 engines, of a similar - if older - specification to those being used by Benetton, was complete by the unveiling of the car at the 1992 San Marino Grand Prix.

Johnny Herbert liked the car very much, saying it was sublime to drive and responsive to set up changes, but admitted it was not reliable.[5]

Development[edit]

With a top notch driving squad of Johnny Herbert and a future double F1 World Champion Mika Häkkinen, the Lotuses were able to bring in some good results: at several races the twin cars were able to run in formation on the tail of the leading pack, at least in the early parts of the races. Reliability was limited. Häkkinen provided Lotus' best showing for several years at the Hungarian Grand Prix where he diced for the final podium position with Gerhard Berger's McLaren. In Portugal he ran as high as second before having to pit for new tyres late in the race.[6] A further potential podium place in Japan was also lost.[7]

Variants[edit]

Pedro Lamy leaving his wrecked 107C at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix after hitting JJ Lehto's stalled Benetton, causing an early safety car.

The car was developed over succeeding seasons into B and C variants, the latter with Mugen-Honda power in place of the Cosworth. As was standard practice at the time, the team employed the active suspension technology that they had introduced to F1 back in 1987 on later variants, but the budget was not enough to make it really work, and besides, it was now far from being a unique capability. According to Alex Zanardi's autobiography My Story, the focus on this system was to the detriment of other aspects of the car.[8]

The team's financial difficulties dragged it under at the end of 1994. The Lotus 109, the last Formula One car of the team, which ran in the latter part of 1994, was a further derivative of this design.

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Points WCC
1992 Team Lotus 107 Ford HB
V8
G RSA MEX BRA ESP SMR MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR JPN AUS 13* 5th
Mika Häkkinen Ret Ret 4 6 Ret 4 6 Ret 5 Ret 7
Johnny Herbert Ret Ret Ret 6 Ret Ret Ret 13 Ret Ret Ret 13
1993 Team Lotus 107B Ford HB
V8
G RSA BRA EUR SMR ESP MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR JPN AUS 12 6th
Johnny Herbert Ret 4 4 8 Ret Ret 10 Ret 4 10 Ret 5 Ret Ret 11 Ret
Alessandro Zanardi Ret 6 8 Ret 14 7 11 Ret Ret Ret Ret DNQ
Pedro Lamy 11 Ret 13 Ret
1994 Team Lotus 107C Mugen-Honda V10 G BRA PAC SMR MON ESP CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR EUR JPN AUS 0 -
Johnny Herbert 7 7 10 Ret
Pedro Lamy 10 8 Ret 11
Alessandro Zanardi 9 15

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Engine Mugen Honda". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  2. ^ "Chris Murphy". www.grandprix.com. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  3. ^ "Marching to civil war". Motor Sport Magazine. 7 July 2014. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  4. ^ "Active suspension". Motor Sport Magazine. 7 July 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  5. ^ "Great racing cars: 1992 Lotus 107". Motor Sport Magazine. 21 December 2015.
  6. ^ "r/formula1 - Mika Häkkinen driving Lotus 107 at 1992 Belgian Grand Prix". reddit. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  7. ^ "The last great Lotus driver". Motor Sport Magazine. 21 April 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  8. ^ "Lotus 107B". www.statsf1.com. Retrieved 14 December 2019.