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F1 2023

On This Day: An iconic F1 team step away from Grand Prix racing

Lotus were once the gold-standard in Formula 1, but on this day in 1995, they announced they would be closing the doors.

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Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Team Lotus were the Mercedes or Red Bull of the Formula 1 day.

They had the best drivers, in the best cars with arguably the best designer of all-time running the team to Grand Prix victories or World Championship successes like clockwork.

Between 1963 with Jim Clark and their final success with Mario Andretti in 1978, Team Lotus won the Drivers' title six times, with seven Constructors' Crowns also surrendering to Colin Chapman's genius.

Even now, 45 years after that final success, only Ferrari, McLaren, Williams and Mercedes rank above Lotus in terms of most championships won.

However, after Chapman's death in 1982, the beginning of the end followed for Lotus.

Further Grand Prix wins came in the mid-to-late 1980s through the likes of Ayrton Senna and Nelson Piquet, but the team would not get close to championship success after Chapman's passing.

As F1 entered the high-tech and commercialised 1990s, Lotus were left behind as a relic of Grand Prix racing's illustrious past and staggered on towards 1994.

However, severe financial difficulties meant the team announced they would not race in 1995 on January 17th, bringing to end the story of one of F1's greatest ever teams.

Come 2010, and the Lotus name was back in F1, but this was through a Malaysian effort and had little in common with the original title-winning team.

They did not score a point, were rebadged as Caterham and left F1 at the end of 2014.

However, in 2011 there was the bizarre situation with two teams running with the 'Lotus' name.

In addition to the Malaysian effort, the Lotus road car division elected to become the title sponsor of the Renault team - thus becoming 'Lotus Renault GP'.

This particular Lotus-badged team - who would later simply become the Renault, then Alpine team - had much more success, with Kimi Raikkonen taking two wins for the black-and-gold team in 2012 and 2013.

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	© xpb.cc

Team Lotus Formula 1 World Championships

Year Title won
1963 Drivers' - Jim Clark, Constructors'
1965 Drivers' - Jim Clark, Constructors'
1968 Drivers' - Graham Hill, Constructors'
1970 Drivers' - Jochen Rindt (posthumous), Constructors'
1972 Drivers' - Emerson Fittipaldi, Constructors'
1973 Constructors'
1978 Drivers' - Mario Andretti, Constructors'

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