• Formula 1,  History,  Single seaters,  The Pantheon

    Lotus 72 at 50: Formula 1’s greatest car

    Lotus 72 first turned a wheel in anger 50 years ago today, in the 1970 Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama. It was not the first time that Colin Chapman’s Lotus team had arrived with a new car that proved to be the class of the field, nor would it be the last. But Lotus 72, even by their own high standards, stands apart as the most extraordinary, revolutionary machine ever produced by the Norfolk stable. Simply put, Lotus 72 changed the way racing cars were designed forever after. Fifty years later, every car on the Formula 1 grid still embraces many of its fundamental design principles. Over five and a…

  • Formula 1,  History,  Racing drivers,  The Pantheon

    Niki Lauda and the Formula 1 pantheon

    Niki Lauda, the Austrian three-time World Champion who continues to leave an indelible mark on the sport of Grand Prix motor racing, would have been 71 years old this week. An opportune time, then, to introduce the +1 Lap Pantheon: an ongoing collection of portraits and stories of the people whose impact on Formula 1 cannot be weighed. Over the course of a four-decade long dalliance with Formula 1, Lauda wore many hats, not least of which was the famous red cap he used to disguise the ferocious scarring acquired at the Nürburgring in 1976. During his career, he would occupy the roles of pay driver, gifted number two, inspirational…

  • Formula 1,  History,  Racing drivers

    Brambilla & Maldonado: one’s enough

    Two high priests of destruction, Vittorio Brambilla and Pastor Maldonado’s names became shorthand for the kind of muscular approach to Grand Prix motor racing that both excites the imagination of the casual viewer and endears them endlessly to their fellow practicitioners. Both of them would stand on a Formula 1 podium one single time during their career: on each occasion it would be the top step. Vittorio Brambilla was born in the epicentre of Italian motor racing, Monza, on 11th November 1937. The Brambillas were a motor racing family: his elder brother Ernesto “Tino” Brambilla was a motorcycle racer who would also twice enter the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix…