The Lotus 97T was a Formula One racing car designed by Gérard Ducarouge and built by Team Lotus for use in the 1985 Formula One World Championship. A development of the previous year's 95T, the car was powered by the turbocharged 1.5-litre Renault EF15B V6 engine and ran on Goodyear tyres. John Player Special continued as the team's title sponsor, with Elf and Olympus as secondary sponsors.
|Chassis||Carbon fibre monocoque|
|Suspension (front)||Springs, pullrods, double wishbones|
|Suspension (rear)||Springs, pullrods, double wishbones|
|Axle track||Front: 1,740 mm (69 in)|
Rear: 1,630 mm (64 in)
|Wheelbase||2,730 mm (107 in)|
|Engine||Renault Gordini EF15B 1,492 cc (91.0 cu in) 90° V6 turbocharged mid-engine, longitudinally mounted|
|Transmission||Lotus / Hewland 5-speed manual|
|Weight||540 kg (1,190.5 lb)|
|Notable entrants||John Player Team Lotus|
|Notable drivers||11. Elio de Angelis|
12. Ayrton Senna
|Debut||1985 Brazilian Grand Prix|
The 97T was of a generally simple design, it used elements from the defunct Lotus 96T Indycar project in the aerodynamics with another piece of Lotus design: an early form of bargeboards. These were placed between the front wheels and the side pods improving airflow around the side of the car. Ducarouge also got around the ban on the 'winglets' seen on the rear wings of the 1984 cars by placing them instead on the rear edges of the side pods.
Lotus' major coup for 1985 was signing rising star Ayrton Senna from the Toleman team to replace long time team driver Nigel Mansell who had signed with Williams. Senna, the first driver signed to the team since the death of Colin Chapman, partnered Italian Elio de Angelis who had finished third in the previous season's drivers' championship and had had many promising results with the 95T.
The 97T proved competitive during the season, taking 8 poles, 7 with Senna and 1 with de Angelis, and 3 wins. Senna's first was a brilliant performance in the Portuguese Grand Prix where he won by over a minute in monsoon conditions. His second came in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, held in wet/dry conditions. De Angelis added a third win (his 2nd and last win in F1, both for Lotus) at the San Marino Grand Prix after original winner Alain Prost (McLaren) was disqualified an hour after the race finished due to his out of fuel McLaren-TAG being 2 kg underweight. Lotus finished fourth in the Constructors' Championship, albeit tied on points with Williams who finished in third place owing to their greater number of race victories.
Senna's 97T was added to Gran Turismo 6 via the May 2014 update as part of the game's new feature "Ayrton Senna Tribute" in two liveries: the Gold Leaf livery (identical to that of de Angelis's 97T apart from the driver number and name) and an in-game only "Team Lotus Special" livery (which was used instead of "John Player Special" due to tobacco advertising regulations).
Complete Formula One resultsEdit
(key) (Results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)
|1985||John Player Team Lotus||Renault Gordini
EF4B / EF15
|Elio de Angelis||3||4||1||3||5||5||5||NC||Ret||5||5||6||Ret||5||Ret||DSQ|
-Lotus finished with the same number of points as the Williams team, but because Williams won one more race than Lotus (Nigel Mansell and Keke Rosberg each won 2 races for Williams while Senna won 2 and de Angelis won 1 race for Lotus), that put Williams third and Lotus fourth in the Constructor's championship.
- "STATS F1 • Lotus 97T". Statsf1.com. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
- Tate, Austin. "Gran Turismo 6 – Ayron Senna Tribute [sic]". Retrieved 20 September 2014.