Few grand prix cars have been so influential. The 49 set the trend for using the engine as a stressed member, gave the Ford DFV victory on debut, kick-started the wing era in F1 and even set the trend for tobacco sponsorship in mainstream Fl, Jochen Rindt took the car's last win in its 49C guise in Monaco in 1970, three years after its debut.
Designer of Riley & Scotts and several of A) Foyfs Coyote«
"Mounting the wing on the upright had been outlawed, so Colin Chapman came up with the idea of mounting the whole body on the front and rear uprights. Of course, it was outlawed straight away, but it was a clever way of getting around the rules, real clever. That's something I'd wish I'd come up with had I been in Fl. The Chaparral was the first one with the wing on the upright and at the time I couldn't believe he used a wing with a symmetrical aerofoil rather than an inverted aerofoil that would have produced dowrforce. Of course. Chapman was a very clever person, who I admired. Over here it has always been about the intention of the regulations, hut in Europe they go strictly by what it says in the rulebook."
Porsche mot a report senior engineer and the architect of the 956 and 962
Engineering stalwart of Toleman/Benetton/Renault
"The two things that mark out a great design are innovation and integration, and it's the latter that stands out, even though it did innovate, it was the first to use the stressed engine properly - there had been others, but the Lotus 49 was the first to do this well. And you have to consider the engine as part of the car. The Ford DFV was the most influential engine in the history of Fl,
"The wings were also innovative. It wasn't the first time that wings had been put on a racing car, but it was a beautiful application of the concept. What I love about the car - apart from the fact that I was a kid when it came out and therefore it had a huge influence on me - was that as a budding engineer 1 could appreciate the wonderful integration. The oil tank was beautifully saddled around the gearbox - details like that were impressive. The other thing that amazed me was its longevity.
"I remember reading about it winning in Holland in 1967 and it lasted until 1970 in various forms. That's a hell of a life and a tribute to how good the car was, even though cars didn't develop at the rate they do now. So it's an elegant design, with elements of innovation and a long life during which it won many races."
"The Lotus 49 was the first racing car to successfully use the engine as a stressed member. It is such a simple idea, but it changed racing car design forever."
The W125 was the dominant car of 1937 and the result of Mercedes' decision to pull out of grand prix racing while struggling in '36. The W125 was quick and driveable, something that gave it the edge over the tricky-to-drive Auto Union.
Patrick Head's right-hand man from 1976-1989 and most recently a Toyota Fl consultant
: "During the pre-war era there was serious
: state money being poured into grand prix
| racing and some amazing cars were produced.
: is what I like in racing cars and it's not unusual to confuse
; complicated with sophisticated. The Auto Union was such
: a car - it was far too complicated and it did not match the
\ tyres, and a good designer starts off with the tyres. I "The Mercedes was cleverly engineered without being
: self-indulgent. Vou could say that a car with that power almost
: couldn't work well with the crude lyres, but they recognised that
: the weight distribution is a key parameter because you have to
■ share out the work between the four contact patches. If you had
: equal load across all the tyres, you would overwork the rears
: because they have more work to do to put the power down - so
: you have to have a little more forward. The Mercedes did that.
: while the Auto Union had too much on the rears. One was
| conceptually right, the other was conceptually wrong. : "The front drum brakes were out in the air stream, with fins,
; and were as big as they could be, which shows that they were
: thinking about the whole package. The gearbox is at the back -
\ Iransaxle - which is exactly right for the weight distribution."
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