Lotus 49
Lotus 49
Constructor Team Lotus
Designer(s) United Kingdom Colin Chapman

United Kingdom Maurice Philippe

Predecessor 43
Successor 49B
Formula One World Championship
Years Active 1967 - 1970
Constructors Team Lotus

Gold Leaf Team Lotus

Rob Walker Racing Team

Team Gunston

Drivers United Kingdom Jim Clark

United Kingdom Graham Hill

United Kingdom Jackie Oliver

Switzerland Jo Siffet

Rhodesia John Love

Debut 1967 Dutch Grand Prix
Races 18
Wins 6
Poles 10
Fastest Laps 7
Constructors' Championships 1 (1968)
Drivers' Championships 1 (Graham Hill)

The Lotus 49 was a Formula One racing car designed by Colin Chapman and Maurice Philippe for the 1967 F1 season. It was designed around the Cosworth DFV engine that would power most of the Formula One grid through the 1970s and was the first successful Formula One car to feature the engine as a stressed member.


After a difficult first year for Lotus in the 3 litre formula, Chapman went back to the drawing board and came up with a design that was both back to basics, and a leap ahead. Taking inspiration from earlier designs, particularly the Lotus 43 and Lotus 38 Indycar, the 49 was the first F1 car to be powered by the now-famous Ford Cosworth DFV engine after Chapman convinced Ford to build an F1 powerplant.

Racing HistoryEdit


In testing, Graham Hill found the Lotus 49 easy to drive and responsive, but the power of the Ford engine difficult to handle at first. The V8 would give sudden bursts of power that Hill had reservations about. However, Jim Clark won its debut race at Zandvoort with ease and took another 3 wins during the season, but early unreliability with the DFV ended his championship hopes. It had teething problems in its first race for Graham Hill, and it had spark plug trouble at the Belgian Grand Prix, held on the 8.76 mile (14.73 kilometer) Spa-Francorchamps. Jim Clark and Graham Hill fell victim to the reliability issues at the French Grand Prix, held at the Le Mans Bugatti Circuit (a smaller circuit using only part of the track used for the Le Mans 24 Hours), and lost to Jack Brabham. Jim Clark then ran out of fuel at Monza during the Italian Grand Prix. Mechanical failures cost Lotus the championship that year, but it was felt that 1968 would be a better year after Cosworth and Lotus perfected their designs, which were clearly the way forward.

1968 - 1970Edit

Clark won the first race of the 1968 season, the South African Grand Prix and the Tasman Series in Australia, but was killed in an F2 race at Hockenheim. Graham Hill took over as team leader and won the next race in Spain. After this the 49B was used at Monaco by Hill before Belgium were it was fully replaced in Team Lotus.

Rob Walker continued to use the 49 until the British Grand Prix and the 49 was used only twice more by Team Gunston at both the 1969 and 1970 South African Grands Prix.

Technical SpecificationsEdit

Component Specification
Chassis Aluminium monocoque
Front suspension
Rear suspension
Tyres Dunlop, Firestone
Weight 501 kg
Engine Ford-Cosworth DFV, 2,988 cc, 900 V8, naturally aspirated
Gearbox Hewland-Lotus 5-speed manual gearbox.
Gears 5


The 49 was an advanced design in Formula 1 because of its chassis configuration. The specially-designed engine became a stress-bearing structural member (seen first with the H16 engine in the Lotus 43 and BRM P83), bolted to the monocoque at one end and the suspension and gearbox at the other. Since then virtually all Formula 1 cars have been built this way.

The 49 was a testbed for several new pieces of racecar technology and presentation. Lotus was the first team to use aerofoil wings, which appeared partway through 1968. Originally these wings were bolted directly to the suspension and were supported by slender struts. The wings were mounted several feet above the chassis of the car for effective use in clean air, however after several breakages which led to near fatal accidents, the high wings were banned and Lotus was forced to mount the wings directly to the bodywork.

Complete Formula One resultsEdit

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Engine Tyres Driver 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Points WCC
1967 Team Lotus Ford Cosworth DFV V8 F RSA MON NED BEL FRA GBR GER CAN ITA USA MEX 44 2nd
Jim Clark 1 6 Ret 1 Ret Ret 3 1 1
Graham Hill Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 4 Ret 2 Ret
Eppie Wietzes DSQ
Giancarlo Baghetti Ret
Moises Solana Ret Ret
1968 Team Lotus
Gold Leaf Team Lotus
Jim Clark 1
Graham Hill 2 1
Jackie Oliver Ret
Moises Solana Ret
Rob Walker/Jack Durlacher Racing Ford Cosworth DFV V8 F Jo Siffert Ret Ret 7 Ret 11
1969 Team Gunston Ford Cosworth DFV V8 D RSA ESP MON NED FRA GBR GER ITA CAN USA MEX 42 3rd
John Love Ret




John Love 8
Points were awarded on a 9-6-4-3-2-1 basis to the first six finishers at each round, but only the best placed car for each make was eligible to score points. The best five results from the first six rounds and the best four results from the last five rounds were retained in 1967 and 1969, five from the first six and five from the last six in 1968, and the best six results from the first seven rounds and the best five from the last six rounds were retained in 1970.
§ Total points scored by all Lotus-Ford cars, including the Lotus 49B variant.
Total points scored by all Lotus-Ford cars, including the Lotus 49B variant.
^ Total points scored by all Lotus-Ford cars, including 45 points scored by drivers of Lotus 49B, 49C and Lotus 72 variants.



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