Five groundbreaking cars from the sport’s history will be exhibited at Autosport International as part of the show’s RetroFuture campaign.
To celebrate the 70th anniversary of Formula 1, Autosport International will be showcasing some of motor sport’s most revolutionary technologies and RetroFuture has been engaging with fans to find the most influential technology from the past seven decades.
The top five technologies as voted by fans are the active suspension of the Williams FW14B, the revolutionary monocoque structure of the Lotus 49, the low-drag Le-Mans winning Jaguar XJ-9, the Lancia Stratos as the first bespoke rally car and the all-conquering McLaren MP4/4. Examples of all five icons are due to be on show at the Birmingham NEC.
The FW14B dominated the 1992 F1 World Championship, winning 10 out of the 16 races to secure the title with Nigel Mansell, partnered with Riccardo Patrese. The active suspension controlling the vertical movement of the wheels relative to the chassis and its allied technology suited the driving style of Mansell especially.
The revolutionary 49 won the 1968 and 1970 Formula One World Championships with Graham Hill and Jochen Rindt respectively. In 42 races, it won 12 and finished on the podium 23 times. Pioneered by Colin Chapman, the Lotus 49 was highly advanced for its era, using the engine as a stress-bearing structural member for the first time in F1.
The 1988 Jaguar XJR-9 was specifically designed for Le Mans and the Mulsanne straight. The low-drag package prompted speeds of up to 245mph – even though it was using a natually-aspirated engine as opposed to its turbocharged rivals – and helped the car to victory at Le Mans 1988. It was Jaguar’s first win since 1957.
The Stratos started a new era of rallying as it was the first car to be created from scratch for rallying rather than developed from a road car. In the hands of Sandro Munari and Bjorn Waldegaard, the Stratos won the 1974, 1975 and 1976 manufacturers’ titles. The combination of a low centre of gravity and wide wheelbase proved pivotal in the car’s success.
The MP4/4 combined McLaren’s aerodynamic genius, drivers Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost and the 650bhp Honda V6 engine to create a dominant package. The MP4/4 was the first F1 car to introduce the 30 degrees reclining seating position and scored 15 wins from 16 races in the 1988 season.
Published at Fri, 06 Dec 2019 15:57:57 +0000