Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What's in a Name

I'm not sure how much of a connection there is between Colin Chapman's outfit and the new Team Lotus which will be returning to the F1 grid in 2010. Perhaps as much as that between Stan Chapman's pub on the Tottenham Lane and it's current incarnation as the Funky Brownz Shisha Lounge. Of course what is important is the name and history which the new team will no doubt seek to capitalize on, no matter how tenuous the link.

An old Lotus mechanic once informed me that it was the likes of Innes Ireland, Cliff Allison and Graham Hill who took the development risks from which later drivers like Clark benefited. Those were the days when Chapman's cars usually fell apart during the race, and the mechanics could be found still welding a chassis on the grid.

Anyway, I wonder if anyone will remember that it was Innes who scored Lotus's first ever F1 victory and who also gave the team their first World Championship win? Of course even in the Eighties all that counted for little. Lotus sponsor Camel held a big post-race party to which all the F1 journalists were invited, with the sole exception of the correspondent of the American magazine Road and Track, who was somehow overlooked ..... one Innes Ireland.

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