Lotus 49 was introduced by Colin Chapman for the first 3-litre Formula season in 1967. New FIA regulations left many of the independent teams like Lotus and Cooper without an engine. Solving this problem Chapman organized very productive Ford – Cosworth partnership by joining abilities of his old friends Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth, the founders of the Cosworth engine tuning company, with financial backing from Ford. Using a Ford four cylinder as a base, the Cosworth team first developed a 16-valve 1600 cc FVA engine for Formula 2. It would form the basis for the three-litre V8 readied for the 1967 season. The 49 was an advanced design in Formula 1 because of its chassis configuration. The specially-designed engine became a stress-bearing structural member 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. 49B was the specification of Lotus 49 for the 1968 season. Lotus team started the season with Jim Clark and Graham Hill, but after Clark was killed at Hockenheim in a non-championship Formula Two event at the beginning of the season, Hill became the favorite of the season. Clark’s seat in the team was taken by debutant Jackie Oliver. The British driver spent a controversial season in the team. He was far behind Hill, and was able to achieve only one podium finishing 3rd in the last round, in Mexico. 1968 was the first year when FIA permitted the full sponsorship of Formula One teams, and Team Lotus became the first works team to follow this with Graham Hill’s Lotus 49B entered in the Red, Gold and White colors of Imperial Tobacco’s Gold Leaf brand. Other innovation of the season was the introduction of wings. Lotus was the first team to use wings, which were introduced at the 1968 Monaco Grand Prix. The B specifications introduced a wedge shape and a front wing. Later that season Lotus introduced airfoil wings bolted directly to the suspension and 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 dangerous accidents, the high wings were banned and Lotus was forced to mount the wings directly to the bodywork.
|Jackie Oliver||2||Gold Leaf Team Lotus|