Lotus 72 which had been designed by Colin Chapman for 1970 season had the completely new shape achieved by chisel-shaped nose and radiator intakes mounted on the cockpit sides for better air penetration and higher speeds, as opposed to the nose mounted radiators which had been commonplace since the 1950s. The suspension, too, was innovative breakthrough for the coil-springs had been replaced by torsion bars. In a back-to-back test with the Lotus 49, the 72 was 12 mph faster with the same Cosworth engine. In its original form the car had anti-dive suspension which was designed to prevent the nose of the car dipping significantly under braking, and the anti-squat set-up at the rear, which was supposed to stop the car ‘squatting down’ under acceleration. But these characteristics led to poor handling of the car and were subsequently removed. Too modifications, 72B and 72C appeared later in 1970. With anti-squat removed, the car was designated 72B, while 72C had both anti-squat and anti-dive features removed and had an extensively strengthened monocoque. 72D first appeared at the 1971 Monaco Grand Prix. The D differed from C mainly in having more conventional rear suspension that incorporated parallel lower links instead of wishbones and twin radius rod. For the 1972 season Lotus 72D retained the same basic design. New car built for the start of the European season in addition to the revised rear suspension also had modified top front wishbones, conical oil tank at the rear rather than flat oval previously used, and the modified mounting of the rear airfoil. Lotus team got sponsorship from the John Player tobacco company resulted in the renaming of Gold Leaf Team Lotus into John Player Team Lotus. Brazilian young star Emerson Fittipaldi continued to drive for Lotus for the third season, and successful British Formula 3 driver Dave Walker was signed as the second driver. For Fittipaldi it was the outstanding season. With 5 wins the Brazilian became the youngest World Champion at age of 25.
|Emerson Fittipaldi||8||John Player Team Lotus|
|1:43||IXO||Eaglemoss Lendas Brasileiras do Automobilismo|