The MotorMouthBlog is a place for us all at MotorQuoteDirect to voice our opinions about all things motoring and motorsport, and as the Formula 1 season begins this weekend, I thought it was only appropriate this week to dedicate the blog to some of my all time favourite F1 icons.
Senna’s 1st Win
Last week I spoke of my admiration for the 1996 Ferrari F310 and the Williams-Renault from the same year, so those two famed F1 cars are out of contention for this week’s articles. So, instead, today we begin with the 1985 Lotus 97T; the car that gave the late, great Ayrton Senna his first pole position and his first Grand Prix victory. For that reason alone, it is a true icon of F1. Furthermore, it was a fantastic looking car with its John Player Special black and gold livery, pointed nose and chunky tyres.
Such iconic colours have since been featured on special edition Lotus cars that would indeed be eligible for road use, and thus car insurance cover, which you’d certainly want to protect such a special car.
1985 Portuguese Grand Prix
The first victory of Senna’s came in very wet conditions in Portugal. He qualified on pole in the dry before racing away from the competition with a brilliant and dominant display to win the Grand Prix by over a minute to his nearest challenger.
This really was a master class by Senna, a man who went on to win three World Championships and go down as arguably the greatest Formula 1 driver to have ever graced the sport.
This victory was the springboard on which Senna would go on to add another 40 victories. His second of those 41 valiant victories came in the very same car at the Belgium Grand Prix later that year.
Elio de Angelis
The Lotus 97T was also the car that brought Elio de Angelis his final race victory at the San Marino Grand Prix. The driver’s career was tragically cut short the following season during a test at the Paul Ricard circuit in France where a crash left him stranded in the cockpit inhaling fumes; this was to be the eventual cause of his death.
It’s quite daunting that both drivers of this iconic race car went on to lose their lives in tragic accidents; a harrowing coincidence during an era when fatal accidents were far too common.
The Lotus 97T, for me, is truly iconic; it marked a return to form for Lotus and also landed Senna his first victory and de Angelis his last.