The Lotus 72 was a designed by Colin Chapman and Maurice Philippe and built, and from 1970 to 1975 by British Formula 1 Team Lotus inserted race cars. The Lotus 72 is still regarded as the most successful Formula 1 car of all time. It was used until 1975 (Lotus 72E) and won three 1974 Grand Prix with Ronnie Peterson. Technological precursor of the Lotus 72 were the turbine wheel of the Lotus and Lotus 56B. Many design details were for the first time in Formula 1 applied.
The design was consistently interpreted as a wedge shape by the cooler wandered into the boxes, where they enabled a better weight distribution. The monocoque moved above the front axle in a partially open sheet amplified square tube construction. This was necessary in order to reach the inside front wheel brakes. The brake discs are vented through the typical small fireplaces. The brakes were connected by shafts to the wheels – one of the weaknesses of the Lotus 72, because the connection between the brake discs and wave broke several times and was the trigger for the fatal accident of Jochen Rindt.
Shock Absorber and – used for reasons of space – torsion bars were in the chassis and were connected by a tie rod with the upper wishbone. The wishbones were carried out as a sheet metal triangles. The upper wishbone was the inclination of the wedge shape, making an anti-dive effect was generated. This arrangement did not prove itself and was soon rebuilt.
Pull the instrument panel consisted of a one-piece perspex jacket, which was placed on the chassis. Behind the driver for the first time was the largest part of the tank placed in the middle of the chassis, an arrangement that prevailed and continues today.
The first rear wing unit, taken from the 49C, had three staggered arranged wings.
Overall, the Lotus 72 was an unusual design for its time, in many areas broke new ground. Many design details, particularly in the chassis, proved problematic and needed to be changed.
The Lotus 72 made his debut in 1970 at the Grand Prix of Spain. Dangers was the vehicle by Jochen Rindt and John Miles. Rindt won four 1970 Grand Prix with the 72er, but had little confidence in the car. He had an accident during practice for the Italian Grand Prix deadly and Colin Chapman saw himself considerable criticism. Cause of the accident was the known critical link between the brake disc and semi-axis. The successor of Rindt, the Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi won the end of 1970 at the U.S. Grand Prix and secured so Rindt posthumously the Drivers’ Championship and Lotus success with the design engineers.
The Lotus 72 won 20 of the 75 races in which he was employed. The two titles both in 1970 World Cup votes, to 1973, which the designers also came in 1972. Defending champion Emerson Fittipaldi won three races, young talent Ronnie Peterson even four, but the two took each other with the points away, so Stewart was again champion and Fittipaldi joined McLaren. 1974 should be the multi-adjustable Lotus 76’s successor, but Lotus dealt again with too much and fired again to a 72E, which now had a wider track. Also in 1975 still had to be resorted to the 72. Only the Lotus 77 proved to be a successor.