Cosworth DFV 2993cc V8
485 hp @ 10.750 rpm
Hewland FGA 6 speed m.
Elio de Angelis
Aluminium monocoque Cosworth DFV 2993cc V8
465 hp @ 10.800 rpm Hewland-Lotus 5 speed Goodyear
The Lotus 81 was a Formula One racing car built by Colin Chapman‘s Lotus team for the 1980 Formula One season. Unlike many of forebears the 81 was not a terribly innovative or competitive car, coming as it did at a time when Chapman‘ s interest in his racing activities was waning.
Instead it was a very standard ground effect design with sliding skirts and the ubiquitous Cosworth DFV 3.0 litre V8 powerplant. The car was said to generate a great deal of downforce but have excessive pitch sensitivity problems, ultimately leading Chapman to develop the innovative twinchassis Lotus 88.
Mario Andretti and Elio de Angelis used the 81 in all 14 rounds of the 1980 Formula One world championship, and the car also gave Nigel Mansell his Formula One debut, with the British driver lining up in a total of three races that season. The best result for the car was Elio de Angelis‘s 2nd place in Brazil.