On This Day In F1 - Colin Chapman Announces That His Team Will Enter Formula 1

On This Day In F1 - Colin Chapman Announces That His Team Will Enter Formula 1

A look back at what happened on 10 December in Formula 1 history

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Colin Chapman’s Lotus firm had been racing with success in sportscars for a couple of years and in 1957 raced its first single-seater, the Lotus 12, in Formula 2. Despite only modest success, Chapman had grander ideas than success in F2 and on this day in 1957 announced he and his team would be stepping up to Formula 1.

There would be no new car, though - why bother when rules at the time basically let you enter F1 with anything ranging from a dirt track midget racer to a full-on sportscar? Instead, Chapman simply modified the 12 with a new gearbox and sent it on its way. Performance was OK but poor reliability proved a hurdle and aside from an impressive fourth place at Spa, results were mediocre. Who could have predicted that within a few years, Lotus and Jim Clark would become the dominant force in Grand Prix racing? Not bad for a team whose first car wasn’t even designed for F1…