Welcome to another week of TheJudge13 #F1 Bar Exam.
Last week’s question(s): Can you name the drivers, their cars and the race in the picture below. In which position did they finish and who won the race?
The answer(s) I was looking for were: The drivers in the picture were the #6 John Player Team Lotus, Lotus 78 – Ford-Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 of Gunnar Nilsson and the Ligier Gitanes, Ligier JS7 – Matra MS76 3.0 V12 of Jacques-Henri Laffite during the 1977 Japanese Grand Prix, Fuji Speedway. Nilsson did not finish the race – retired on lap 63 due to gearbox issues and Laffite managed to finish 5th.
The race was won by James Hunt in his McLaren Ford.
Gunnar Nilsson was a Swedish driver who drove for Lotus in 1976 and 1977. His sole win was in the 1977 Belgium GP and the 1977 Japanese GP was to be his last race. The Lotus-Ford finished 2nd in the Constructor’s Championship – Nilsson finished in 8th position and his team-mate Mario Andretti finished in 3rd position.
The car Nilsson was driving at Japan was the only time between 1972 and 1978 that the Lotus John Player Special car had livery other than their traditional black and gold. For the 1977 race in Japan, Nilsson’s car was red and gold, the colours of the Imperial International Tobacco Company which was the John Player parent company and at the time was a better known brand in Japan.
Nilsson was signed to race for Arrows in 1978 but had been diagnosed with testicular cancer and was never well enough to race. He died in October of 1978. The Cancer Therapy ward at Charring Cross Hospital in Hammersmith, London was dedicated to Nilsson and displays a large photo of him in the JPS.
The car Nilsson was driving was the Lotus 78 with its Cosworth DFV engine. The Cosworth DFV was run by multiple teams during the 1970’s – in fact, almost all the teams except Ferrari used it. Anyone with enough money could buy one and put it in their own chassis.
The Cosworth DFV was incredibly successful, taking 155 wins from 262 races between 1967 and 1983. It won at its first outing at the 1967 Dutch GP when Jim Clark drove it to victory in his Lotus 49. When ground effect aerodynamics came in during the mid-1970’s it gained a new lease of life despite being 10 years old. It’s last win was in 1983 in a Tyrrell being drive by Michele Alboreto. It was only the onset of the turbo engines in the early 1980’s that eventually rendered it obsolete. It’s designer, Ken Duckworth is alleged to have said in the early 1980’s that “Turbochargers were for people who can’t build engines.”
Well done to Taflach, The13thDuke, Sid, Emil, AV2290, Tony, Johnny, Milestone11, Alan, Thomas888, Ignacio, Devon, Tim, Cassius42, Simon, Reinis and Andrew!
Please provide your answers in the field below: