Lotus 43


The Lotus 43 was a Formula One racing car designed by Colin Chapman for the 1966 season. Hampered by its heavy and unreliable BRM engine, it won only one race, the 1966 United States Grand Prix.

Lotus 43
FoS20162016 0624 112938AA (27785376742).jpg
CategoryFormula One
ConstructorTeam Lotus
Designer(s)Colin Chapman
PredecessorLotus 33
SuccessorLotus 49
Technical specifications[1][2]
ChassisAluminium monocoque
Suspension (front)top rocker arms, lower wishbones, inboard coil springs over dampers
Suspension (rear)reverse lower wishbones, twin radius arms, coil springs over dampers, anti-roll bar
EngineBRM P75
2,996 cc (183 cu in) H16 Naturally aspirated
TransmissionBRM T82 6-speed manual
Weight563 kg (1,241 lb)
Competition history
Notable entrantsTeam Lotus
Notable driversUnited Kingdom Peter Arundell
United Kingdom Jim Clark
United Kingdom Graham Hill
Debut1966 Belgian Grand Prix
Last event1967 South African Grand Prix
Constructors' Championships0
Drivers' Championships0


The Lotus 43 was partially based on the Lotus 38 Indycar, due to Chapman's experience at Indy with larger engine capacity and tyre/suspension setup. The car was designed in this way in response to new regulations which came into force in 1966, which increased the engine capacity to 3 litres. Along with newer, wider tyres better able to handle the power of the larger engines, the need for a more robust design was obvious.[3]

Cosworth were developing a new engine for Lotus, the DFV, to be introduced for the 1967 Formula One season, and in the meantime Chapman made a deal for use of the BRM P75 H16 engine. The P75 on paper was technically advanced and powerful, and Chapman had hopes that it would power his cars to another successful season.[4]

The first sign of trouble was when the H16 engine arrived and it required four men to lift it from the truck. The engine proved to be overweight, unreliable and was unable to produce the promised power.

Engine problems aside, the 43 chassis was an excellent design and elements of it were used in its 1967 successor, the far more successful Lotus 49, including the use of the engine as a stressed structural member which bore weight and to which the rear suspension was attached.

Racing historyEdit


The car was supposed to debut at the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix, driven by Peter Arundell, but it was unavailable. Its first outing at the following Belgian Grand Prix ended during practice, when the engine gave out.[1]

The 43 reappeared at the Italian Grand Prix but retired with gearbox failure. Clark then won the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, the only race win for the P75 engine, using a spare engine loaned by the BRM team. However, gearbox failure again led to the 43's retirement from the final race of the season, the Mexican Grand Prix.


In 1967 the 43 made its final appearance at the South African Grand Prix at the Kyalami circuit, where Clark and new team mate Graham Hill both retired their cars.

Only two cars were built and were later sold to Robert Lamplough and Jock Russell, who fitted them with 4.7 litre Ford V8 engines and competed in Formula 5000 events.

Complete resultsEdit

Formula One World Championship resultsEdit


Year Entrant Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Points WCC
1966 Team Lotus BRM P75 3.0 H16 F MON BEL FRA GBR NED GER ITA USA MEX 131 5th
Peter Arundell DNS Ret
Jim Clark Ret 1 Ret
1967 Team Lotus BRM P75 3.0 H16 F RSA MON NED BEL FRA GBR GER CAN ITA USA MEX 62 8th
Jim Clark Ret
Graham Hill Ret

^1 Total points scored by all Lotus-BRM cars, including 4 points scored by drivers of Lotus 33 variants.
^2 Total points scored by all Lotus-BRM cars, including 6 points scored by drivers of Lotus 33 variants.

Non-championship Formula One resultsEdit


Year Entrant Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4
1966 Team Lotus BRM P75 3.0 H16 F RSA SYR INT OUL
Jim Clark DNS

PC simulationEdit

A driveable, detailed reconstruction of the Lotus 43 (with matching car physics) appeared in 2007 in the freely-available '66 Mod' for the PC-based racing simulation Grand Prix Legends.


  1. ^ a b "STATS F1 • Lotus 43". Statsf1.com. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Lotus 43 BRM". ultimatecarpage.com. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  3. ^ "The Lotus 43 and its Mighty 16-Cylinders! | HistoricRacingNews.com". www.historicracingnews.com. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  4. ^ Perkins, Chris (19 June 2018). "The 1966 Lotus 43 Was a Magnificent Failure With a Bizarre Engine". Road & Track. Retrieved 7 May 2020.