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Lotus commemorates 60 years since Sir Stirling Moss took the first Lotus Formula One victory in the Monaco Grand Prix.

31 May 2020 | International News : U.K.


On 29 May 1960, Sir Stirling Moss drove his Lotus for almost three hours of punishing racing, battling through the rain on the streets of Monte Carlo to win the Monaco Grand Prix. It was the first victory in a Formula One world championship race for Lotus.

Exactly 60 years after it all began, Lotus is paying tribute to the beginning of its truly remarkable Formula One history, which has seen legendary drivers such as Mario Andretti, Jim Clark, Jochen Rindt, Emerson Fittipaldi, Graham Hill, Ronnie Peterson and Ayrton Senna all claim wins for the Norfolk-based outfit.

Sir Stirling Moss won the first Formula One victory with the Lotus Type 18
After the first victory by Moss, Lotus race cars went on to take the chequered flag a further 80 times, delivering six Drivers' Championships and seven Constructors' Championships.

It was at Monaco in 1960 where Sir Stirling Moss cemented his reputation as a rain master. He drove his new Lotus 18 relentlessly through the wet streets with supreme confidence to take the chequered flag.

After setting new lap records in practice then claiming the first-ever pole position for Lotus in qualifying, it was a near-flawless display. In a real race of attrition, only the top three drivers completed all 100 laps of the course and just five racers were classified.

Moss beat his nearest competitor, Bruce McLaren, by 52 seconds. The Lotus Type 18, which Lotus founder Colin Chapman believed was the marque's first proper Formula One car, was perfectly suited to the tight, twisting streets of Monaco. The lightweight aluminium-bodied racer was agile and dynamic, taking the field - including a trio of entrants from Ferrari - by storm.

Sir Stirling Moss receiving the trophy for the 1960 Monaco GP
Moss was driving a Lotus Type 18 for the privateer Rob Walker Racing Team and had already proven that talent and reliability were a match for the very best and well-equipped manufacturer outfits.

The team was founded by Rob Walker, the heir to the Johnnie Walker whisky empire, who decided for 1960 he would concentrate solely on Moss and, starting with Monaco, switched to using Lotus cars. It was an inspired move.

Sir Stirling Moss is widely considered the greatest driver never to have won the Formula One Drivers' Championship. He died just last month on 12 April 2020 aged 90 at his London home.

Lotus has recorded a new U.S LOT Sessions podcast celebrating the 60th anniversary of his victory. It features an interview with motorsport Journalist Damien Smith and discusses the significance of the race for Lotus and Moss. Moss won at Monaco in a Lotus 18, and it's one of many significant Lotus road and race cars which are included in the newly launched Heritage section here. Part of the site's continuing development, it also includes a newly written biography of Colin Chapman and a history of the Lotus headquartes in Hethel, Norfolk.
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