The original Team Lotus, i.e. the one that competed within F1 between 1958 to 1994 carries so much affection for F1 fans. However during the 1990’s serious financial problems brought an end to them. It was a huge pity given their rich history. But how did they get to that point in the first place?
This audio book guides listeners through all of Team Lotus’ races between 1983 to the end of the 1989 F1 Season to seek answers. It provides analysis of those GP's & each season covered to help listeners ascertain:
· Was the loss of their founder Colin Chapman the blow that killed them?
· Were Senna’s & Piquet’s demands too much?
· Or were they just gradually eaten up by leaner, meaner teams during F1’s expensive Turbo era?
“The bigger they are, the harder they fall” is how the old saying goes and while most of the time that is true the once-mighty Team Lotus was the exception to that rule. Because the Hethel team’s decline was unusual in that it was not a spectacular, swift or a sudden affair. Instead, it was a death by a 1000 cuts spanning years if not decades. During which time drivers were calling the shots within the team, resources not allocated efficiently, race-winning technologies squandered, and questionable investments made. But could this have been avoided and if so who or what should take the blame?
A print version of this book will follow and is due for release on 1/5/2020. If you would like to find out more about this project, please visit; www.1994f1.com/lotusbook/. These books might even spawn other volumes charting Team Lotus’ decline story.
Front cover image credit:
Dima Moroz via the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license
Reasonably well researched, but a difficult listen
First off, I would say I enjoyed Ibrar's first book (1994) and feel he will go on to write plenty of very enjoyable motorsport books long into the future.
The topic discussed here is an interesting one; Lotus were well past their sell-by date arguably even whilst Colin Chapman was still in his final years, and their gradual slide (save for the Senna-era resurgence) towards extinction offers rich pickings for some fascinating content.
The book itself is somewhat uneven in painting this picture, with some seasons and races given barely any time and others (particularly 1989) offered a lot more insight and detail. The majority of it also feels like a collection of race summaries with little insight or flow to build the picture of what was going on at the time in the reader/listener's mind.
I feel, however, that the main problem the book has is that Ibrar doesn't seem to be an experienced narrator for audiobooks, and this very much hurts the listening experience. The delivery is often stilted, with plenty of unclear or wrong pronunciation and some curious silences or slightly jarring volume changes where editing hasn't quite gone smoothly. I appreciate the for newer authors, costs involved in hiring professional narrators and audio editors are prohibitive in a period where portfolio expansion is key, but hopefully this consideration is taken into account next time.
Still, there's enough here to make it a decent - if unpolished - listen for some F1 historians, and I look forward to seeing what Ibrar is working on next.