Six of the type 99T chassis were manufactured by Team Lotus for the 1987 season for drivers Senna and teammate Satoru Nakajima. This particular car, however, was exclusively driven by Senna and earned him the top tier of the podium at both the Monaco and Detroit Grands Prix. He raced the car in 11 GPs taking a total of six podiums that season.
The 1.5 liter Honda turbo V6 engine produces a mind-boggling 1,000 horsepower. Acceleration (0-62mph) takes an astonishing 2.5 seconds with a top speed of 205mph. During race time, engines would be replaced at a maximum of 311 miles. Super soft qualifying tires lasted 12.5 miles and harder race tires lasted up to 199 miles. You didn’t actually drive this – more like clung on for dear life. It’s these cars and drivers from the turbo era that made F1 racing so exciting – much of which is gone nowadays.
Ayrton Senna will be forever remembered for his skill both behind the wheel and in the garage, and his sheer tenacity on the circuit. Take a nostalgic trip down memory lane and visit this mad machine at Top Gear Live being held at Earls Court from November 4th-7th and the NEC in Birmingham between November 11th-14th.