The Lotus 98T
was a development of the Lotus 97T
of 1985. Of the four chassis built three were assigned to Ayrton Senna
, now in his second year with Team Lotus
, and one to team mate Johnny Dumfries
Designed by Gérard Ducarouge and Martin Ogilvie
the chassis featured a lower monocoque than the 97T as a result of a regulation change stipulating a reduction in fuel capacity to 195 litres. The powertrain consisted of the new Renault
EF15bis turbo V6 engine driving through a Hewland gearbox.
The EF15bis was to appear in two forms, the standard engine and the "D.P." engine which featured pneumatic valve springs for the first time. At the end of the season Renault
introduced the revised EF15C which in addition to the D.P. valve gear also boasted common rail fuel injection and much revised water cooling through the cylinder head reducing the likelihood of pre-ignition (detonation). Power figures for this period of F1 history are largely speculative as most engine manufactures freely admitted that their test beds would not have a sufficient power rating to measure the 1.5 litre turbos output at above 4 bar boost. It is generally accepted that the Renault EF15 produced between and at 5.5bar boost.
The gearbox came in two variants, a conventional five speed and a new six speed. The six speed was very much a development gearbox and was largely unreliable. While Senna opted to run only with the five speed, Dumfries was tasked with testing the six speed. Both gearboxes featured... Read More