F1 cars aren't made by teams. They're not made by automakers, either. They're made by chassis constructors. And few have the kind of experience in the field that Lola has.

The British company (similar to Dallara, Reynard and Panoz) makes a business out of designing and manufacturing racing cars. It makes Aston Martin's Le Mans prototype (among others) and spec racers for various feeder formulae. It made the last Champ Car chassis before the series folded into the IndyCar series, and it makes the SP/300.R track toy for Caterham. For many years, Lola made F1 cars for a variety of teams, too – like the THL1 pictured above, driven by Alan Jones and Patrick Tambay for Team Haas in 1985. And now it wants back in.

A couple of years ago, Lola was one of several outfits vying for a spot on an expanding F1 grid, but was ultimately overlooked in favor of the likes of Team Lotus, Virgin Racing and HRT. Back then, Lola hoped to design and build the chassis for an independent team to race, but now it wants to field its own F1 team. If only the FIA would give it a shot.

It's exactly the thing, say Lola's management, that the company needs to boost its profile. Having lost out to longtime rival Dallara for the new IndyCar contract, it could prove to be just what the doctor ordered. The FIA, for its part, already cleared the way for a 13th team on the grid, but opted not to award the slot to any of the applicants – Lola included. Looks like it's time to start lobbying again.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      Redline
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm pretty sure some F1 teams construct their own cars?
      svntsvn
      • 3 Years Ago
      Briliant move by F1, by not allowing one of the all time great chasis manufacturer's into its sport! Yet another reason to stop supporting another open wheel series that is going down the crapper
        Autoblogist
        • 3 Years Ago
        @svntsvn
        Did you even read the article? Lola didn't get the approval, because they weren't making a bid as a full team and constructers, the just want to provide the chassis for independent team like an engine supplier would. Problem with that is it creates a lot of mediocre independent teams. Who wants a grid full of inconsistent cars?
          Hashiryu
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Autoblogist
          You mean like what they started with last year?
      Hashiryu
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think Autoblog writers need to refrain from writing about things they know jack **** about. Ferrari and Toyota F1 both built their own chassis in house.. in fact, they are the only F1 teams in recent times that built everything in house. Williams, McLaren, Sauber, Renault/Lotus/Geeni wtfever and technically RBR and STR all build their own chassis as well.
      Cliffsider
      • 3 Years Ago
      That car is awesomely dangerous looking, BTW. Look how exposed that driver is, and the rollbar looks about as useful as a coffee cup he left on the roof before the race.
      mx5hong
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yes, all F1 teams are required to manufacture their own chassis. But a few teams commissioned a third party such as Lola to manufacture a chassis for them. The FIA starts frowning when the third party offers the same chassis to another team. Lola produced a chassis for the Larousse teams during the early 90's. Then in 1997, Lola fielded their own team and we all know what happened. Recently, HRT started out by commissioning Dallara to produce their chassis for 2010. Then toward the end of the 2010 season, HRT severed ties with Dallara. But HRT retained the rights to the Dallara chassis which they heavily modified for 2011. Same story with Virgin. In 2010, Virgin commissioned Wirth Research (the same folks who brought you the Acura LMP chassis) to manufacture their chassis. Then like HRT, Virgin severed ties with Wirth and I believe Virgin will produce their 2012 chassis in-house.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        dans
        • 3 Years Ago
        Running an F1 team, $250mil Looking like an F1 amateur , priceless!!