The Author’s Follow Up Book

Exclusive Preview: Team Lotus: Beyond the Colin Chapman Era Print Book

Just an idea of what our front cover (which is not finalised yet) might look like.  Given the apt release date of 1/5/2020 it will feature Senna’s Lotus 98T as you have never seen it before.


“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 new print book explores…


Lotus’ active suspension from 1987. Find out why the team did not carry on with this technology beyond that year, whereas Williams did and used it to dominate the 1992 & 1993 seasons.


Team Lotus: Struggling Beyond the Colin Chapman Era tells an F1 tale that has been criminally under-reported to date and is due out on print book format on 1/5/2020. It will be priced around the £25.99 mark and contain approx. 164 A4 sized pages (the same as the 1994 book) with over 200 + rare photos and unique Team Lotus images (like those above). The 1994 book was originally priced at £29 when it first came out and the higher price was due to some necessary legal protection to produce such a controversial book. A year later it has now been reduced to £25. Both the 1994 book, & Lotus books will be comparable in terms of length, content and quality, so given all the positive reviews of the 1994 book you can expect this upcoming Lotus book to also be great value for money.


Contributors towards the upcoming print book include:

Frank Dernie – Lotus’ Technical Director Between 1989/90.

Peter Wright – The man behind Lotus’ active suspension during the 1980s.

Willem Toet – Designer of race-winning Benetton and Ferrari F1 cars & F1 aerodynamics expert.

Antony Burton – Lotus Head of Archives, and someone who worked on their active suspension in the 1980s.

Nigel Beresford – Race Engineer to Jonathan Palmer, Jean Alesi and Stefano Modena respectively during the 1989-1991 F1 seasons



Its co-author Neil White is just as passionate about Team Lotus as I was about the 1994 F1 season that is why this book will be great. I’ll add any reviews of the upcoming Lotus book along with free samples on this website in due course so readers can make an informed decision themselves. We hope to offer you pre-ordering subject to a £5 deposit which is fully refundable via PayPal. Thus pre-ordering is highly recommended to avoid disappointment, especially as only 100 copies of this upcoming Lotus book will be printed initially. So it is also not guaranteed that there will be a second print run unless demand suggests otherwise. Anybody who pre-orders the book will also receive a special Team Lotus A4 print of a car of their choosing between the years 1983 & 1989. The 250 gsm paper print will be send along with your copy of the book around the 1/5/2020 and will look similar to that below.

Those who pre-order the print book will receive a choice of Lotus F1 car print similar to the below on 170gsm A4 glossy photo paper


Print book owners will also receive this complimentary certificate with the authors PRINTED signature. We can also offer having your book signed by in real life by both authors (Neil White & myself).


If you can pre-order the book it is highly recommended, both to guarantee yourself a first edition copy and so we can gauge the likely market and hopefully print more books during the initial run. One of the factors which will reduce the price significantly for readers is how many books we print. Essentially the more books printed together = a cheaper final book price for readers. As I say, we are planning only 100 copies initially (the 1994 book printed 2,000 copies by comparison). So you can see the massive scope for price reductions if we know the demand is there via pre-orders. If we could print say an extra 50 copies owing to confirmed pre-orders (not unlikely) then we hope the book’s price tag will reduce to around the £23 mark owing to our cheaper printing costs.


***So by pre-ordering you might actually make the book cheaper for yourself***


As things stand, any first edition books entitled Team Lotus: Struggling Beyond the Colin Chapman Era may become valuable commodities in the future (there might only be 100 of them). Especially if this then spawns a series of other Team Lotus volumes as we hope. To register your interest in pre-ordering the book please contact me here  with you name, and what car between 1983 – 1989 you would like your print of. Please note; we will not be taking pre-order deposits at this stage, only when a free sample of the book is available to show you. If you are still happy to pre-order then, then we can take that £5 deposit (necessary to ascertain the seriousness of demand) via Paypal which of course provides complete security for you and is fully refundable as well.


If you’re still reading this far down the page then clearly the price tag and boring but necessary details did not put you off. So what will be contained in the book?


At the start of 1987 Team Lotus had Senna (right) Ducarouge (left) Honda engines, and active suspension. They should have been serious title contenders; the book explains what went wrong.


It focuses on Team Lotus years between 1983 to and including 1989 because we want to produce another book investigating the Hethel based team’s final years of 1990 – 1995. The reason they aren’t in a single book is simple; The Team Lotus decline story is one that needs to be covered in detail. Remember there are 1000 cuts to capture!  “There will be laughs. There will be tears…oh yeah, there will be a few surprises along the way.” States the book’s co-author Neil White who first started working on this project back in 2012. Neil then gives some background behind how his passion for Team Lotus developed; “I was car-mad from an early age, which eventually led to me studying Transport Design at the University of Huddersfield and a decade working in the design side of the automotive industry.”


“Though my initial interest in motorsport was the annual coverage of the RAC Rally and Brands Hatch Rally cross Grand Prix in the late 1980s, on 12th May 1991 that all changed. By chance I switched on the TV, to be presented with the latter stages of the Monaco Grand Prix, eloquently described by the great Murray Walker and the late James Hunt. For the rest of that season I was hooked, even getting up in the early hours to watch the title-deciding Japanese Grand Prix.”



“Ever inquisitive, I was keen to learn more about the sport, resulting in collecting books, videos, models and computer games. Like Ibrar, the work of Geoff Crammond was a major influence, with countless hours spent playing the original Microprose Grand Prix simulation on my Amiga. As I got more knowledgeable about the history of the sport, there was one name that kept cropping up; Lotus. The makers of James Bond’s submersible Esprit, and a team that by 1992 were enjoying something of a mini-renaissance with their young driver pairing and eye-catching green and yellow car. While visiting the British Motor Show that year, there was only one company’s stand I was willing to queue up for; Lotus. My patience being rewarded with a fold-out brochure of the road car range and a poster of the 107 driven by Johnny Herbert, a poster I still have to this day.”


Neil is as passionate about Lotus as I was about the 1994 F1 Season. He has worked tirelessly to research the subject matter, and I have the experience of creating a good book.


“A Loctite promotional model of the 107B followed in 1993, and then an Onyx model of the 107C in 1994, months before the team folded. Having collected several books on Lotus and Formula One in the intervening period, I was frustrated that there wasn’t anything available which covered the final years of the team in as much detail as their glory period.”

“It was in early 2012, during a difficult period in my career that I began researching the story for myself. Some 8 years later, I have amassed hundreds of pages of research, having watched coverage of every Grand Prix between 1983 and 1994, collected the majority of Autosport magazines from the period, every issue of the magazine Lotus World and bought numerous books and annuals and have also been fortunate enough to make contact with people associated with the team (please do a bit of name dropping here i.e. I think you previously told me you spoke to Bob Dance & Chris Dinnage etc?) and also got the opinions, reminiscences and archive material of numerous fans of the team all over the world in my attempt to write the definitive story of the team in the era after the legendary Colin Chapman.”


Neil is also producing some unique CAD illustrations for the print book. Meaning we can learn the detail of each of Team Lotus’ F1 car between 1983 and 1989 in ways never seen before.


Because he is a true Lotus enthusiast Neil will ensure the team’s memory is well represented and all facts are accurate etc. Whereas I, a total F1 nerd with a background in business, will try to identify where the team might have gone wrong and who or what might have been to blame and how things might have been done differently. I’ll try to be controversial whilst presenting both sides to any argument thus allowing readers to decide things for themselves (something readers loved in the 1994 book). So essentially it will be Neil doing the positive Team Lotus stuff and me playing devil’s advocate to his views.


The book guides readers through all of Team Lotus’ races between 1983 to the end of the 1989 F1 Season. This is to identify how the team bounced back after the death of their founder and inspiration, Colin Chapman, and to work out where their decline began. A possible follow up book will capture the middle and the end of their downfall. Doing things this way we hope will expose how each of those 1,000 cuts started to erode the team’s on-track performances. But it’s also just an excuse to relive what was a great period of F1, the original turbo era. The book itself will be full of detail and insights and written by people passionate about their subject matter. An essential ingredient for a good book in my opinion.


Just two and a half years on from starting the 1987 F1 season as title favorites with Senna. Neither Lotus F1 car qualified for the 1989 Belgian Grand Prix, despite having triple driver’s champion Nelson Piquet in the car.


To show off its quality we will be posting a free sample of the book here closer to its release date (currently planned for 1/5/2020) along with another chance to pre-order the book then. This allows readers to make a more informed decision closer the time and please ensure you are signed up at to receive details on this. F1 stories usually focus on positive and inspirational tales to make readers feel good. However, in Team Lotus’ case, it was a deceptively inspiring story, just how hard some behind the scenes worked to keep Lotus going. Also, remember there are important lessons to be learned from a team’s downfall too. And that was certainly the case with Team Lotus as readers shall find out on 1/5/2020 in the print book.


Meanwhile an abridged audio book or e book version is currently available to buy by clicking on those two links. In case you have yet to visit the relevant page, more details over what is included along with a free sample is contained here. In case you are wondering which version of the book may be best for you, please consult the table below;


Personally I would recommend the print book…as I think the extra detail is worth the extra money. However I understand not everybody wants to spend £25.99 on a book hence why we have alternative options. Also please note that the Print book will not be released until 1/5/2020.


Photo credit: Thanks to Jon Maplestone &