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The Lotus F1 1972 72 was yet another innovative design by Chapman featuring inboard brakes, side mounted radiators in sidepods, as opposed to the nose mounted radiators which had been commonplace since the 1950s, and an overhead air intake.
The overall shape of the car was innovative too, resembling a wedge on wheels which was inspired by the earlier Lotus 56 gas turbine car, and the layout taken from the Lotus 63 four wheel drive project testbed. The shape made for better air penetration and higher speeds. In a back-to-back test with the Lotus 49, the 72 was 12 mph faster with the same Cosworth engine.