OCTOBER 6, 2010

Ex-Lotus boss Peter Warr dies

Peter Warr has died at his home in the south-west of France at the age of 72. Warr was best known as the team boss of the Lotus Formula 1 team.

Warr joined the newly formed Lotus Engineering in 1958. He worked selling Lotus Formula Junior cars, and raced as well - most famously winning the first "Japanese Grand Prix", driving a Lotus 23 sports car to win at Suzuka in 1963. Warr left the company to run a slot car racing business in London for three years, but returned to in 1969, and soon took over as the Formula 1 team manager - overseeing Jochen Rindt's championship in 1970, and Emerson Fittipaldi in 1972 and 1974.

In 1976 Warr was lured away by Walter Wolf to run his new team, which won on it's debut at the Argentine GP in 1977 they ran out of money and closed down.

In 1982, when Lotus founder Colin Chapman died, Warr was asked to return and run the Formula 1 team once again. He ran the team with some success in the mid-to-late 80's, running the likes of Nigel Mansell and Aryton Senna. In 1989 the Chapman Family decided to bring in new management. and Warr departed.

In 1991 War was appointed the Secretary of the British Racing Drivers' Club, and a year later was appointed a permanent steward in Formula 1. In the late 1990s Warr retired to live in France.

Bernie Ecclestone payed tribute to Warr, saying, "Not only have I lost a good friend who was the team manager for Lotus when Colin Chapman ran the company but Peter Warr, who died yesterday of a heart attack will be missed by the thousands of people that knew him. When Peter was in Formula 1 he helped me to build it to what it is today. Thank you Peter."