LOLA F1™ TEAM
12 Glebe Road, Huntingdon PE29 7DS
The MasterCard Lola Formula One Racing Team often known as MasterCard Lola or simply Lola was a British Formula One team that contested one race in the 1997 Formula One World Championship. It quickly withdrew from the sport after failing to qualify on its debut at the 1997 Australian Grand Prix, where the cars were more than 11 seconds off the pace in qualifying.
After years of providing chassis to other teams, mainly Larrousse, team principal Eric Broadley planned a team that would compete solely under Lola ownership. A prototype chassis was first tested in 1995 with Allan McNish and in late 1996 Broadley announced the team's participation in the near future. The team had originally intended to enter F1 in 1998, but entered a year early in 1997, Broadley saying that this was due to commercial pressures from the team's sponsors, primarily from title sponsor, MasterCard. This was due to MasterCard's ardour to launch its "F1 Club" for card holders to provide funding to Lola.
The Lola chassis, dubbed the T97/30, was based on most of their IndyCar technology yet never saw the inside of a wind tunnel and barely had on-track tests. This was mainly because the design of the engine fell behind schedule.
On 26 March 1997, the Wednesday before the Brazilian Grand Prix, Lola announced it was withdrawing from the Brazil race due to "financial and technical problems". Lola's staff, who had already travelled to Interlagos, returned to the team's base in Huntingdon, England. Shortly afterwards, Lola withdrew from the World Championship outright.
In its short existence as a Formula One constructor, Lola had incurred £6 million in debt; the company went into receivership several weeks later. Irish entrepreneur Martin Birrane purchased the company and oversaw a revival in the company's fortunes; however, Lola has not been involved in Formula One in any capacity
* Allan Mcnish (1995 Test)
* Ricardo Rosset
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