Former Lotus team principal Peter Warr dies

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Peter Warr, former team principal of Lotus, Wolf and Fittipaldi, died yesterday of a heart attack.

Before joining Lotus he served in the British army and briefly competed as a racing driver. He worked as team manager under Colin Chapman in the 1970s and later managed the design team which created the 77, an early ground effect car which raced in 1976.

At the end of the year he joined the Wolf racing team. He originally arranged to come back to Lotus three years later, but he did not return until 1981.

It fell to Warr to run the team following Chapman’s death in 1982. He arranged a supply of Renault engines for 1983 and grabbed Ayrton Senna from Toleman in 1984. Just two races into 1985, Senna scored the first win of Lotus’s post-Chapman era.

Warr left the team early in 1989 after a poor start to the year, but there would be no more wins for Lotus without him. He later worked for the FIA and the British Racing Drivers’ Club.

Bernie Ecclestone issued the following statement:

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 One he helped me to build it to what it is today.

Thank you Peter.
Bernie Ecclestone

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “Former Lotus team principal Peter Warr dies”

  1. Sad to hear that. I just watched a Senna documentary movie at almost one hour of great memories, check it out.

    Senna driving a Lotus… it was just great

  2. I remember Warr. A symbol of a formula 1 that isn’t there anymore. I feel that it was better before.

  3. Sad news. For accuracy, did the Lotus 77 have ground effect? I thought it was the 78 that introduced underfloor aerodynamics in 1977.

    1. They first used it on the 77 fairly late on the in the season. But the 78 was a far more advanced and effective execution.

  4. I never knew of Peter Warr before now, but I can see how he important he must have been. Best wishes to the family.

  5. This is awful. I never really know what to say in these types of situations but I really hope Peter didn’t suffer much.

    He gave an incredible amount to the sport I think and lived a life many could only dream of.

    My thoughts are with those who knew him and it must be terribly sad for them but I hope given some time, they don’t just mourn the loss of a loved one but look back and admire such a character. Ijust wish everyone he left behind well really and I’m sorry to read such sad news.

  6. Best wishes to his family and friends

  7. From Tony Fernandes on Twitter:

    Its very sad on peter warr. Only met him at bahrain. We invited him. Clive chapman gave me the idea. A true gentleman and a legend.

    And Lotus’s account:

    We have learnt today of the very sad passing of Lotus legend Peter Warr. Our thoughts go out to his family. Long may his legend live on.

  8. Very sad to hear that, R.I.P

  9. Strangely, Peter Warr had developped a physical likeness to Ken Tyrrell — his nemesis — in his later years. Now with Chapman, Tyrrell, Teddy Mayer, Postlethwaite gone that leaves Forghieri and Surtees as the last giants of this great generation.

  10. Also I didn’t know mr Warr, however what got me is Bernies statement. Maybe it’s me, but it reads like straight form the heart, rather then a ‘statement’ statement.

    All the best for the family and friends of mr Warr.

    1. I too noticed that.

  11. Richard Reeve
    6th October 2010, 14:37

    I was shocked to hear of Peter’s passing. In 1998 he was team manager for a team of six Lotus Mk6s in the Birkett relay race at Snetterton. I was one of the drivers that day, and will never forget his astonishing feat of timing all the cars on track with one stopwatch! It was an honour to have known him and a great privilege to have raced with him. Rest in peace, Peter.

  12. I was very fortunate to have worked for Peter Warr during his days as team manager at Walter Wolf. Having spent many years with various F1 teams i can honestly say that Peter was one of the very best team principals i have ever worked for. A hard task master,but always fair.
    A great loss not only to the sport but to all family and friends. R.I.P. Peter.

  13. I read that Peter Warr, in addition to his more well-known achievements, also won the first ever race at Suzuka, in 1962. Appropriately, he was at the wheel of a Lotus 23.

    Source (originally posted by Prisoner Monkeys on Changing Tracks article):

    RIP, Peter.

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