Former Lotus and Wolf F1 boss Peter Warr, who worked with an extraordinary list of big names over his time in the sport, has died at the age of 72.
Warr joined Lotus in the very early days in 1958, and was initially a salesman. Initially he had racing ambitions of his own, and famously won the first ever Japanese GP at Suzuka in 1963, when it was a invitational sportscar race.
For the 1970 season he became team manager of Team Lotus, running the day to day operations of the race team on behalf of Colin Chapman. Jochen Rindt won the title posthumously that year, and two years later Emerson Fittipaldi triumphed.
Warr also worked with Ronnie Peterson, Jacky Ickx, Mario Andretti and Gunnar Nilsson before leaving to join the new Wolf team for the 1977 season. Jody Scheckter won three races that year, while James Hunt briefly drove for the team in 1979. Warr was reunited with Fittipaldi when Wolf was merged with the Brazilian driver’s own team, and was involved in yet another future World Champion in Keke Rosberg.
When the team’s fortunes took a dive Warr returned to Lotus in 1981, and he took charge as team principal after Chapman’s death in December 1982. He had something of a strained relationship with Nigel Mansell, but established a good rapport with Ayrton Senna, who scored his first Grand Prix wins with the team in 1985-87. When Senna left he was replaced by Nelson Piquet.
Warr left Lotus in 1989 but retained links with the sport working with the FIA and BRDC. In recent years had been living in retirement in France. Last year he returned to Suzuka as part of the track’s re-opening celebrations, driving his Lotus 23 around the track.