Pedro Lamy's Silverstone Accident

For immediate release: 26 May 1994

In the interest of the safety of all Grand Prix drivers we feel it is our responsibility to make public our findings from our investigation in to the cause of Pedro Lamy's accident.

As a result of the technical changes demanded for Barcelona, and in the light of unexpected structural problems encountered by other teams and Pedro's accident, it is apparent that the rear wing structures are being subjected to new dynamic and aerodynamic forces.

We know that the accident was caused by a failure of the rear wing mounting system. The mounting system employed has been in use on the Type 107A and 107B over the past two seasons and is proof tested to twice its design load without a single failure since its introduction. This system was retained because winter testing proved it to be the optimal solution with the cars in that configuration.

We are currently investigating why a proven system should suddenly fail when the design load has not increased.

Our wide ranging investigation is currently concentrating on changes to the dynamic loading conditions (lateral vibration of the wing assembly) caused by the modification made necessary by changes to the Technical Regulations mandated by the President of the FIA, Mr Max Mosley, at Monaco and being tested prior to Barcelona.

Previously the undertray was supported on its rear edge from the rear wing assembly, and may have served to steady the rear wing system. Removal of the rear portion of the diffuser and the regulation that precludes replacement with an alternative structure means that the rear wing cannot benefit from this steadying support and thus its vibration motion has been modified. A change in the amplitude of the lateral vibration would cause the type of failure that occurred.

No evidence of any other failure has been found. We have made major modifications and additions to the wing mounting system in the light of what we have found from Pedro's accident and will incorporate them into the cars here in Barcelona. Only when we are as sure as is humanly possible that the cars are safe, will we allow them to run, and we will constantly monitor them to ensure their safety at all times.

Team Lotus