Peter Warr, who will be best remembered as the man who served as team manager for Colin Chapman’s Team Lotus Formula One team and kept the operation running in the wake of Chapman’s death, has himself passed away at his home in France following a heart attack on October 4. Warr, who won the inaugural Japanese Grand Prix for sports cars in 1963 with a Lotus 23B, initially joined the Lotus sales department in 1958, becoming team manager for the Grand Prix team in 1969. He guided both Jochen Rindt (1970) and Emerson Fittipaldi (1972) to their World Championships before leaving in 1976 to fulfill similar duties with Walter Wolf’s operation, but then left Wolf to manage Fittipaldi’s eponymous team before returning to Lotus in 1981. Following Chapman’s death in 1982, Warr took the team back to the top of F1.
“Peter Warr was a man of great ability and character who lived life to the full and put in very much more than he took out,” offered Clive Chapman, son of the Lotus founder. “He was a leading figure in Formula One in the ’70s and ’80s, and helped many great drivers to realize their dreams. At Team Lotus he managed not only the team, the sponsors and the drivers, but also, and perhaps most importantly, my father; he played a vital role in enabling him to realize the potential of his engineering brilliance.
“After my father’s death in 1982,” Chapman continued, “Peter stepped up to lead Team Lotus and take it back into the winner’s circle with Ayrton Senna at the wheel; a fantastic achievement in difficult circumstances. He was a sophisticated man of great taste, who cared always for his family and his team; always thinking of those around him and always thinking of ways around the opposition, in the best possible spirit.”
To his family and many friends, Vintage Racecar extends its sincerest condolences.