Death of a British PM? Look out for Lotus

SHANGHAI Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:57pm IST

A portrait of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher is pictured at the British High Commission in Ottawa April 9, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

A portrait of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher is pictured at the British High Commission in Ottawa April 9, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Chris Wattie

Related Topics

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The death this week of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher can point to only one outcome for superstitious Formula One gamblers and lovers of bizarre sporting statistics - a victory for Lotus in Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix.

A flick through the sport's record books shows that the last four deaths of former British premiers have been followed immediately by victory on the racetrack for the team from Enstone.

Edward Heath's demise on July 17, 2005 was followed on July 24 by success for Fernando Alonso in Germany with Renault, the team that is now Lotus and operates from the same English factory.

James Callaghan's death on March 26, 2005 came just before Alonso won in Bahrain for Renault.

In October 1995, Alec Douglas-Home passed away and Michael Schumacher won for Benetton, the team that went on to become Renault. Earlier that year, Schumacher triumphed in Monaco four days after Harold Wilson died.

Going back even further, the first race held after the death of Clement Attlee in October 1967 was won by...Britain's Jim Clark in a Lotus.

Still not convinced enough to take a flutter on Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen or Romain Grosjean in a country famed for its love of gambling? Then consider this - Thatcher's son Mark was once the chairman of Lotus cars in North America.

The morbid prime ministerial statistic follows another popular one that did the rounds of the F1 media centre before the season-opening Australian Grand Prix that linked papal conclaves with grand prix racing.

Three of the last five papal conclaves before the election of Pope Francis were followed by either victories for Lotus or a team from Enstone.

True to form, Raikkonen won this year's Australian season-opener only days after the Argentine pontiff was installed.

British bookmakers William Hill offered odds of 7/1 on Thursday on Raikkonen winning in China with Grosjean at 33/1. Red Bull's world champion Sebastian Vettel is 15/8 favourite.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Tom Pilcher)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Commonwealth Games

SPORTS SHOWCASE

Fastest Man

Fastest Man

Interview - Usain Bolt says his best is yet to come.  Full Article 

After 23 Years

After 23 Years

Mexico is back on the F1 calendar in 2015.  Full Article 

NBA Update

NBA Update

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies to hometown.  Full Article 

Zidane Takes Charge

Zidane Takes Charge

Zidane makes mystery man Markkanen his first Madrid signing.  Full Article 

Rising Star?

Rising Star?

Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s pursuit of cricketing excellence.  Full Article 

Dismissing Reports

Dismissing Reports

I'm not heading to PSG, says ex-Juventus boss Conte.  Full Article 

2016 Olympics

2016 Olympics

Interview - World Cup will inspire Rio Olympics - IOC's Bach.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage