What can you say about Colin Chapman that hasn't already been said? A whip-smart visionary with a penchant for the experimental, the success of his various innovations throughout the '60s and '70s led him onto his latest wheeze - ground effects.
Even so, he wasn't the first to ever explore the field of ground effects in F1 - Peter Wright had looked into it during his time at BRM, and he was the perfect man to assist Chapman with turning its performance potential into something tangible.
The Lotus 78 was the first iteration, with giant sweeping sidepods formed into the rough shape of an aerofoil. At the point at which the gap to the road was the smallest, this was capable of generating a huge amount of suction behind it - developing a not-inconsiderable low-pressure zone underneath the car. The ensuing 'Venturi' tunnel allowed the air underneath to expand and accelerate, creating extreme areas of low pressure.