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Brabham BT49 – Widescreen Gallery

Submitted by on April 22, 2020

By Marcel Hundscheid / Speed-O-Graphica

Take a few minutes to get to know the distinctive versions of the Brabham BT49, raced between 1979 and 1981 in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, with this widescreen gallery by Marcel Hundscheid of Speed-O-Graphica.

Gordon Murray designed the Brabham BT49 for the 1979 Formula 1 World Championship. The car was the result of the break between Brabham team owner Bernie Ecclestone and Alfa Romeo, as the BT49 predecessor, the BT48, used an engine developed by the Italian manufacturer.

In that particular period Alfa Romeo entered their own Type 177 and 179 Formula 1 cars. Although the Alfa Romeo V12 engines were very powerful, they lacked reliability.

South African Gordon Murray designed the BT49 in just six weeks. Murray used parts from the earlier BT48 chassis and combined it with Ford’s Cosworth DFV 2.993 cc V8 engine capable of generating 490 hp. The BT49 had a weight of just 580 kg.

Murray used a monocoque chassis built from sheet aluminium alloy, reinforced with carbon fibre composite panels. The BT49 created downforce through ground effect.

The BT49 saw action between 1979 and 1981 and evolved over four seasons in three distinct specifications. At Chessington in the UK seventeen cars were built, including nine BT49s, five BT49Cs and three BT49Ds.

Brazilian Nelson Piquet scored three victories in a BT49 during the 1980 Formula 1 World Championship, finishing 3rd in the championship. In 1981 he again scored three victories as well as four podium finishes in a BT49C, earning his first World Championship title.

Pictured below is Brabham BT49/10 driven Nelson Piquet during the 1981 World Championship. Nowadays the car is raced successfully by Spaniard Joaquin Folch-Rusinol in the FIA Masters Historic F1 Championship.

Illustrated below is Brabham BT49D/18, in fact the final BT49 built and raced by Italian Riccardo Patrese at the Canadian Grand Prix in 1982. At last year’s Spa Six Hours BT49D/18 appeared at a race of the FIA Masters Historic F1 Championship, raced by young Belgian Antoine d’Ansembourg.

By Marcel Hundscheid / Speed-O-Graphica

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