“Vacuum Cleaner” Brabham BT46B: “Would stick to the ceiling!”

(Motorsport-Total.com) – As a “vacuum cleaner” he went down in the history of Formula 1: the Brabham BT 46 B. Chief designer Gordon Murray, who sees himself as a revolutionary, is still proud of his concept today. He wanted to put a brake on Colin Chapman's Lotus superiority

Niki Lauda, Niki Lauda

© Motorsport Photos

The Brabham BT

from Lauda at the Swedish GP 18 in Anderstorp Zoom Download

“The dressmaker in the other people do, “says Murray in the podcast Previous the Grid '.

He counts himself for the second stroke: “The revolutionaries, like Chapman or me, have thought differently: 'Me do not like, the others became. Let America reroll the rules and see where we can give Americans an unfair advantage. “

Niki Lauda, Niki Lauda

© Motorsport Photos

The fan in the rear of the Brabham BT 46 B Zoom Download

The Briton always wondered, “How can we make the car a lot better, not just a little better? “With this motto, he also went into the season 1978. “This story begins with a necessity, because Lotus has discovered with the so-called 'wing cars'. “

Murray battle demanded he wanted to implement the ground effect as well. However, the battle of the Alfa-V in the tail too wide and big dime nsioniert. He still used the ground effect with side aprons to increase the downforce and speed in the corners.

“I saw us Therefore, he studied the regulations again exactly. “I found a loophole – and it became the 'fan vehicle'.”

The BT “It just had a vacuum cleaner, so it had peripheral aprons and a (******************************************************************) Inch fan in the rear, which sucked the car to the ground. ” After the model of the US sports car Chaparral 2J, he actually installed a fan in the rear.

Niki Lauda, Niki Lauda

© Motorsport Photos

Lauda won in Sweden with over half a minute advantage

Zoom Download

He sucked the air under the vehicle and pushed it out to the rear. As a result, the car stuck to the asphalt. Even today, Murray is convinced: “The car could be driven on the ceiling!” His approach was approved for the Astronomical Prix in Sweden 1977

“It was about Article 3.7 of the Technical Regulations,” he recalls. “It was quite simple: If a part primarily has an aerodynamic effect, then this part had to remain stationary on the chassis.” Murray interprets the word “primary” in such a way that more than a horizontally mounted radiator was sucked.

The fan had thus primarily the purpose to cool the car. “And less than (********************************************) percent have pressed the car onto the track, so they had to America. ” In Anderstorp, then the surprise: Niki Lauda won the race.

“They had to completely rethink how they drive the car, even Niki took a while to get used to it,” white Murray. “Because the corner entry speed in the third or fourth gear battle 50 miles per hour [50 km/h] faster than in a conventional car. “

Bernie Ecclestone

© Motorsport Photos

Gordon Murray (right) in conversation with Bernie Ecclestone and Colin Chapman Bernie Ecclestone Zoom Download

Displeasure spread among the competitors. “This is a damn great vacuum cleaner that throws you dirt and crap in a hell of a speed in the face,” roared Lotus rival Mario Andretti.

Brabham team principal Bernie Ecclestone steered to pressure from the Constructors' Association FOCA and pulled the car back after just one race. Later, the car was officially declared illegal, which is why it is still the only model that could win the only race.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *