BRM V16

slickskid

Points Scorer
Supporter
Having been spending alot of time lately reading about F1 in the 50's and in alot of cases finding myself with more questions than when i started, it's quite clear there are alot of fascinating stories out there, alot of as yet uncovered information and it's hard not to feel the passion in the sport at that time following the war.

Just one of the cars i've been looking at in that era was the BRM V16 or as it was officially known the P15, what i find remarkable about this has more to do with the engine which as the title suggests was a very distinctive v16 1.5L supercharged that was believed to produce around 600bhp @ 1200rpm towards the end of it's career. This is an astonishing power output feat for that time and it also had a very distinctive sound not to be confused with the H16 produced in subsequent years.


The car itself had a very chequered history and it's been suggested that this car is partly to blame for governing body changing the rules for F1 in 1952 to formula 2 spec machines.

Rather than myself describe the history of the car i will leave that to one of the more renowned writers Karl Ludvigsen, who did a presentation on the subject in association with the RAC Club, that i found on utube. bearing in mind it is a live recording there is alot of background noise but fascinating none the less.
It's in 6 parts so will take a while to get through.


Some details on race results can be found Here
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
An excellent post slick.

Regarding the switch to Formula Two regulations for 1952, I understood it was mainly due to Alfa Romeo's withdrawal at the end of the 1951 season.

This was because the Alfa Romeo engine was now so highly developed that fuel economy was just 0.57 km/l (1.6 mpg), requiring two or more fuel stops per race. Due to the increased competitiveness of their rivals and a lack of funds, Alfa Romeo decided to withdraw from the Formula One World Championship at the end of the season, rather than build a new car

Subsequently, due to the absence of any serious challenger to Ferrari in 1952 due to BRM not appearing at the first non-championship event of the year, the World Drivers' Championship was run to Formula Two regulations for 1952 and 1953.
 

tooncheese

Hans Heyer
Contributor
Great post, that's one of the best engine noises i've ever heard, and for the era the figures are mind-boggling. :o
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
Great post again slick.They were for me the halcyon days of F1.I can remember hearing and seeing these incredible machines in full bloodied action at various races.

Err um, I have no wish to offend you and insult your great work. But for pity's sake please "shut up" :D
Its wicked to make an old man cry.

I am now sunk into the depths of depression remembering these great years and knowing that I will never see the likes of these times again.

Keep it up.
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
There is a huge amount of untold and forgotten history.Who remembers the Lotus 56.


Colin Chapmans answer to Silent Sam.
This car was powered by a Pratt & Whitney gas turbine engine.

"Undeterred by USAC's decision to ban the 56's technology, Chapman developed the car as a potential F1 machine after the failure of the Lotus 63, but while the car was promising, it was too heavy and too overcomplicated for F1. The car was designated as the 56B and Emerson Fittipaldi tried it in the 1971 Race of Champions and International Trophy non-Championship meetings. At Brands Hatch, during wet practice, the 56 was far and away the fastest car on the track, but the race was held in dry weather and the car was lost in midfield. At the Silverstone-based International Trophy, the car only lasted three laps of the first heat before suspension failure forced Fittipaldi's retirement. Dave Walker ran the car in the Dutch Grand Prix, and had progressed from 22nd to 10th in five laps of the very wet track, before sliding off the road and into retirement. Fittipaldi used the car again in that year's 1971 Italian Grand Prix and managed to bring the fragile design home 8th. By then Chapman decided to cut his losses and abandoned the 56, the four wheel drive concept and the gas turbine engine to concentrate on the Lotus 72 (heir to the 56's wedge and 49's wings),[2] which went on to win the drivers' and constructors' championships for Lotus in 1972"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_56
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
The Lotus 56 was a fascinating beast. One of its biggest problems was that the throttle response of the turbine could be measured with a sun dial. To overcome that, the "idle speed" was greatly increased. This, of course, led to a quantum increase in brake wear.

I had the opportunity to examine the car up close at one of the USAC road races, and was astonished to find that it used two sets of brakes per wheel- one inboard and one outboard. I don't know if that was strictly a one-off experiment or was incorporated into the final configuration.
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
Great post that man! :thumbsup:

That BRM sounds wonderful, they had one up at Thruxton ages ago and it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

:screeeeeeeeeeeam:
 

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
They had a BRM at the Silverstone classic this year. Absolutely awesome! Good post :)
 
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